Monday, October 30, 2023

Conegliano - Palazzo Sarcinelli - Giorgio de Chirico. Metafisica Continua

"Many think that fantasy is the gift of imagining things unseen.
To the painter and the artist .. it is the power of transforming what is seen".
Giorgio de Chirico
Courbet - Rivista di Firenze - November 1924

Conegliano - Palazzo Sarcinelli  
Giorgio de Chirico. Metafisica Continua

At Palazzo Sarcinelli in Conegliano the exhibition - Giorgio de Chirico. Metafisica Continua -  until February 25 - curated by - Victoria Noel-Johnson brings together for the first time, a large group of masterpieces by the Italian maestro. The exhibition anticipates the celebrations of the centenary of Surrealism - 1924-2024 - a movement of which de Chirico was elected precursor by the founder André Breton. For the latter, as for other surrealists such as Max Ernst, René Magritte, Yves Tanguy and Salvador Dalì, de Chirico's first metaphysical painting - 1910-1918 - played a fundamental role in the birth and development of the movement from the beginning of the 1920s onwards.  Through the 71 works on display, the exhibition includes an important selection of de Chirico's main subjects, with particular attention to the neo-metaphysical season - approximately 1965-1978 - in which the artist returns to elaborate the themes that populated the works of the first metaphysical period and in addition, to presenting his best-known motifs, it highlights the range of techniques in which the maestro ventured: painting, drawing, watercolor, sculpture and lithography.
Metaphysical Interior with Black Oval - oil on canvas - 1968c. 
Metaphysical Interior with Pears - oil on canvas - 1968

".. I have an untroubled conscience and am full of inner joy, for I know that the value
of what I am doing will become clear, sooner or later, to even the most".
Giorgio de Chirico 
Rome, to - André Breton - Paris - 1921

The Painter - oil on canvas - 1958 - The Astrologist - oil on canvas - 1970

"... the real value of such a work of art will lie in its new song, for more important than all these will always be the new thing that the artist
has brought out of the void, something which, previously, did not exist".
Giorgio de Chirico  
Eluard-Picasso Manuscript - 1911-15

In the last decade of his career, Giorgio de Chirico - 1968-1976c. - produced a corpus of works commonly defined as neo-metaphysical drawing on subjects conceived in the 1910s, 1920s and 1930s - in particular the Squares of Italy - the Metaphysical Interiors, the Masks, the disturbing Muses, the faceless Troubadours, the Archaeologists, the Gladiators and the Mysterious Baths - which he develops in highly innovative ways. Decidedly simpler and brighter than the darker palette that characterized previous works, the neometaphysical paintings also appear conceptually happier, a reflection of the artist's professional and personal fulfillment.
The Masks - oil on canvas - 1973

Victoria Noel-Johnson

"If you want an exact replica of these two paintings - The Disquieting Muses of 1918 and The Sacred Fishes of 1918-1919 - I can make it for you for 1000 Italian Lire each. These replicas will have the only flaw of being made with a more beautiful material and a better technique."
Giorgio de Chirico
letter to S.Khan - wife of André Breton - 10 March 1924 

Between approximately 1968 and 1976 de Chirico also produced numerous almost identical copies of famous works, in particular The Disquieting Muses and The Tower. However, it would be wrong to interpret such works as simple reproductions made for purely commercial purposes. On the contrary, they are part of a much more complex explanation deriving from the first "copy" of a work from the first metaphysical period, that of the original painting The Disquieting Muses - 1918 - which in the winter of 1923-1924 - exactly a century ago – André Breton, founder of the Surrealist movement, commissioned de Chirico. By agreeing to produce copies of his own works, the artist strengthened the conceptual and aesthetic ownership of his early metaphysical paintings, a property of which Breton and the Surrealists increasingly sought to deprive him during the 1920s. 
The Disquieting Muses - oil on canvas - 1974

Troubadour - oil on canvas - 1972

Troubadour - pencil charcoal watercolour on card - 1972

The Great Troubadour - bronze with silver patina - 1973

Mysterious Animal - charcoal with watercolour wash - 1970
The Painter of Horses - oil on canvas - 1974

The Mystery of Manhattan - The Secret of Manhattan 
 watercolour pencil charcoal with watercolour - 1973

