Emilio Vedova

  • Past | Present

    In honour of Germano Celant (1940–2020), we look back at the last exhibition he curated, Emilio Vedova at the Palazzo Reale, Milan (6 December 2019 – 9 February 2020), a major retrospective to mark the centenary of the Italian artist’s birth. The two first worked together on the occasion of Vedova’s 1984 exhibition in Venice, described by Celant as ‘an intense experience which initiated a forthright and sincere conversation about his work which would be extended into a friendship and collaboration over the years that followed, through to his death in 2006.’

    In the historical setting of the Palazzo Reale’s Sala delle Cariatidi, which still bears the scars of bombardment during WWII, this exhibition was conceived as a dialogue between two key periods of Vedova’s work: his Plurimi of the 1960s, and the large Tondi and floor-mounted Dischi from the 1980s. The relationships between these works, amplified through the innovative use of mirrors in the space, conjured the ‘clash of situations’ that was so central to Vedova’s vocabulary.

    Emilio Vedova’s work, I wrote in 1984, is not easily manageable, and trying to take it in from only one angle risks neutralising it. Instead, accepting it in all its complexity means losing oneself in an archipelago of islands and volcanic atolls, subject to the fluctuations of the tides of time. […] There is nothing monistic about Vedova: he is heterogeneous. He doesn’t proceed in a tame fashion but by friction and collision. He shreds the rules to retie the Gordian knot of painting and painted sculpture. – Germano Celant

    Read Celant’s full curatorial statement here.

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  • Film screening Emilio Vedova. Dalla parte del naufragio
    January 25, 2020 - January 25, 2020
    Paris Pantin

    To celebrate the last days of the exhibition Georg BaselitzTime, join us for the French premiere of Emilio Vedova. Dalla parte del naufragio (2019), a documentary film which highlights the great friendship that united Georg Baselitz and Venitian painter Emilio Vedova.

    The documentary on the life and work of Emilio Vedova is directed by Tomaso Pessina with the participation of award-winning Italian actor Toni Servillio reading Vedova’s diaries. The film also features interviews with leading figures from the art world, such as Georg Baselitz, Renzo Piano, Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, Germano Celant, Karole Vail, and contains some powerful and unpublished archive material from the Fondazione Vedova.
    Screening will start at 4pm. Film in original version with English subtitles.

    Duration: 68 min. 

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  • Vedova curated by Baselitz
    April 18, 2019 - November 2, 2019
    Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova
    Magazzino del Sale - Zattere 266

    Emilio Vedova di/by Georg Baselitz, an exhibition curated by the leading contemporary German artist, presenting a personal selection of works by the Venetian maestro in his centenary year, will open to the public on 18th April in the Emilio and Annabianca Vedova Foundation’s great exhibition space at the Magazzini del Sale, and runs until 2nd November 2019.

    ‘The­­ routes by which we trace connections, similarities, divergencies between artists’, writes Alfredo Bianchini, the Foundation’s president, in the exhibition catalogue, ‘are always problematic, and it would be a fruitless exercise to attempt a direct comparison between Vedova and Baselitz. To be sure, the upside-down portraits which Baselitz began to paint in the late 1960s, undoubtedly express a critical and dissenting vision of reality. They constitute, that is, a break with conventional interpretations of man and his time, as if we were to imagine an upturned hourglass in which the grains of sand, defying gravity, instead of descending, ascend, inverting the normal existential processes of human life. And Vedova, if by different paths and with another range of gesture, is no less a powerful opponent and critic, from an ethical/political standpoint, of the directions humanity is capable of taking in the inexhaustible, irresolvable contest between good and evil, immortalised in the extraordinary Scontro di Situazioni and Immagini del Tempo cycles’.

    Vedova and Baselitz were linked by a deep and enduring friendship dating back to Berlin in the early 1960s, when the wall was newly built and where Vedova lived for the best part of two years and created the Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch ‘64 in his large studio there. It is worth remembering the hommage paid by Baselitz to his recently deceased friend at the 2007 Venice Biennale through a series works of great expressive power. Baselitz recalled then his first encounter with Vedova’s work. “I bought a picture of Emilio’s – a 1957 Manifesto Universale – from Rudolf Springer; I bought it as a document, my first glance westwards, in Berlin that time, an abstract, with an inspiration (Piranesi) and a vehemence to fall in love with.”

