Verona, Wednesday, June 12

Immerso nella scena artistica comtemporanea de Verona

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venice 017FaMa Gallery – a solo show by Mat Collishan, English.  (You can click on my photos to see the details.)  Preternatural – photos of burning butterflies (dead before they were set on fire, we were assured), Venal Muse  – photos of wax flowers, looking like previous flowers he had made of animal skin.

…three works from the Venal Muse series, created as a tribute to Baudelaire’s Les Fleurs du Mal, in which the represented flowers –pitted by scars and sores – appear to be consumed by unstoppable decay that mars their beauty.

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A large photo of a squashed moth, but the photos aren’t great, due to the reflections of the lights on the glass.

Studio la Città (In “our” section of the city everything is immaculate, clean stucco, fresh paint, but in this section, across a bridge, cracked stucco, black mold on the cornice, some sections cleaned. )

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venice 030Jacob Hashimoto, American artist – Foundational Work – tiny bamboo and paper kites, thousands of them.  I wondered if he outsourced, and found this interview with him.  (You can check out the web site for the entire interview, and a photo of him working.)

Tying thousands of knots sounds like a lot of work.

It is, but we do as much as we can in-house.  The kites come in a couple of different varieties.  The ovals and circles are heat-formed, and we don’t actually build those frames here; we use a company in Weifang, China, where dragon kites are traditionally made. For me to make a circular shape from beginning to end by myself takes something like 15 minutes per piece, so it got to the point where I knew we couldn’t do it all ourselves. But I can build a hexagon from a pile of sticks in, maybe, three minutes, so that’s what the guys in the studio are working on now — hexagons, octagons and different square shapes. We can outsource those shapes as well, but then I find I’m not happy with the symmetry, and we end up having to retie many of them.

No matter how much I complain to fabricators, they don’t seem to understand the level of precision I’m after. They don’t take me seriously until I actually sit down in front of them and show them the very specific way I want the knots done, so that the sticks don’t slide. Only then do they see that I know what I’m talking about. I have so much muscle memory from building thousands and thousands of these by myself that I know exactly how I want them made.

We also do all the paper work here, once the frames are done, which is a tremendous effort.  Practically speaking, it doesn’t make a lot of sense that we do so much in-house, but that way we have control over our materials and the guarantee that we’re using the very best quality. For example, we need to know where our acrylic comes from, because it has to be page-neutral and acid-free.
http://www.katyatylevich.com/pdf/hashimoto.pdf

venice 025Also in la Città, Some views of Africa, an exhibition of works by five young African artists.  My photo (sorry about the glare on the glass), of the almost life-sized photo, Hyena Man by Pieter Hugo.  This is just one paragraph of a fascinating article on the Web:

In Abuja we found them living on the periphery of the city in a shantytown – a group of men, a little girl, three hyenas, four monkeys and a few rock pythons. It turned out that they were a group of itinerant minstrels, performers who used the animals to entertain crowds and sell traditional medicines. The animal handlers were all related to each other and were practising a tradition passed down from generation to generation.
http://www.pieterhugo.com/the-hyena-other-men/

 la citta

Then a wall of smaller photos of a South African photographer, Mikhael Subotzky, a few with broken glass.

A selection of the [photos] were finished with a sheet of hardened glass instead of acrylic glass, which allowed Mikhael to smash the glass with a hammer while the fragments stayed in place.

Artericambi – Contemporary Art Research

Didn’t care for the works of Christian Manual Zanon (sorry), but loved Andea Galvani’s photos, which are venice 033surrealistic.  This from her web site:

The Intelligence of Evil project documents a series of actions the artist produced using military grade smoke bombs while working in the mountainous regions of Austria, Switzerland and Italy. [This is a portrait] of the artist’s father, taken on the Val Senales glacier… In these images, the black smoke envelops his body and his disappearance is frozen in time.

Check out the gallery site for Galvani’s car wheels, cat eyes, and horses with balloons.  http://www.artericambi.com/en/andrea-galvani/

venice 037Also liked Helen Dowling’s hands, Crinkum, Crackum.

Her work is concerned with the relationship between the physical body, its environment and how it is perceived, recognised and engaged with.

http://www.artericambi.com/en/helen-dowling-3/

Next our bus drove through the Valpolicella wine growing region to the Byblos Art Hotel – Villa Amistà for lunch.  The landscapes are all picturesque here.

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venice 044The hotel is a classical Venetian style villa, originally built on the foundations of a ruined Roman “casa fort”, featuring a 15th-century façade by Michele Sanmicheli, a Venetian architect of the Mannerist-style.  It was expanded in 1700, and there are frescoes from both eras.  The ruined villa was bought in 1999, its renovation “fearlessly designed by architect Alessandro Mendini”.

But what cost more than the renovations is…

the collection of contemporary art by 39 of the world’s most renowned modern artists. Pieces by Damien Hirst and Arnish Kapoor sit alongside classical Venetian paintings.

venice 047venice 045Love this outdoor sculpture by Marc Quinn.  We had a marvelous lunch with wine, then a tour of the artwork.  My favorite is this man falling off the balcony, Peter Paul, by Maurizio Savini, created in bronze and chewing gum (hence the pink color), which he is known for.

venice 049This tapestry by Aligniero Boetti was embroidered by women at an embroidery school in Kabul.  Click on it to see the detail.   (I left the molding and fireplace in the photo so that you can see how these works are displayed in the baroque villa.)  He is most famous for a series of embroidered maps of the world, Mappa, one of which we shall see in tomorrow at MART.