Mysterious Baths - oil on canvas - 1973

In 1934, de Chirico illustrated Mythologie - Editions des Quatre Chemins, Paris - by the French Surrealist poet Jean Cocteau.  Consisting of ten lithographs and frontpiece, it features the artist's new subject matter known as - Bagni Misteriosi.
The Idol in the Mysterious Baths - Mythologie - lithograph - 1934

The Official Opening

The exhibition - Giorgio de Chirico. Metafisica Continua - until February 25 - at Palazzo Sarcinelli is curated by Victoria Noel-Johnson, and organized by ARTIKA, in collaboration with the Comune di Conegliano and the Giorgio and Isa de Chirico Foundation.

Daniel Buso, Fabio Chies, Victoria Noel-Johnson, 
Cristina Sardi and Elena Zannoni


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Friday, October 20, 2023

Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del 700 Veneziano - Rosalba Carriera - Miniatures on Ivory

Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del 700 Veneziano 
Rosalba Carriera - Miniatures on Ivory

At Ca' Rezzonico - Museo del Settecento VenezianoRosalba Carriera - Miniatures on Ivory - curated by the museum's director Alberto Craievich - until January 9.  Rosalba Carriera - 1673-1757 - was the most celebrated female Italian artist in 18th-Century Europe, everyone from English lords to princes of the Empire agreed on the excellence of her portraits.   It is to the miniaturist that this retrospective is dedicated, with thirty six works on display, together with pastels from the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and from private collections. The exhibition offers a very rare opportunity to admire these works of extraordinarily delicate refinement, now classic examples of Rococo Art, in the year that marks the three hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the artist’s birth.
Pittore Veneto del XII Secolo - Venere Adagiata che porge una freccia a Cupido  snuff box lid

Photo courtesy - Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia

In addition to devoting herself to pastel portraiture, Rosalba Carriera was an outstanding painter of miniatures on ivory; in fact she pioneered this genre, elevating it from a craft to a true art. Using an innovative technique, she succeeded for the first time in bringing the fluid, vibrant brushstrokes of painting on canvas to tiny ivory supports. Her success was immediate. There was no visitor to Venice who did not aspire to have a miniature portrait made by Rosalba. Today, however, these small images are rare, in fact their number is much smaller than her pastel work.
Rosalba Carriera - Venus with young love

In the second half of the Seventeenth Century, the production of ivory snuff boxes developed in Venice, and with reason: the city had for Centuries been one of the entry points in Europe for the supply of this material.  These objects were at first rather simple: they were merely small boxes. It was on the outer part of the latter that the finest decorative work was concentrated.  The interior of the snuff box might be smooth, or decorated with rather naive scenes, often of an erotic nature, by minor painters. Rosalba Carriera’s debut as an artist was precisely in this field: the leap in quality undertaken by the artist cannot fail to amaze us even today.
Pittore del XVII Secolo (Jean Steve ?) - Fauna e Ninfa - snuff box

Curator - Alberto Craevich

Rosabla Carriera - Portrait of Edward Warpole and Henry Hyde Cornbury

The English travellers who spent some time in Venice during their Grand Tour of Italy were Rosalba’s most faithful clients. Sophisticated young people with unconventional tastes, they sought out these small images that could be enclosed in one hand or kept in a pocket, and which were intended to evoke nostalgia for places they had visited in their youth and which in most cases they would never see again and to recall the special occasion.
Rosalba Carriera - Portrait of William Murray, Marquess of Tullibardine

Rosalba Carriera - Couple during Carnival 
lady with fan and man with mask and tricorne

Rosalba Carriera - Young lady with a rose in her lap - snuff box lid

Rosalba Carriera - Baccanale

Rosalba Carriera - Delivery of the letter 
on letter "My Dear "

Rosalba Carriera - Venus in the mirror


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Tuesday, October 10, 2023

The Venice Glass Week 2023 - Le Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia - Laura de Santillana - Beyond Matter

Le Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia
Laura de Santillana - Beyond Matter
Winner - Fondazione di Venezia - Prize

In occasion with The Venice Glass Week at Le Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia, the exhibition - Laura de Santillana - Beyond Matter - until November 26 - in collaboration with the De Santillana Foundation Stichting - curated by Rainald Franz and Michele Tavola. The exhibition celebrates one of the most important figures in the international glass scene, the late Laura de Santillanaby placing in dialogue two of her vital bodies of work: sculptures crafted in nearby Murano and artworks made in the artist's later years in the Czech Republic. The daring sculptures presented in the exhibition capture her unparalleled artistic vision, as she consistently ventured beyond traditional material boundaries.

