lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice

 

‘Lucio Fontana / Antony Gormley’ takes over Olivetti showroom

 

The artworks of two masters of sculpture —  Argentine-Italian Lucio Fontana and British Antony Gormley — meet for the first time inside Negozio Olivetti in Venice. After years of neglect, this extraordinary building designed by Carlo Scarpa in 1958 has reopened its doors to the public. Its interior hosts sculptures by both artists, along with a selection of drawings made by Fontana between 1946 and 1968, and a series of models, graphic works, and workbooks by Gormley. The curator of the exhibition, Luca Massimo Barbero, proposes an interaction between the artworks and the meticulously designed internal space, created around a brief and critical connection of space, light, and absence.

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio

 

 

interplay with void and space

 

Negozio Olivetti in Venice hosts an exhibition by two masters of sculpture, Lucio Fontana, known as the father of spatialism, and Antony Gormley (see more here), one of the most searching sculptors of our century. Promoted by Associazione Arte Continua (see more here) and realized in collaboration with Fondazione Lucio Fontana (see here) and FAI – Fondo per l’Ambiente Italiano, the exhibition takes shape in the Olivetti store, an architectural treasure nestled into the porticoes of Piazza San Marco. The interior expresses a harmonious balance between functionality and fine aesthetics. Upon visitors enter the showroom, they encounter at its core a well-lit space adorned by the Alberto Viani sculpture Nude in the Sun. There, it’s almost impossible to overlook the central staircase, meandering as a sculpture and directing guests to the upper level. Giving the feeling that hovers in the void, this dynamic centerpiece achieves an interaction of lightness but also dominance, a flow that follows within the two galleries on the upper level. Continuing on the second floor, small office spaces and some vintage Olivetti typewriters and calculators are revealed.

 

Engaging in a dialogue with the captivating inner structure, both graphic and sculptural pieces play with void and space, generating a narrative that unfolds as visitors wander the building. The look is shifted from the object-in-space to the space itself prompting the viewer to interact with the artwork, feeling the void around it. The exhibition stimulates a conversation between the complexity of Fontana’s oeuvre, portrayed by rarely seen sculptures, and the relationship between space and body depicted in the work of Gormley.

lucio fontanta and antony gormley's sculptures meet inside carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice

©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio

 

 

transcending the work of art as an object

 

Gormley perceives architecture as ‘the most potent reference for sculpture’, driving the notion of the body as a precious container with the potential of extension in space. ‘Lucio Fontana spent a lifetime revealing the fact that space exists behind appearance and inviting us to experience it. I am thrilled to have this opportunity to have a dialogue with him through objects and drawings in which body and space are continually seen as equivalent mediums of apprehension,’ said Antony Gormley.

 

For Fontana, architecture is a space that could change through the intervention of sculpture, seen not only as an object but as a melting pot of space and time. ‘I make holes; infinity passes through, light passes, there is no need to paint … everyone thought that I wanted to destroy: but that’s not true, I’ve created, not destroyed,’ lucio fontana, who passed away in 1968, once mentioned.lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice©designboom

 

‘Fontana and Gormley’s work with sculpture goes beyond time. In Lucio Fontana’s works space becomes a timeless and ahistorical place. Sign and body interact intimately in the conceptual path that supports Antony Gormley’s research and that leads to the total rupture of the boundaries imposed between inside and outside, space and time,’ added the curator, Luca Massimo Barbero.

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice

©designboom

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice©designboom

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice
sculpture by Lucio Fontanta

©designboom

lucio-fontanta-antony-gormley-works-sculpture-carlo-scarpa-negozio-olivetti-venice-designboom-18002

artwork by Antony Gormley ©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio

lucio fontanta and antony gormley's sculptures meet inside carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice©designboom

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice©designboom

lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa's negozio olivetti in venice

©designboom 

lucio-fontanta-antony-gormley-works-sculpture-carlo-scarpa-negozio-olivetti-venice-designboom-21800

©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio

 

 

 

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lucio fontanta + antony gormley sculptures meet in carlo scarpa’s negozio olivetti in venice
 
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©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio
©Ela Bialkowska, OKNO studio

project info:

 

artists: Lucio Fontana, Antony Gormley

dates: 23 April to 27 November 2022

curated by: Luca Massimo Barber

supported by: Associazione Arte Continua

location: Negozio Olivetti in Venice

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