Venice: Peggy Guggenheim Collection – Themes and Variations, The Empire of Light exhibition. At the PeggyGuggenheim Collection the fourth exhibition with the curatorial formula, Themes and Variations entitled The Empire of Light (until April 14), brilliantly curated by Luca Massimo Barbero. The project, offers a fresh perception of familiar and less familiar works from the Peggy Guggenheim Collection through a multi-layered dialogue between Modernist masters and contemporary artists, thanks also to loans from other collections. Within the same spaces, paintings from the 19th- and 20th-century avant-gardes confront thematically with works produced in the aftermath of the Second World War and up to the threshold of the contemporary.
Above: Rene Magritte, Empire of Light, ca. 1953-54, oil on canvas, from this painting the exhibition takes its name.
Themes and Variations, The Empire of Light. Seminal paintings by masters such as Edgar Degas, Henri Matisse, Mark Rothko, and Lucio Fontana are displayed next to paintings and sculptures in a vivid contrast and comparison, provoking viewers to look beyond the customary categories of the 20th century avant-garde, culminating in contemporary work by Gabriele Basilico, David Hockney, Gerhard Richter, Anish Kapoor, Thomas Ruff, Kiki Smith, Hiroshi Sugimoto, Piotr Uklański.
Above: Gabriele Basilico, Roma 2007 - Ponte Cestio (07A10-77), 2009, pure pigment print - And - Henri Matisse, Pont Saint-Michel, 1903, oil on canvas.
Photograph courtesy PGC
Edgar Degas Jeune Fille Etendue et Regardant un Album, ca. 1889, pastel on paper (private collection, New York) - And - Kiki Smith, Sleepwalker with Owl, 2004, ink on Nepalese paper (Galleria Raffaella Cortese, Milan).
Curator Luca Massimo Barbero in front of Ellsworth Kelly, 42nd, 1958, oil on canvas.
Anish Kapoor, Untitled, 2002, polished stainless steel and lacquer – And – Lucio Fontana, Spatial Concept Expectations, 1967, waterpaint on canvas.
photograph courtesy PGC
Salvador Dali, Untitled, 1931, oil on canvas – And – Philippe Halsman, Salvador Dali’s “Leopard Skull”, 1951, modern giclee print, Philippe Halsman/Magnum Photos.
Collectors Adamaria and Marco Carbonari with Peggy Guggenheim Collection’s Philip Rylands in front of David Hockney, Three Trees near Thixendale, Summer, 2007, oil on eight canvases.
Themes and Variations – Homage to Fausto Melotti. The final section of the Themes and Variations exhibition is a tribute to Italian art by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and specifically to Fausto Melotti (1901-1986), with works by this poetic sculptor such as Contrappunto II, Orfeo Dimentico, Chiave di Violino. Appropriately Melotti titled several of his sculptures Theme and Variations, whence derives the title of this series of exhibitions, since the first in 2002.
Above: Fausto Melotti, Theme and Variations I, 1968, brass.
Detail – Fausto Melotti, Denominator, 1970, brass.
photograph courtesy PGC
Fausto Melotti photographed by Ugo Mulas, 1968, copyright all rights reserved Eredi Ugo Mulas.