New exhibition space opened dedicated to Vedova
On the 3rd June 2009, in time for the Art Biennale in Venice, a new museum was opened dedicated to the work of Emilio Vedova. The museum can be found in the first of nine Magazzini del Sale - Salt Warehouses - where Vedova once had his studio. The building was restored by architect Renzo Piano.The project executed by the famous architect is without a doubt one of the most innovative in this city if not the world in recent years. Vedova’s works of art, stacked at the end of the 65 metre long warehouse, are mechanically picked up – 10 at a time – and brought forward to the viewer by a mechanical arm. The arm works in a circular route. Every two hours the ten paintings are changed over.
It is quite literally an ‘exhibition in movement’ and faithful to the wishes of the artist. Alfredo Bianchini, President of the (Foundation) Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova affirmed the ‘extraordinary and generous idea of Renzo Piano, so close to what Emilio Vedova desired and in this place, the Salt Warehouses, which the artist defined as a ‘terrible’ place for the suffering of the men who worked within, but that he loved so much.”
The circular movement expressed in Vedova’s works and his passion for movement were what inspired Renzo Piano. During the press conference the architect told journalists that Vedova’s letters often spoke of his motto of close-hauling. “He loved the idea of moving his large paintings with the help of ropes and pullies – a bit like what is happening in the museum now but with the help of a computerised system and without the sweat. What we have here is a layering of centuries, a past and a present, that is very typically Venetian.”
The result is a unique museum experience with the canvases ‘floating’ in front of the viewer. It is a “non static museum where the works of art enter on the scene like actors,” says artistic and scientific curator of the Foundation, Germano Celant. Apart from the mechanical arm, the floor of the museum has also been inclined to further improve the viewing prospective. The exhibition space, as an ex-warehouse has been respected. Its bare brick walls and basic wooden structures.
have been maintained.
The museum’s opening was timed with the Biennale -Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte. The directors of the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova wanted to underline Vedova’s career as being associated in many ways with the Biennale. In 1948 the Biennale celebrated the Fronte Nuovo delle Arti of which Vedova was a protagonist; in 1960 he received the Gran Premio prize for painting and in 1997 when he received the Leone d’Oro for his career. He was also posthumously honoured, in 2007, with an exhibition, Vedova-Baselitz in the Venetian pavilion.
Mayor Massimo Cacciari expressed his, and the city’s, satisfaction at the press conference for the museum’s opening, to see Vedova ‘come home’. He spoke to the Foundation inviting them to be faithful to the artist’s wishes - open to the experimental, to youth, to provide a ‘laboratory’ where young people can “search, have a go, dirty their hands – do what they have to in order to grow.”
Venice is unique in the world for the wealth of its international artistic and cultural initiatives (even if there are those who are blind and unable to see what’s at the end of their noses), the mayor added. As an example he gave the existence of the ‘art kilometre’ that stretches from the Accademia, to the Guggenheim and the Punta della Dogana. He said the city was lacking in meeting places and research facilities that are in effect ‘laboratories’. Venice, he concluded has to work in this direction and the Vedova Foundation especially with its new space. The Foundation must be forward thinking, daring even. “I am sure that this will happen,” he said.
For the month of June, entrance to the museum is free.