Friday, March 30, 2012

Venice: Correr Museum - Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession

Correr Museum: Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession exhibition. A century after his acclaimed participation in the Venice Biennale (1910), Gustav Klimt returns to the lagoon as the protagonist of a remarkable exhibition in the rooms of the Correr Museum, until July 8. It is the perfect occasion to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the artist’s birth (1862-2012). Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession was curated by Alfred Weidinger and features an exceptional series of paintings, rare and precious drawings, furniture and elegant jewelry, but also elaborate reconstructions and interesting historical documents. The aim is to introduce the visitor to the genesis and evolution, in both architecture and painting, of Klimt’s work and that of the other protagonists of the Viennese Secession. The movement was one of the highest peaks in European Modernism and counted among its key players such artists as George Minne, Jan Toorop, Fernand Khnopff, Koloman Moser, and above all Klimt’s companion on many intellectual ventures and projects, Josef Hoffmann.
Above: Gustav Klimt: Salome (Judith II), 1909 – oil on canvas.

Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession exhibition. Probably the focal point of the exhibition Gustav Klimt’s spectacular Beethoven Frieze triptych, 1901-02.

Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession exhibition. Model of the Kunstschau exhibition hall designed  by Josef Hoffmann, 1908-09. Execution: modellwerkstatt Gerhard Stocker, 2008 - Maple wood, scale 1:50.
Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession exhibition.  Josef Hoffmann designed brooch, 1905, Model G 368 – execution: Wiener Werkstatte/Karl Ponocny – silver, coral, lapis lazuli, malachite, moonstone.

Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession exhibition. Gustav Klimt: Portrait of Marie Henneberg, 1901-02 - oil on canvas.

Gustav Klimt in the Sign of Hoffmann and the Secession exhibition.  Josef Hoffmann: table and a pair of chairs from the boudoir of Hermine Gallia (whose portrait, by Gustav Klimt is in the background) c. 1912n- lacquered and gilded wood, brass, other material.
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Thursday, March 29, 2012

Venice: Healing Garden for the San Camillo Hospital at the Lido.

Palazzo Pisani Moretta: benefit for a Healing Garden at the San Camillo Hospital. The dinner to collect funds for the Healing Garden project (Un Giardino Per Rivivere) at the San Camillo Hospital on the Lido, was held at Palazzo Pisani Moretta and was graciously sponsored by the owners of the palazzo and by the Calieron Confraternity. A garden for the senses, the Healing Garden is a  natural place for mental and physical stimulation, and as such, is designed to provide maximum possible sensory richness. The sight is the sense that dominates most of the sensory experiences, but sometimes, you simply close your eyes and are receptive to noticing that other senses provide other rich connections. Chromatherapy and aromatherapy are now two very useful and strategic approaches to build and order sensory stress therapeutic purposes, but also "hearing" and "feel" can play a very important role in the natural area of the garden.

Contribute: You too can contribute to realize the Healing Garden, log onto the website of Un Giardino Per Rivivere and go to: Come Aiutarci.

Palazzo Pisani Moretta: benefit for a Healing Garden at the San Camillo Hospital.   Garden designer, Benedetta Piccolomini, landscape architect, Paolo Sgaravatti and neurologist, Francesca Meneghello are the people responsible for the Healing Garden project.

 photograph and copyright Manfredi Bellati
Palazzo Pisani Moretta: benefit for a Healing Garden at the San Camillo Hospital.  In the spectacular candle lit salone on the piano nobile of Palazzo Pisani Moretta a long table was set up with gourmet food prepared by the Calieron Confraternity.

   photograph and copyright Manfredi Bellati

Palazzo Pisani Moretta: Calieron Confraternity. Some of the eighteen members of the Confraternita’ del Calieron or Calieron Confraternity, which was founded in 1994 by a group of gentlemen who love good food and drink. The gentlemen cooks are professional architects, doctors, notaries, financiers, industrialists, landowners and insurance brokers, two of them also act as sommeliers.  They take pleasure in gastronomy and when business permits they organize and cook lunches and dinners for friends in and around Italy, as well as abroad. Their headquarters is at the Villa Marcello between Padua and Treviso.  Caileron in Veneto dialect is the big copper pot you cook polenta in and Calieron is also a trophy, which is “up for grabs” each year among the confraternity in the challenge between the stoves.   The winner, chosen by a jury formed by the wives and invited guests, is elected president for a year.
Above: Alvise Cerato, Franco Moschini, Alessandro Badoglio, Silvio Marsoni, Gianluca Cavatorta, Alvise Alverà, Beppi Franchin, Paolo de Marzi, Giorgio Montesi, Roberto di Majo and Giovanni Borri.