Laura de Santillana - Sleeves - Czech Republic - 2016
Antonio Canova - Creugas - 1796-1801 + Madame Letizia Bonaparte - 1804-1807

"I think in Glass"
Laura de Santillana

Laura de Santillana - 1955 – 2019 - was born in Venice and trained in New York, where she also worked in the Vignelli studio. From 1975 to 1985, she worked for Venini, the family company founded by her grandfather Paolo Venini, designing objects and lamps now collected globally. From 1989 to 1993, she served as the artistic director of EOS. In 1993, she left the design world to dedicate herself solely to art. Her first exhibition was in Seattle, and her works have since gained global prominence. She created artworks between Venice, the USA, and the Czech Republic. Museums like the Victoria and Albert Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Arts, the Museé des Arts Décoratifs, and several esteemed private collections house her works. 

Laura de Santillana - Sleeves - 2015-2016
 Caterina Tognon Gallery - Exhibition - Laura de Santillana - Sleeves

 “It was as if I found myself with painting tools in hand. As if I had bags full of colors already inside the works. The first - Flag - sculptures reminded me of canvases due to their two-dimensionality, but they had such a tangible substance 
that they inevitably became three-dimensional.
I cannot imagine doing anything more painterly than with glass”.
Laura de Santillana

For de Santillana, color was not just complementary to form; it stood as its own distinct language, independent and equally expressive. Her interest in color began at Venini, and it developed into a central element throughout her career. From 1989 onwards, she embarked on global travels, immersing herself in non-Western traditions that enriched her understanding of color and form. Her extended research on color is exemplified in the Flags series, of which Primary Colors is a prominent example. This artwork, crafted with the intricate incalmo technique, draws the viewer's attention to the junctures of color, simultaneously high-lighting and veiling these crossover points with an opaque finish. 

Primary Colors -  Murano - 2011

This stand-alone installation represents the culmination of the artist’s experimentation in Bohemia. Between 2013 and 2019, Laura de Santillana grappled with the challenge of crafting sculptures that could stand independently. Unable to find a solution during this intense experimental phase, she devised unique configurations that eliminated the need for a traditional base. Partly because of this, these sculptures exhibit an unusual dynamism as they are mounted on rotating bases that permit adjustments to each cylinder's orientation. De Santillana's enduring interest in the symbolism of architectural elements, particularly columns, can be found in this seminal sculpture. Viewed in dialogue with Paolo Veronese's 16th-century masterpiece, The Feast in the House of Levi, a monumental painting with distinctive structural symmetry, 7 Elements highlights De Santillana's desire to craft stable solutions for vertical glass works. Unlike the columns in the painting behind, De Santillana’s glass pieces exude life, movement, and a hint of humanity, with vivid colors accentuated by their arrangement. 

Laura de Santillana - 7 Elements - Czech Republic - 2015
Paolo Veronese The Feast in the House of Levi - 1573

"Hosting Laura de Santillana's work is an extraordinary opportunity, this exhibition is a realization of our long-held aspiration...maintaining alignment with the museum's ethos and engaging with our permanent collection. The Gallerie open once again to glass and contemporary art, marking its significance during Glass Week a time when Venice reminisces about its unparalleled artistic legacy. Laura's narrative and creations capture this tradition like no other." 
Giulio Manieri Elia
Director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia

 Michele TavolaCo-curator, 
Giulio Manieri Elia, Director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia,
 Miriam Rejas Del Pino  Assistant Curator
Leon Diaz de Santillana, President De Santillana Foundation

Laura de Santillana - Liquid Orange Red - Seattle - 2015

Laura de Santillana's approach leant towards abstraction. She aspired to purify form rather than seek figuration, yet there's an undeniable anthropomorphic presence in her works. Many sculptures, like those displayed here, possess body-like features derived from intentional incisions: a navel observed in Blessure, and a gilded backbone evident in Untitled. The artist herself anthropomorphizes her works, referring to the top opening of these sculptures as a “mouth”. 

