Postcards from the Biennial – The New York Times


VENICE — After a delay, this city is once again filled with arts classrooms – the pavilions are packed and the parties are roaring. But the coronavirus still poses problems. Ha Chong-hyunA respected Korean artist and representative of Dansaekhwa or monochrome (monochrome) painting, 86, is set to celebrate the unveiling of a study of his work at the Palazzetto Tito this week, but both he and his wife, Park Mi-ja, tested positive and remained at home.

On Wednesday evening, the exhibition’s curator, Sunjung Kim, moved forward by inviting guests to the exhibition (the artist’s eldest son, Ha Yun, whose birth inspired a 1967 work, would be present the next day). Many of Ha’s trademark works suggest rough and elegant paintings using oil paint on hemp fabric, as well as early abstractions in which he covered them with flames and some with barbed wire or springs. His last work featured bright colors, and a brand new one—a kind of waterfall, shimmering with blue and white markings—had barely dried.

Credit…Sang Tae Kim via Kukje Gallery

The biennial is always showing new things, but I wanted to do a retrospective,” Kim said, explaining that his goal is for people to understand that Ha “shows how Korean contemporary art has changed and grown with our economic development.” (before the country had a permanent Venetian pavilion) he now has his own showroom of his work and hopes to see it later.

to reach Anselm Kiefer At the exhibition in the Palazzo Ducale in Piazza San Marco, you have to go past the great courtyard, up the stone stairs, once stepped by the Dogs themselves, through the chamber of the Great Council with Tintoretto’s. Il Paradiso teleporting down and then still through a narrow door. Only there you encounter the monumental works of this exciting spectacle.

Here, Kiefer’s floor-to-ceiling paintings – in a total of 14 pieces – cover every wall of the city. Sala dello Scurtino. A second work of the same name, a seven-piece painting, is placed in an adjacent room as an apse.

Coinciding with the Biennale, the exhibition is part of the celebration of the 1600th anniversary of the founding of Venice. Like most of Kiefer’s work, the past is key. There are familiar motifs: the experience of destruction, haunting empty landscapes, empty clothes. The mix of materials, from acrylic and oil to resin, steel, zinc, lead, metal wire, gold leaf, cauterized wood, cloth, earth, straw, string, paper and charcoal, as well as shoes and burnt books, unites art. and statue.

But take a closer look and you begin to see impressions of this city: the outline of an angel, St. Mark’s winged lion, the rippling water of the Grand Canal, the Gothic architecture of the palace itself.

The title of the work is taken from the writings of the Venetian philosopher Andrea Emo: “Questi scritti, quando verranno bruciati, daranno finalmente un po’ di luce”, loosely translated: “When these writings are burned, they will finally shed some light. ”

It’s hard not to think about the past as you look at the place where the canvases of the German painter meet the ceilings, where the golden hues of centuries-old paintings are reflected in the new work below. In this same room Tintoretto, Palma il Giovane, Andrea Vicentino once left their mark. In the notes, Kiefer said he wanted to make the room not just a memory, but a metaphor for the movement between east and west, a convergence between past and present. When you’re standing in that room, it feels that way. JULIE BLOOM



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