Palazzo Pisani Moretta: Calieron Confraternity.  a detail of the Calieron Confraternity “uniform”; under a business suit an apron embroidered with their “crest” and initials.

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Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Venice: Restaurant de Venise – Judi Harvest - Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice exhibition.

Venice: Restaurant de Venise – Judi Harvest - Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice exhibition.  Judi Harvest’s Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice is a "...series, an evolution of the themes of my work: the fragility of life and the search for beauty. It continues to examine how did we get here, where are we going and why are we here. This collage series, like my other large works in Venice that proceeded it, is a happy marriage of the ancient techniques of Venice and contemporary forms and media.”  Judi explains.


. Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice. Judi Harvest receives collectors, friends and press in the bar area of the Bistrot de Venise where her exhibition is hung, until April 5th.

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice. On a background of a Tiepolo ceiling astronauts, spaceships and planets are collaged.  “Venice has more full moons than anywhere else on the planet.  Satellites, aliens and a Venetian restaurant have more in common than meets the eye. As with all great works of art and relationships, they are concerned with communication, long before cell phones and email, news spread quickly and elegantly over food and drinks in Venice.” And more on Venice, “Of course gondolas are not rockets and vaporettos are not rovers, but the canals move and people communicate and work with their hands. Martians have come here to observe one of the last places on earth where meaningful conversations still happen at the table, where beauty is celebrated and computers have not replaced the artist’s hands.” Judi concludes.
Bistrot de Venise. Before there were art galleries in Venice, artists were invited to exhibit their work in restaurants. In fact, the Venice Biennale was created over coffee and drinks at the Caffe Florian. This exhibition keeps that tradition alive.In this age of wireless relationships, it is important to remember and frequent the places where food, wine and conversations became and still are, an art form.”
Above. One of the rooms of the Bistrot de Venise. The restaurant first opened in 1993 and has since become a hangout and meeting place where the figurative arts, poetry and culture combine, simply, with food and wine.

Bistrot de Venise. From Portoguaro, chef Mario Missese has been cooking in Venice since the 1980’s his food is “tasty and colorful” and is a modern reinterpretations of historical Venetian cuisine.

Bistrot de Venise. Bavetta shaped spaghetti with fresh tomato sauce, buffalo mozzarella and topped with basil pesto coulis.

 Architect and designer Antonio Zambusi.

Will Mattia grow up to be an architect or designer like his father, mother and grandfather above? 

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice. Judi Harvest draws in the visitor’s book, she is siting between art events organizer, Mario Di Martino and to her left, the curator of her exhibition, Emanuele Horodniceanu.

Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venice. The drawing in the pages of the restaurant’s visitors book depicts the people at the table, Judi used all the ingredients on hand; lipstick, candle wax, red wine, friends, food, art, Martians, satellites, stars, chocolate and coffee….to create it.

Bistrot de Venise.  One of the many deserts. The caramelized sugar topping on this delicious trio is inspired by Murano glass, it sits on top of a chocolate and coconut glace, in the middle are crumbled marron glaces and in the foreground, a mandarin and coffee sorbet a on a crumble base.

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Palazzo Fortuny: Restoration of the Mariano Fortuny’s Bayreuth Theatre model

Palazzo Fortuny: Restoration of the Mariano Fortuny’s Bayreuth Theatre model. Donations are open, buy a virtual seat for yourself and your friends and contribute to the restoration of the Mariano Fortuny’s Bayreuth Theatre model, which urgently needs your help. Seating according to color are inspired by certain Wagnerian works that Mariano Fortuny depicted in paintings and etchings: YELLOW: Flower Maidens (E 200 $ 280) running after each other and playing in Parsifal: RED: Wotan (E 100 $140), the King of the Gods found in the tetralogy The Ring of the Nibelung; BLUE: Sieglinde (E 50 $ 70), Sigmund’s sister in The Valkyrie and finally PURPLE: Mime (E 25 $ 35), a character present both in The Rhine Gold and Siegfried. For more information contact The Venice Foundation.