Reminded me of Tucson Museum of Art’s panel discussion “The Critical Eye: What Curators of Contemporary Art Look For” because one trend mentioned was combining art with craft.

venice 048This sculpture hanging in a staircase, Cromosoma by Enrico Tommaso de Paris, was fascinating.

I also liked Czech sculptor Richard Stipl’s Breathe, you fucker.  In a few days we’ll see works by Australian sculptor Sam Jinks venice 060who also creates hyperrealistic sculptures from silicone.  (Specifically oddities such as a fox’s head on a man’s body and a man hanging by the armpits on pegs.)

Duane Hanson was one of the pioneers of photorealistic sculpture.  But I prefer Mueck (See my blog
https://notesfromthewest.wordpress.com/2010/03/08/quirky-art/) and Hanson to either Stipl or Jinks.

Duane Hanson used polyester resin and fiberglass to make his tourists, porters, cleaners and security guards.

Ron Mueck flees from normal life-size figures.  He reduces or enlarges them disproportionately, albeit always respecting each and every anatomical detail.  His dead father may be tiny (8 x 40 x 15 inches), but a child may be colossal, like his 16-foot Boy.

Stipl embarked on the hyperrealist modeling of the human body, preferably naked, with materials like wax, resin, and different paint.  He uses small, delicate formats, that could be typical of the fairytale world, although in Stipl’s hands these tales will always be horrific, as if a little box could contain all our private horrors.
http://www.evanpenny.com/pdf/lapiz_224.pdf

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Swedish artist Nathalie Djurberg “claymation” video, Bad Eggs, is the kicks!

svelte trio of cooks catch bird, get nekkid and squeeze eggs out for a witches brew of slop-motion color
http://testpress.net/newmuseum_djurberg.html

venice 056And I liked Tony Oursler’s Blue Classic, videos of eyes and a mouth projected on a sculpture.

Blue Classic is two large, vaguely head-shaped, bulbous blobs on which are projected blue faces, disturbingly distorted by the shapes of the ‘screens.’ They move their lips, speaking a meditation nearly inaudible: “Don’t stop. I’ll die…Keep me alive with your eyes…Don’t look away…I’ll die…Don’t stop. Don’t stop…I’ll die. Keep me alive…”

I could go on and on, there were so many great pieces of art.  But let’s stop by the spa and then take off for our next venue.

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On to Tenuta Pule and the Villa Pullè Galtarossa, the studio of Anna Galtarossa and Daniel González.

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In 1567, during the Spanish wars and the Inquisition under Philip II of Spain, Andrea Poullè, Magistrate of Valenciennes, was beheaded – an act generally reserved venice 071only for nobility – for his Calvinist beliefs.  His sons, Giovanni and Nicola, fled to Verona in 1580, bringing with them silk worms and mulberry trees and becoming successful entrepreneurs.

The villa was property of Pullè from the second part of the 1600’s and still has the family crest on the southern face, on the chapel and some cottages.

Are you getting a feel for the antiquity here?  They recently discovered 17C frescoes on one ceiling, sure they’re under the stucco of all of the ceilings.

But their art…  Anna does fabric art.  This huge construction is blurred ‘cause it’s spinning, powered by a cement mixer at the bottom!  Here I am modeling a jacket of hers – all pink puff balls – venice 082venice 079venice 070venice 069in the kitchen.  I like this mask of found objects.

Daniel is known for his sequins.  That Tide box is sequins – click on it to enlarge.  (Remember what I mentioned from the curator discussion – contemporary art fused with craft.)

wilder mann(On one table a copy of French photographer Charles Fréger’s Wilder Mann: The Image of the Savage.  Must get it!)

Back to Verona by bus down a road 1½ lanes wide; a woman had to run over wildflowers along the edge to pass us.  Miles and miles of vineyards and some peach orchards.  Half an hour rest and then on to dinner.

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venice 096Friends of M & C to host our group (29 + Bruno and his wife) for dinner at their home at the top of a hill overlooking the countryside.  Vintners.  Prosecco, cold cuts and bread in the cool evening air.  (The ubiquitous prosciutto + sopressata  + mortadella.)  Our host, Claudio Grazia, (here with his granddaughter) was making paella in an enormous pan in his huge kitchen, but fearing a turn in the weather, we changed our itinerary to the Menegotti  Farm and Winery (Claudio bringing the paella in his car) where we got a
venice 101venice 104tour (shown here the cave – all of the bottles in the center get turned by hand daily) and a spectacular dinner (or so I believe, as I did have about five glasses of their wine – and I was one of the first group to leave, at about 1am!)

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3 Responses to “Verona, Wednesday, June 12”

  1. Ellen Trevors Says:

    Lynne,
    This is just amazing! Thank you!
    Ellen

  2. Nancy Clark Says:

    This is wonderful!

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