L’ORO DELL’ACQUA BY VIOLAINE VIEILLEFOND  dal 03/06/2024 al 08/07/2024

Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello Cannaregio, F.TA SAN ANDREA 4118, 30121 Venezia VE Venezia (VE)

June 03 – July 08, 2024
Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello, Venice

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. 

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.”

organized by ITSLIQUID Group
curator Luca Curci
exhibition coordinator Giulia Tassi

June 03 – 2024 | 05:00 PM
Palazzo Albrizzi-Capello
Associazione Culturale Italo-Tedesca (ACIT), Cannaregio 4118, Venice
Line 1 exit at Ca’ d’Oro stop (walking distance to Museum: 1 minute)

Click here to register for the event (free entry)

Opening hours | Monday – Friday . 09.30 AM – 05.30 PM

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