Palazzo Fortuny: Restoration of the Mariano Fortuny’s Bayreuth Theatre model.  Since 1891 Mariano Fortuny was completely captivated by the allure of the staging of Wagner’s theatre, however many years passed before he concretely measured himself against the theatre experimenting at length with both lighting and technology and the preparation of scenographic sketches.  It was in fact starting with the realization of scenographies linked to the works of Wagner that this model was born in 1903.  Made of wood and metal and now kept in the atelier, it is a reconstruction of the layout and the risers of the setting of the German Bayreuth Theatre. This model is an intricate and complex system made up of small cables, electrical power transformers and light bulbs; of wings and scenes depicted on cardboard. 

Palazzo Fortuny: Restoration of the Mariano Fortuny’s Bayreuth Theatre model. Just to give you an idea of the sorry state the model is in.
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Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring at Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera, Wax Figures in Venice and in Italy exhibition.

photograph and copyright Manfredi Bellati

Spring at Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera, Wax Figures in Venice and in Italy. The world’s first exhibition on wax portraits is on at Palazzo Fortuny, Avere Una Bella Cera, Wax Figures in Venice and in Italy, until June 25.  It analyses a field that has been studied very little by art historians: that of life-size wax figures.  The project was inspired by two fortunate coincidences, the existence of a series of life- size wax portraits in Venice’s public collections and churches, and the centenary of the publication of the “History of Portraiture in Wax”, written by the famous Viennese art historian Julius von Schlosser and the first work devoted to the history of wax portraits. A superb Italian translation of Schlosser’s work by Andrea Daninos, curator of the Venice exhibition, has recently been published, complete with an extensive and detailed critical commentary.

Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera. The Venetian exhibition is the outcome of more than three years of research and, for the first time, it brings together nearly all of the extant sculptures in Italy, most of which unpublished or never displayed before
.  The rooms of Palazzo Fortuny, considered a major attraction for art lovers visiting Venice, are beautifully transformed with an exhibition project by Daniela Ferretti, into a veritable wax museum, re-creating the fascinating atmosphere that always surrounds such displays.
Above: Andrea Daninos curator of the exhibition and Daniela Ferretti who conceived the exhibition project.

Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera.  The exhibition has several sculptures by two artists who worked outside Italy, anticipating Madame Tussaud’s famous museum. This section present the portrait of Marie Caroline de Bourbon-Sicile by Joseph Müller-Deym, a mysterious Austrian nobleman who owned a famous wax museum in Vienna in the 18th century, and the works that the Piedmontese Francesco Orso, who opened a similar wax exhibition in Paris during the period of the French Revolution, made for the Savoyard court: the busts of Victoria of Savoy-Soissons (above top c.1780-85), Victor Amadeus III of Savoy and Maria Antonia Ferdinanda de Bourbon (above bottom c. 1780-85).


Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera. The exhibition itinerary continues with the faces of saints and criminals, two recurrent subjects in the ceroplastic tradition. The former are represented by twelve busts of Franciscans (above), made of wax and with glass eyes and real hair; datable to the 18th century, they are unique in religious iconography made of wax. They will be juxtaposed with a series of twelve wax portraits of criminals modeled in the late 19th century by Lorenzo Tenchini, a pupil of Cesare Lombroso. Three wax busts, the only Italian examples of anthropological portraits, will be displayed alongside them. Depicting a Caucasian, an Ethiopian (above c. 1867) and a Bedouin, they were made by Remigio Lei, a wax model maker from Modena, in the second half of the 19th century for the ethnographic-anthropological collection of the local anatomical museum.

photographs and copyright by Manfredi Bellati

Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera. The main section of the exhibition is devoted to wax portraiture in Italy, is introduced by two life-size figures of 18th-century Venetian children in period costumes (above c. 1790-95). The two works, cited by Schlosser and Mario Praz (the latter compared them to the leading figures in Henry James’s novel The Turn of the Screw), have long been in the storerooms of the Palazzo Mocenigo and have not been displayed publicly for decades. Their unrivalled craftsmanship and disturbing realism will unquestionably astonish visitors. 

  photograph courtesy Palazzo Fortuny

Palazzo Fortuny: Avere Una Bella Cera. The Bologna School, in which the art of life-size wax portraiture was extremely popular, will be represented by a series of works by Luigi Dardani, Filippo Scandellari and Angelo Gabriello Piò.
Above: Luigi Dardini’s Francesco Zambeccari, 1750 circa Bologna.
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Monday, March 19, 2012

Venice: Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland exhibtion at Palazzo Fortuny

Diana Vreeland and Andy Warhol in Piazza San Marco in Venice, Summer 1973.  from the book by Eleanor Dwight, Diana Vreeland, New York, Harper Collins, 2002.

