carpenters workshop gallery presents ‘DYSFUNCTIONAL’ on the occasion of the 2019 venice art biennale, showcasing an international roster of artists and designers whose work creates a dialogue with one of the city’s most historical palaces. set in the ‘ca’d’oro’, which houses the galleria giorgio franchetti, over 50 works by 25 artists and designers, including virgil abloh, campana brothers, mathieu lehanneur and rick owens, will be presented alongside its permanent collection of renaissance and baroque pieces.
moments of happiness (2019), verhoeven twins
images courtesy of carpenters workshop gallery unless stated otherwise.
using the 589-year-old palace as a counterpart to the featured works, DYSFUNCTIONAL seeks to dissect the boundaries of art, architecture and design. instead of focusing on the functionality of each piece, gallery co-founders julien lombrail and loic le gaillard want to place emphasis on the artistic expression with a series of site-specific works that complement their setting, whilsttesting concepts of form and function, and the historical and the modern.
julien lombrail and loic le gaillard, co-founders of carpenters workshop gallery
wanting to draw on the artistic heritage of the ca’d’oro, carpenters workshop gallery will present the collection of works throughout the space. each peace will speak to the backdrop of the city, the historical palazzo, and the gallery’s collection of italian and flemish design, featuring masterpieces such as jan van eyck’s crucifixion, van dyck’s portrait of marcello durazzo, and sculptures by gian lorenzo bernini.
the ca’d’oro or palazzo santa sofia is a palace on the grand canal in venice
fragile future III (2019) by studio drift will form a frame of light around andrea mantegna’s painting san sebastian (1506), which is the heart of the museum’s collection and for which franchetti purposely built a chapel decorated with marble. daring to go through the door (2019) by vincent dubourg will interact with the patera of the permanent collection, a bas- relief created to ward off bad spirits. working for the first time with clay, the artist randomly places paper-like layers of clay to form a door that obscures the view.
fragile future chandelier venice mantegna (2019), studio drift
vincenzo de cotiis will present ode (2019), a 17- metre-long wall made of recycled fiberglass and silver plated brass by that works as an archaic architectural gesture whilst echoing the existing artworks it is surrounded by. meanwhile, in the monumental 15th century courtyard, visitors can walk through a forest of light by nacho carbonell. the golden shimmering texture of his tree-like, organic sculptures reference the gilt and polychrome decorations which once adorned the palaces walls. similarly, the patina of ingrid donat’s klimt cabinet (2017) refers to the palazzo’s former golden decorations, while its openwork facade was inspired by the patterns of venetian stained-glass windows and burano lace.
ocean memories acqua alta series (2019), mathieu lehanneur
image courtesy of mathieu lehanneur
inside, an art installation by the verhoeven twins transforms the first floor terrace with a mystical constellation of feather-light and supple impressions of bubbles, whose iridescent surfaces reflect and refract light around the room. also working to evoke venice’s magical atmosphere, some of the exhibiting artists including mathieu lehanneur and virgil abloh have taken inspiration from the city’s canals. with ocean memories acqua alta (2019), lehanneur pays homage to venice by working from green marble and granite whose shades echo the waves of the nearby lagoon.
alaska alaska acqua alta series (2019), virgil abloh
inspired by the tide peaks which regularly affect venetian life, virgil abloh’s acqua alta (2019) resembles a sinking installation inviting visitors to ponder the fate of venice and of the planet, due to rising sea levels. then in a similar vein, raising awareness of plastic pollution, stuart haygarth’s tide colour (2005) is made of plastic objects found on the british coastline.
real time (2019), maarten baas
elsewhere, maarten baas’ self-portrait real time (2019) shows the artist in his atelier indicating the time. created specifically for this exhibition in leonardo da vinci’s homeland, exactly 500 years after he passed away, this work references the vitruvian man, while addressing the different aspects of passing time: getting older, moving forward and looking back. recalling venice as the epicentre of looking-glass manufacture once upon a time, RANDOM INTERNATIONAL presents the largest-ever iteration of audience (2008-2019), consisting of 128 interactive mirrors. their playful work explores the scrutiny of the mechanical gaze, and the reciprocity of the viewer and machine.
doors of paradise (2019), vincent dubourg
among others listed below, the exhibition will also bring together works from studio job, the campana brothers, australian designer charles trevelyan’s, french artist morgane tschiember and, modern maestro of collectible design, wendell castle.
ode (2019), vincenzo de cotiis
during the vernissage week, carpenters workshop gallery is hosting the design edit talks, inviting exhibiting artists to discuss design in its various guises (more details below). the talks mark the launch of the online magazine of the gallery, which bears the same name: the design edit, where the gallery will provide more information about its designers and upcoming exhibitions.
under a light tree (2019), nacho carbonell
wednesday, 8 may, 9.30am: ‘the art of authenticity’
discussion on the evolving marriage between contemporary artists and luxury brands.
with the verhoeven twins and chabi nouri (ceo of piaget), moderated by rebecca anne proctor (editor in chief of harper’s bazaar art and harper’s bazaar interiors).
wednesday, 8 may, 11am: ‘form or function?’
when does collectable design become sculpture?
with joep van lieshout, frederik molenschot, nacho carbonell, maarten baas and studio job. moderated by the journalists caroline roux and emma crichton-miller.
wednesday, 8 may, 12pm: ‘cutting-edge design and the new technologies’
how have new technologies transformed the practices and stimulated the imaginations of contemporary designers?
with studio drift, random international, mathieu lehanneur, verhoeven twins, and jakob kristoffersen (senior manager, bang & olufsen). moderated by the journalists caroline roux and emma crichton-miller.
wednesday, 8 may, 1:15pm: ‘classicism and innovation: the dialogue between the past and the present
how do these artists balance a regard for tradition with a desire to speak to the present?
with ingrid donat, vincent dubourg, vincenzo de cotiis, charles trevelyan and stuart haygarth. moderated by the journalists caroline roux and emma crichton-miller.
from left to right, top to bottom: virgil abloh, maarten baas, campana brothers, nacho carbonell, wendell castle, vincenzo de cotiis, ingrid donat, studio drift, vincent dubourg, kendell geers, stuart haygarth, mathieu lehanneur, rick owens and michele lamy, frederik molenschot, random international, charles trevelyan, verhoeven twins, kendell geers, morgane tschiember, atelier van lieshout
dates: 8 may – 24 november 2019
all artists featured in DYSFUNCTIONAL
vincenzo de cotiis
atelier van lieshout
CAMPANA BROTHERS (55)
MAARTEN BAAS (28)
MATHIEU LEHANNEUR (46)
STUDIO DRIFT (21)
VINCENZO DE COTIIS (11)
VIRGIL ABLOH (55)
WENDELL CASTLE (6)
a diverse digital database that acts as a valuable guide in gaining insight and information about a product directly from the manufacturer, and serves as a rich reference point in developing a project or scheme.