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Proportio: in Venice, the omnipresence of universal proportions in art

Sandro BOTTICELLI (1444-1510)
Portrait of a Woman/ Ritratto di donna
1485
Tempera on wood / Tempera su tavola
49,5 x 35,6 cm
Private Collection, Bruxelles
Sandro BOTTICELLI (1444-1510) Portrait of a Woman/ Ritratto di donna 1485 Tempera on wood / Tempera su tavola 49,5 x 35,6 cm Private Collection, Bruxelles
Antonio CANOVA (1757-1822) Paris / Paride 1807 Plaster cast / Gesso 201 x 105 cm Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia 2015 © Archivio Fotografico Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia
Eduardo CHILLIDA (1924 - 2002) Elogio de la luz XX, 1990 Alabaster 81 x 120 x 60 cm Collección familia Chillida-Belzunce Photo Jesùs Uriarte, © SIAE, 2015.
Antony GORMLEY(°1950) Grill, 2014 10 mm square section mild steel bar 184,6 x 50 x 37 cm Collection of the artist.
Anish KAPOOR (°1954) Gathering Clouds I - II - III – IV, 2014 Fiberglass and pigment 190 x 190 x 39 cm (each) Photo Dave Morgan Courtesy of the artist and Axel Vervoordt Gallery.
         
PROPORTIO, an exhibition organised by the Axel and  May Vervoordt Foundation and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia will open until November to coincide with the 56th International Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti and located in the imposing Palazzo Fortuny, the exhibition will explore the omnipresence of universal proportions in art, science, music and architecture. PROPORTIO follows on from the highly acclaimed exhibition trilogy: Artempo (2007), In-finitum (2009) and TRA (2011) and more recently Tàpies. Lo Sguardo dell’artista (2013).
 
Proportions are present in the cosmos, in the natural world and in humans. It can be proven that these proportions are also favoured in art, architecture and music and determine our sense of harmony and balance. Articulated around a series of themes, including the ‘Sacred Numbers’, the Fibonacci sequence, the hypotenuse, Squaring the Circle and Le Corbusier’s Modulor, the exhibition is an invitation to reflect on the dynamic relationship between order and chaos.
 
PROPORTIO will feature specially commissioned works by leading artists such as Marina Abramovic, Anish Kapoor, Massimo Bartolini, Rei Naito, Michael Borremans, Izhar Patkin, Maurizio Donzelli, Otto Boll, Francesco Candeloro, Riccardo De Marchi and Arthur Duff which will be exhibited alongside existing pieces by Ellsworth Kelly, Sol Lewitt, Alberto Giacometti, Carl André, Agnes Martin, Fausto Melotti, Mario Merz and Ad Ryman, as well as some Egyptian artefacts, a series of Dutch Old Master architectural paintings, a splendid portrait by Botticelli and a monumental sculpture by Antonio Canova.
 
Five large architectural pavilions, designed by Axel Vervoordt and architect Tatsuro Miki in collaboration with the engineer Jorgen Hempel and built using solely organic materials, will transform the Sala Gondola on the ground floor of the Palazzo. Each pavilion will be designed according to ‘sacred’ dimensions, providing a physical embodiment of proportional features for visitors to experience as they walk through the empty spaces. The room leading towards the next level will be filled with an installation and performance by Shuji Mukai's “Space of Signs Selfie Studio” examining how visitors experience artistic spaces in the age of ubiquitous self- representation and social media. The piano nobile, or “Fortuny Floor” will be filled with many architectural works, including models by Le Corbusier and Richard Meier, amongst many forms of artistic investigations of proportions by minimalist artists and ZERO artists from the 20th century, but also by Old Masters. The four side rooms of the main room will be very silent, dedicated to James Turrell, Anish Kapoor and Fred Sandback,, the last being dedicated to proportions in the body with a newly commissioned work by Marta Dell’Angelo and a video by Henri Foucault.
 
The second floor will present mainly white works, some large installations like a series of drawings by Massimo Bartolini and a mural drawing by Sol Lewitt, a commission by the German Otto Boll and a neon work by Francesco Candeloro. The top floor, with its wabi-pavilion, will concentrate on proportions in the cosmos and intergalaxies, meditation and silence, featuring some Korean SUNBI art e.g. Chang-Sup Chung. For this floor,. For the top floor, with its Japanese wabi-inspired pavilion, will concentrate on proportions in the cosmos and intergalaxies as well as meditation and silence, Marina Abramovic will create a sound installation in collaboration with science fiction novelist Kim Stanley Robinson.

 

 

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