“Nothing is more marvelous than sitting at a little table in the gathering of dusk in the Piazza san Marco, the guest of six golden-bronze horses prancing away to paradise”. DV*

Palazzo Fortuny: Diana Vreelend After Diana Vreeland exhibition.  At Palazzo Fortuny, until June 25, Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland exhibition curated by Maria Luisa Frisa and Judith Clark, was commissioned by Lisa Immordino Vreeland and coordinated by Daniela Ferretti.  It is the first major exhibition to be dedicated to the extraordinary and complex Diana Vreeland (Paris 1903- New York 1989). It explores the many sides of her work and seeks to offer a fresh approach with which to interpret the elements of her style and thinking.   The aim being to restore the sense of the "magnificent gait" with which the "High Priestess of Fashion", as she was also known, processed through fashion of the twentieth century, initially during her years at Harper's Bazaar and Vogue, and then in her role as Special Consultant for the Costume Institute at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
Note: all DV Diana Vreeland quotes are taken from the catalogue Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland by Judith Clark and Maria Luisa Frisa and published by Marsilio.


DV.  The cabinet for Black and White is indebted to her double-page compositions and so the vertical structure of the cabinet uses a different set of rules: the cabinet frame becomes graphic lines across a page. The cabinet with its reference to fashion spreads disrupts the museum cabinet just as she disrupted the rules of museum practice with the rules of fashion.

DV. Black and white
 - Africa - 
DV’s mother’s hunting trips 
- zebra - 
Le Chant du Rossgnil - DV’s zebra bangles - 
the black and white of the Belle Époque - ceremony 
- mourning -
 black Balenciaga...
Above: Henri Matisse costume for the Ballets Russes.

“I don’t think anybody has been in a better place at a better time than I was when I was editor of Vogue.  Vogue always did stand for people’s lives.   I mean, a new dress doesn’t get you anywhere: it’s the life you’re living in the dress, and the sort of life you had lived before, and what you will do in it later.  Like all great times, the sixties were about personalities.  It was the first time when mannequins became personalities.  It was a time of great goals, an inventive time… and these girls invented themselves.  Naturally, as an editor I was there to help them along.” DV.
 photograph Francesco de Luca courtesy Fortuny Press office
"The Ballets Russes, which is the only avant-garde I’ve ever known..". DV 

Leon Baskt costume of a bayadere for Diaghilev’s Le Dieu Bleu, 1912 and Valentino Haute Counture, fall/winter 1981-1982 designed for Diana Vreeland.
Rene Bouche, portrait of Diana Vreeland, 1963ca.
Cecil Beaton, sketch of Diana Vreeland, gifted to her in 1963
Cristian Berard, Sketch of Diana Vreeland, 1941

DV. Curators of the Diana Vreeland After Diana Vreeland exhibition, Maria Luisa Frisa and Judith Clark.

There is always a green room in Vreeland's exhibitions.
“Why don’t you? Have a room done up in every color green? This will take months, years, to collect, but it will be delightful—a melange of plants, green glass, green porcelains, and furniture covered in sad greens, gay greens, clear, faded, and poison greens? And object across time where color coded
18th century and her coining of the phrase Palazzo Pyjama and her love of YSl are brought together because they are green, different greens. She privileged qualities of the object that may not be privileged today—the color over the 18th century?” DV.
DV. 1909-1939 or The 10s, The 20s and The 30s. Couture from those years was the subject of Vreeland’s exhibition but also represented for her a quintessential glamor and luxury. Chanel, Fortuny, and Schiaparelli. Her past and her preferences permeate all her exhibitions.

DV. Lisa Immordino Vreeland, who commissioned the exhibition and her husband Alexander Vreeland, Diana's grandson.
 photograph Francesco de Luca courtesy Fortuny Press office
A cabinet with personal memorabilia and photographs, letters, books, sketches and above a row of DV's shoes.

What Becomes a Legend Most? An advertisment for Blackglama mink.

architects Joffrey and Kate Weaver

DV.  This tableau was one of the first that made a connection between dress and the art world explicitly, not so much by juxtaposing the dress with the Mondrian “original” on the wall, but by exhibiting it flat, on the wall—by treating it as art. It is about exhibition-making but she didn’t call it that. By hanging a dress flat you are creating a different set of associations. Captions cannot do that work for us; she knew this intuitively.
Above:  The permanent art installation is by Kounalis.

