L’ORO DELL’ACQUA BY VIOLAINE VIEILLEFOND
June 03 – July 08, 2024
Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello, Venezia
ITSLIQUID Group, in collaboration with ACIT Venice – Italian-German Association / Goethe Institut, SEE Galerie and Galerie Faure Beaulieu, Paris, is pleased to announce the opening of L’ORO DELL’ACQUA, the first solo exhibition of the French artist Violaine Vieillefond in Venice, curated by Luca Curci, that will open on June 03 at Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello in the Cannaregio district. The exhibition will run until July 08, 2024.
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In a subtle dialogue with the beautiful 18th-century frescos and stucs decorating the walls and ceilings of Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello’s Sala della Musica exceptionally arranged for this occasion, and collateral to a National Pavilion of the 60th Biennale of Art, the exhibition will feature a unique display of large scale triptych folding screens of her most recent paintings. The artist invites us to cast a new glance at her favourite subject, Water, at once a pictorial medium, a symbol and a resource in the very heart of our contemporary issues – deeply connected with sea travels, migrations, foreign encounters, hazards, unknown, imaginary or unconscious territories. “First of all, wherever you go and wherever you are, you will always encounter foreigners – they/we are everywhere. Secondly, no matter where you find yourself, you are always, truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner” (Adriano Pedrosa, curator for the 2024 Biennale of Art).
As described by Art Historian Annie Dubernard Laurent, “This third series, L’ORO DELL’ACQUA (2020) puts an end to Violaine Vieillefond (www.violaine-vieillefond.com)‘s impressive trilogy of large-scale blue paintings, and her suite of METAMORPHOSES OF FLUIDS (2010-2012), presenting neither an answer to nor a synthesis of the preceding ones. It brings something new. It even comes as a surprise and with a new series of questions. Indeed, what has gold to do in the midst of blue? Is blue only meant to put gold to the fore whilst it was until now? And what of the last picture of the series, a direct homage to Hokusai’s «The Great Wave of Kanagawa», where gold has retreated to the background, and where blue (the same Prussian blue, dark and intense, of the Japanese painter), seems to recover its pristine prestige? The Prussian blue, the first synthetic pigment, had invaded the Venetian skies of Antonio Canaletto.”
“Here one must make a turn to history and geography: Venice. Venice and her gold and her Venetian Blue. Let us place ourselves back into the glorious period when she was the mistress of the Orient, proud of its sea and supremacy. Her hero Marco Polo revealed the Far East to his countrymen. He went to China, but never as far as Japan. Venice is submerged by gold, her dazzling richness, and her sumptuous festivities, day and night, find an echo in the whole of Europe. But gold is not only a referential financial value. It is the medium of decoration par excellence: the Byzantine gold, the gold of mosaics, and the gold in churches like the fabulous example provided by the Basilica San Marco. Not only gold, but also the blue(s) which unite so well with it: the famous Venetian blues of the lagoon, which verge on green, on the laguna-green, on the green of water, and reflect water on the sky and the sky on water.
Now how could it be possible not to associate the brilliant aspect of this oriental civilisation whose richness is dependant on gold, with water, this element so vital for her? This is where the artist comes in with her consciousness of reality, and precisely what the first pictures of the series show. Nothing is everlasting in this world of ours, neither on terra firma nor in waters. “Painting expresses the great rule of the metamorphoses of the world, the essential beauty of mountains and rivers” (Chinese monk and painter Shi Tao). The artist, living close to the Asian art museums of Paris, has found there one of her important sources of inspiration: the “shan-shui” (mountain and water) paintings.
A paradise may turn into hell. This water, so good and indispensable, can become a flail; let it suffice to think of the periods of Acqua Alta…
Hence this sudden awe-inspiring springing up of a wave which, like an all-invading monster, seems bent to annihilate this gold which has now become useless. In fact, the light, the sun, is on the verge of disappearing too. Are we not here close to Charles Baudelaire’s concept of blue as the symbol of obscurity? Is the artist calling up these “ocean suns”, these “thousands of fires”, these “sea wells” as described by the poet?
A pessimistic vision of the artist? No. But a vision with a symbolic impact, yes. Perhaps also a warning. But what is striking and is meant to last, is the exact opposite. Here, gold expresses hope and the springing of life born from water (L’oro dell’acqua), similar to a resurrection: water (the “blue gold”), as the last picture seems to suggest, is itself the source of all life.”
June 03 – 2024 | 05:00 PM
Associazione Culturale Italo-Tedesca (ACIT), Cannaregio 4118, Venice
Line 1 exit at Ca’ d’Oro stop (walking distance to Museum: 1 minute)
Opening hours | Monday – Friday . 09.30 AM – 05.30 PM
VIOLAINE VIEILLEFOND – BIOGRAPHY
Violaine Vieillefond was born near Paris in 1970. She graduated in science and political sciences, then pursued her training at the Ateliers Beaux-Arts of Paris with painter Martin Bissière, a grandson of the famous Roger Bissière from the Ecole de Paris movement.
She has always been fascinated by the images and experiments she observed in the course of her scientific studies: coloured fluids in movement, micro and macrocosmic worlds. Thanks to a specific technique as well as to the forms they take, in which hazard contributes largely, her works bring to light the moving characteristic of water and its aesthetic and emotional possibilities. Her work plunges us into a universe of forms undergoing metamorphoses, leading to a questioning about life.
Violaine Vieillefond works mainly in her studio near Paris, but it is in the link with nature, that she finds food for her research. She is represented by SEE Galerie/ Galerie Arnaud Faure Beaulieu, Paris. Her works have been exhibited in Europe, the United States and Japan. The City of Paris dedicated an exhibition to her paintings, in 2012-2013, in the Water Pavilion. She exhibited her first installations in nature inspired by Monet’s Water Lilies, at the Flers Museum in Normandy in 2014, then at the Science and Industry Museum in Paris. In 2017, her monumental series on paper was displayed in Vertheuil Abbey (Bordeaux), and in 2021 she was invited again in Normandy to dialogue with its collections of Impressionists. Preceding her solo show at the Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello during the 60th Biennale of Art, she participated in an exhibition at the Palazzo Bembo in 2022 in Venice, and other exhibitions, with Its Liquid Group (Rome, London).
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