Untitled - Murano - 2006 - Mirra II - Murano - 2005 - Blessure -  Murano - 2003

Laura de Santillana - Egyptian Partition - Murano - 2013
Francesco Hayez - Rinaldo e Armida - 1813 + Francesco Hayez - Aristide -1812

De Santillana’s technique results in an almost two-dimensional, canvas-like shape. Trapped within this flat, rectangular form lies an ethereal presence — possibly the lingering breath of the maestro — giving rise to unique patterns and intriguing imperfections. Drawing comparisons to ancient artifacts, these works were often referred to as - books - tablets - steles - emphasizing both their physical appearance and their evocative, timeless nature. Within this flattened rectangular canvas, de Santillana created layers of complexity through a refined expressive language. This form, with its aesthetic research, allowed her to definitively break with industrial design, marking a point of no return in her creative process. 

Ciel Terrestre - Murano - 2017 - Nox - Murano 2017 
(In8.Vo) Lichen - Murano - 2018

Since her first trip to East and Southeast Asia in 1989, de Santillana’s artistic research has been deeply influenced by Eastern philosophies. During these journeys, she became captivated by empty frames, photographing and collecting them. These frames poetically straddle the line between - inside -  and - outside - standing as poignant thresholds that both bind and separate spaces.  In de Santillana’s sculptures, there lies a powerful union between the interior - or core - of the artwork and its external frame. No longer content with the mere suggestion of an internal space, de Santillana introduced materials that would underscore its presence. Using materials such as metallic nets and gold leaves, she highlights and sanctifies these interior spaces. Pieces like Tav. I capture this dynamic perfectly, where glass, reminiscent of supple flesh, drapes over and guards a metallic endoskeleton. These materials not only provide texture and contrast but also emphasize the ‘inside’ she wished to accentuate. 

Tav. 1 - Murano - 2007 - Untitled - Murano  - 2004c.  - Kumran (Infant) - Murano - 2005

Exhibition - I Santillana - 2014
The exhibition at the Stanze del Vetro - I Santillana -  traced the double trajectory of artists Laura de Santillana and Alessandro Diaz de Santillana, brother and sister who were direct descendants of the legendary Venini dynasty. 

Laura de Santillana

Initially recognized for her role as a designer in the family’s business - Venini - and as the artistic director at EOSde Santillana made significantly fewer design objects after Venini was sold in 1985. From the early 1990s, de Santillana would say that she was driven to create objects devoid of function — self-contained sculptures where glass becomes secondary to a profound aesthetic experience. While she distanced herself from design, its principles continued to influence her art, especially the idea of seriality. Upon identifying a desired sculptural form, which she called the - initiator piece - she would methodically explore its many variations. Each piece in the series would build on the previous, and collectively they present a cohesive narrative.  Within this hall, visitors will find some of the artist’s most ambitious works: the Twins and Triplets. These artworks were produced in the Czech Republic between 2013 and 2019 using the - slumping - technique.

Triplet - Czech Republic - 2019 - Twin - Czech republic - 2019

Laura de Santillana
Twin - Czech Republic - 2017

"The work of Laura de Santillana, born in Venetian glass, has flown around the world, in Japan, the United States, the Czech Republic and elsewhere: in the exhibition at the Gallerie dell'Accademia , this hieratic path is described with aesthetic and chronological precision”
Fondazione di Venezia Prize

Laura de Santillana - Beyond Matter
Winner - The Venice Glass Week
 Fondazione di Venezia - Prize

The third edition of the Fondazione di Venezia Prize was awarded to the De Santillana Foundation Stichting and the Gallerie dell'Accademia for the Laura de Santillana - Beyond Matter - exhibition curated by Rainald Franz and Michele Tavola.  Four years after the artist's death, the exhibition presents over thirty works, emblematic of the experimentation of the last years of Laura de Santillana's activity, a leading exponent of the Murano tradition and the art of processing of glass in the world. The jury was composed of Jean Blanchaert - Curator and member of the Scientific Committee - Giovanna Palandri - Director of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze Lettere ed Arti and Paola Marini -  President of the Fondazione di Venezia.

