The EMILIO VEDOVA DE AMERICA exhibition was opened in Venice by the President of the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova, Alfredo Bianchini. It will be hosted in the Magazzino del Sale (Zattere 266) and in the nearby Spazio Vedova (Zattere 50) till 26 November 2017.
Magazzino del Sale & Spazio Vedova
Until 26 November 2017
The De America cycle by Emilio Vedova, presented in the Magazzino del Sale – where it will be put in motion by the robotic machine designed by Renzo Piano -– consists of 14 paintings on canvas and was produced by the artist between 1976 and 1977.
They are all works in black and white and of a large format, which after decades of dialogue with figures on the American scene, travel and collaborations with universities from Washington to Philadelphia, reflect the expressive link between the artist and American art. From the 1940s, Vedova was in constant contact with the language of the artists promoted by Peggy Guggenheim in Venice, from Jackson Pollock to Franz Kline, and often accompanied their research.
In the 1960s, Vedova was in North America with his imposing Percorso/Plurimo/Luce installation in the Italian Pavilion of Expo '67 in Montreal, talking to new generations at campuses like Berkeley, and swapping notes and opinions in New York with poets and intellectuals from Allen Ginsberg to Dore Ashton. Thus, having acquired a fundamental role in the history of modernity, with De America in the 1970s, Vedova seems to pay tribute to his American experiences and North American art, seeking a connection with the history of Italian art, of which it was the protagonist.
The paintings reflect an affinity between the language of the past, the connection with the dynamic and energetic intensity of futurism, and the contemporary affinity with the gestures of sign of an Eastern origin, which established itself through action painting and abstract expressionism.
The connection between these two attitudes is made clear by the speed with which the artist’s action is represented in the canvas. It is a projection of free and fluid coordinates and structures, constituting a vision in which the city of history, Venice, grafts with the city of the future, New York. Vedova makes the subjective experience of his making art co-exist with the linguistic body of a trans-oceanic vision. He acquires and incorporates the informative aggression of the space and signs coming from the new world but mediates it through the luminous transparency of the lagoon.
A sort of common thread links De America with the works exhibited in the Spazio Vedova: Tondo (Golfo, Mappa di Guerra) of 1991, Chi Brucia un Libro Brucia un Uomo of 1993, Senza Titolo del 1996-97, Compresenze – anni ‘90 of 1997. Vedova's “American” years are marked by the drama of Vietnam, and his “Lectures” at Berkeley testify to the tensions felt by the new generations in the United States.
In the 1990s, Vedova saw and relived those tragic situations again in the Gulf War and Balkan conflict. Among other works, he produced a disc called Chi Brucia un Libro Brucia un Uomo, destined for the Sarajevo Library, which as we remember, was deliberately burned down. The Senza Titolo expresses the devastation and violence of a wounded society that ends up denying the most elementary forms of human civilisation.
And similar in scope are the Compresenze: painting, charcoal drawings, collages, papers, graffiti and burnt wood; compresenze (‘co-presences’) of evils and compresenze of materials. And Tondo (Golfo, Mappa di Guerra) is a sort of map of universal evils: hunger, violence, war, subjugation, death.
The publication next autumn of the De America volume (Skira) is announced. This is not a catalogue, but a vast study of more than 650 pages by Laura Lorenzoni, realised in collaboration with the Galleria dello Scudo of Verona, which starts from Vedova’s relationship with America and extends to the entire artistic production of the great Venetian painter.
Paola Marini, Director of the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice, underlining the collaboration between the two institutions, announced that in the Gallerie will be exhibited a work by Vedova in the rooms where he taught for many years and where “is voice still seems to echo; this work is the large canvas called Immagine del tempo 1957 – T. Very shortly, another, giant, work by Vedova will also be hung in the Gallerie dell’Accademia: Scontro di situazioni of 1959, which measures 4.40 x 2.75 metres.
Emilio Vedova De America Magazzino del Sale, Zattere 266 Spazio Vedova, Zattere 50 Venice
18 June - 26 November, 2017
From Wednesday to Sunday, 10.30 a.m. - 6 p.m.