    On the centenary of Vedova’s birth, the Emilio e Annabianca Vedova Foundation is delighted that the German maestro has agreed to curate this exhibition, making a selection of works that he feels to be especially representative. The show conceived by Baselitz embraces two series of great works on canvas (the so-called teleri), both in uncompromising black and white, and belonging to two important phases of Vedova’s complex artistic journey – the 1950s/60s and the 1980s.

    In accordance with Baselitz’s conception, the works are being installed in the Magazzino del Sale exhibition hall on the two long, facing walls. Along the wall on righthand side will hang six large square works from the 1980s, a period when the Venetian maestro had returned to high-impact, visually explosive paintings; on the left wall, a series of historic works dating from the late 50s/early 60s: from the Scontro di Situazioni’59 (made for the Palazzo Grassi “Vitalità nell’arte” exhibition of that year), to paintings belonging to the various cycles of that period: Ciclo della Protesta (1953), Immagine del tempo (1958) and Per la Spagna (1961). Baselitz’s choices take us directly to the heart of Emilio Vedova’s artistic practice, offering an exhibition of ‘extreme’ vision and radical content, which links two crucial periods in Vedova’s work, twenty years apart from one another, demonstrating the enduring vitality of his experiments and explorations.

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  • Conversation entre Valérie Da Costa & Daniel Soutif
    November 24, 2018 - November 24, 2018
    Paris Marais

    À l’occasion de Emilio Vedova, Historical Survey, première exposition personnelle de l’artiste italien en France, la Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac organise le samedi 24 novembre à 16h30 une conversation entre Valérie Da Costa, historienne et critique d’art, et Daniel Soutif, critique d'art et philosophe .
    Les intervenants discuteront de la trajectoire biographique et artistique d'Emilio Vedova et de sa place dans l'art italien de la seconde moitié du 20ème siècle.
    La conversation aura lieu en français.

    Valérie Da Costa, historienne et critique d’art, elle est maître de conférences HDR en histoire de l’art contemporain (XXe-XXIe siècles) à l’Université de Strasbourg. Ses recherches portent notamment sur l’art italien de la seconde moitié du XXe siècle. Elle est l’auteure de nombreux textes et livres parmi lesquels :Écrits de Lucio Fontana (Les presses du réel, Dijon, 2013), Pino Pascali : retour à la Méditerranée (Les presses du réel, 2015), Fabio Mauri : le passé en actes / The Past in Acts (Les presses du réel, 2018), « Arte Povera hier et aujourd’hui », Les Cahiers du Musée national d’art moderne, n°143, printemps 2018, (édition Valérie Da Costa).
    Daniel Soutif, philosophe et critique d'art, il a écrit, entre autre, pour Libération et Artforum dans les années 1980 et 1990 . Il est nommé directeur du Développement culturel du Centre Pompidou de 1993 à 2001 puis directeur du Centro per l’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci de Prato (Italie) de 2003 à 2006. Daniel Soutif est désormais commissaire indépendant et contribue à de nombreuses publications. Il a été commissaire d'importantes expositions transdisciplinaires dont La Force de l'Art (Grand Palais, 2006), Le Siècle du jazz (Musée du Quai Branly, 2009), The Color Line. Les artistes africains-américains et la ségrégation (Musée du quai Branly, 2016).

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  • Emilio Vedova Drawings
    May 29, 2016 - November 1, 2016
    Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova
    Venice, Italy

    On the tenth anniversary of the artist’s death, the Foundation Emilio e Annabianca Vedova presents the exhibition “Emilio Vedova Disegni”, curated by Germano Celant with Fabrizio Gazzarri’s support.

    The exhibition is entirely devoted to works on paper, created from right after World War II until 2005 and it will aim at communicating a continuous and intense gestural flow of signs that have characterized Vedova’s drawings.

    For more information

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