Leon Diaz de Santillana, Paola Marina and Giulio Manieri Elia

Laura de Santillana - Related Blogs Posts

Text - Many Thanks 
Text was adapted from
Laura de Santillana - Beyond Matter - Pamphlet
Gallerie dell'Accademia di Venezia
The Venice Glass Week - Website


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Tuesday, October 03, 2023

The Gritti Palace Venice - The Venice Glass Week - Delizie Trasparenti - An Imaginative Aperitivo

  "Transforming nature into art, Judi Harvest’s Centrotavola Veneziano is an elaborate glass basket filled with blown glass fruits and vegetables grown in the Venetian Lagoon... They shimmer with light and translucent color, but no matter how appetizing the fruit appears, no one in their right mind would try to eat one. This play on illusion and reality is more extreme in its deception than trompe l’œil painting" 
Barbara Rose
Art Historian

The Gritti Palace Epicurean School
Delizie Trasparenti - An Imaginative Aperitivo

During The Venice Glass Week an afternoon aperitivo was held at The Gritti  Epicurean School, entitled Delizie Trasparenti and created by Gelée's founder Chef Zoe Messinger inspired by artist Judi Harvest's - Centrotavola Veneziano  - the Murano glass sculpture - above - created for The Gritti Palace the ionic hotel overlooking the Canal Grande.

Centrotavola Veneziano
Judi Harvest and Zoe Messinger

photo by Paolo Abate - courtesy Gelee

Marbles in Prosecco - Aperol orbs

Inspired by Judi Harvest’s - Centrotavola Veneziano Chef Zoe Messinger floated an entire aperitivo in jelly - a surreal play with - light - texture - flavor - to showcase the luminosity of Gelée. Playful dishes included the none-too-classic spritz in the form of Aperol marbles in prosecco, whimsical prosciutto atop jelly melon, and a salted honey gelée with burrata. Prosecco was provided by Valdo. Gelée is an experiential brand with an experiential product: a jello that offers a realm for imagination and nourishment that is healing to the mind, body, and psyche.

Dancing Radicchio - Scarlet Salad

Prosciutto e Melone

Judi Harvest, Beatrice Burati Anderson, The Gritti's Paolo Lorenzoni 
Zoe Messinger

Judi Harvest is an interdisciplinary artist with a Masters in Fine Arts, living and working in Venice, Italy since 1987. She divides her time between New York City and Venice where she is also a beekeeper and maintains 6 honeybee colonies on the island of Murano, creating the first and only Murano honey. Her love for Venice and nature inspired Centrotavola Veneziano, an exclusive Murano glass sculpture for The Gritti Palace

Judi Harvest
Castraure -  watercolor - 2023
Gifts of small jars of 2023 honey from - The Murano Honey Garden

Judi Harvest
Castraure - Murano Glass - 2023

Salt of the Earth - T
omato - Burrata - Honey

Los Angeles based Zoe Messinger is the creative energy behind the company, Gelée. A chef and multi-disciplinary creative, after studying at Cornell University School of Hospitality, she went on to run a food truck in Milan and Amsterdam, and cook in award-winning restaurants. During the pandemic and in the pursuit of healing, Messinger came to recognize the benefits of collagen and found inspiration in the ancient wisdom of gelatin as medicine. Through modern transformation and with an artistic lens,  she has set out to reimagine the form of jello and give it its healing edge. Inspired by the classic jello of the 1960’s, Messinger’s Gelée strikes a balance between the traditional and experiential. Gelée products are made from healing non-GMO whole fruit, naturally occurring pre and probiotics, and gut-brain healing gelatin. 

Paolo Abate, Teddy Williams and Zoe Messinger

The aperitivo was held in The Gritti Epicurean School, the hotel's renowned cooking school which has hosted the social elite of Venice and international guests for wine tastings, cooking workshops and celebrations since 1975. 

Dancing Radicchio - Scarlet Salad - Beet - Pomegranate Gelée. 

photo by Paolo Abate - courtesy Gelee

Caffè con Panna

Judi Harvest
Fiori di Carciofo - watercolor - 2023

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