Martin Kamer, Maria Luisa Frisa, Gabriella Belli, Judith Clark and Franca Coin
Luca and Judy Missoni
 photograph Francesco de Luca courtesy Fortuny Press office

One of Vreeland's many orientalisms
DV.  Center, North Africa tableaux and on the left; Japonisme and Chinoiserie are irreverently combined— they recall two distinct exhibitions (Diaghilev: Costumes & Designs of The Ballets Russes, December 20, 1978-April 15, 1979; The Manchu Dragon: Costumes of China—The Ch’ing Dinasty, December 16, 1980-August 30, 1981; La Belle Époque, December 6, 1982-September 4, 1983), but combined in her pages of Vogue as something fascinating and remote but not specifically historical.

 Artist, Caroline Bouguereau and her daughter Maia

Kids at the exhibition

Barbara and Antonio Foscari, Adalberto Cremonesi and Carolina Valmarana

DV. Italy/Props. Diana Vreeland believed that all stories were dramatic. Her exhibitions at the Met had at the entrance a pointof view, a vista, a prop! Usually a huge prop, here re- created by a horse. It is surrounded by three mannequins dressed in Pucci and Missoni, the Italian fashion houses she championed in America and whose color and glamour she so loved. The horse is no longer the 17th century white horse that she used in her first show,  The World of Balenciaga, but its Italian counterpart that welcomes the visitor to Italy instead. Italy becomes our focal point, our point of view. 

Rosita Missoni stands between two of her designs.

Amerigo Restucci, rector Universita Iuav di Venezia behind him, armor, copy of an original from XVI century and a cape by Biki in red silk taffeta late 60's early 70s.

DV.   Acclaimed fashion hair stylist Angelo Seminara (above) designed wigs that link the worlds of fashion styling and of museum staging, seeing “historic” wigs through contemporary eyes. The 18th century wig created by Harold Koda when he was an assistant to Vreeland is as iconic in its way as the clothes she exhibited. 

 Beppe Modenese, Barbara Berlingieri  and Piero Pinto 

DV. Dalziel Curtains. “Why don’t you, if you have a dark-dining room in a city apartment, stop trying to brighten it and paint in dark grape red and drape the windows in festoons of real Scotch tartan?” DV.

DV. Vreeland was proud of her Scottish ancestry.The Dalziels had not lived in Scotland for many generations but she loves their family motto: “I dare.” She wrote in her teenage diary: “I am Diana, a goddess, therefore ought to be wonderful, pure, marvelous, as only I alone can make myself... no one can ever rob me of that name, never shall I change it. Diana was a goddess and I must live up to that name, Dalziel = I dare, therefore I dare, I dare change to day, and make myself exactly how I want to be.” DV.

Rosella Mamoli Zorzi, Liselotte Hohs and Rosita Missoni

Palazzo Fortuny

Couture collector, Cecilia  Matteucci Lavarini lent eleven garments for the exhibtion, she is wearing a Balenciaga coat.

DV. “September 16, 1968 – Re: SERPENTS – Don’t forget the serpent… - The serpent should be on evey finger and all wrists and all everywhere… - The serpent is the motif of the hours in  jewelry… - We cannot see enough of the…” DV.

A gilded bronze and coral Cameo, once owned by Yves Saint Laurent is worn as a pendent by Cecilia Matteucci Lavarini.

Riccardo Priolisi, Tord Dyrssen and John Hooks

Jewelry designer and sculpture Giorgio Vigna

DV. Diana Vreeland adored uniforms  “I love nineteenth century colors. I love the names of colors of men’s clothes of the Regency period—buff, sand, fawn... and don’t forget snuff! My God, there were words in those days. Balenciaga had the most wonderful sense of color— his tete de negre, his café au lait, his violets, his magentas, and his mauves. Every summer I’d take his same four pairs of slacks and his same four pullovers to Southampton with me. Then... one year I went down to Biarritz. I laid out exactly the same four pairs of slacks, exactly the same four pullovers... and I’d never seen them before! It’s the light of course—the intensifying light of the Basque country. There’s never been such a light. That was Balenciaga’s country.” DV. 

DV. From the pages of Vogue Mel Ferrer filming "The Brave Bulls" in Mexico. 

Paolo Baratella, Giorgia Voltan and Massimo Varetto

Director, stage director, and costume designer Pier Luigi Pizzi

Diana Vreeland
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