Venice at one time was the destination of the “silk roads” where all the great textiles and materials of the East were transported, and as early as the 12th-century, it became the production center of the world for these valuable fabrics.
It’s no surprise that as part of the 55th international art exhibition of the Venice Biennale, the Venice Pavilion—conceived to house outstanding works in the decorative arts—will be paying tribute to “soft art” weaving. The exhibition “Silk Map” will showcase textile designs by six artists from Italy and the East, with the support of major Italian textile companies.
Partnering with the Venice Pavilion on this exhibition, which opens on June 1, are Italian textile houses Bevilacqua, Fortuny and Rubelli.
The Venice Pavilion
Curated by Ewald Stastny, artists AES+F, Anahita Razmi, Marialuisa Tadei, Marya Kazoun, Mimmo Roselli and Yiqing Yin will work with the three textile companies to create six exclusive works for the Pavilion and city, to be exhibited throughout the festival.
In the ‘20s and ‘30s, Rubelli collaborated with renowned artists such as Umberto Bellotto, Guido Cadorin, Vittorio Zecchin and Gio Ponti for exhibits at the Venice Pavilion, and this is the company's first year back since then.
Tadei has created the decorative patterns for two fabrics that will upholster, both inside and outside, her installation titled “Castello del Sole.” Inspired by the mosaics created by the artist, the two fabrics have been christened “Foresta stellata” and “Spirito di Luce.” The installation will be completed inside by a mosaic on the same theme and by embroidered tapestries also playing on the mosaic theme. The emotional experience of the viewer will be enriched by a music created specifically for the project.
Different is the approach of Kazoun, who will create a sort of parallel world. Rubelli has created with her a custom fabric that will be used to make the costumes of the performers who will animate the installation in the first week of the exhibition. Other Rubelli fabrics will dress some animated “creatures” that will explore the space dedicated to the artist within the Pavilion. At the center of this space a sort of ladder, a passageway between different worlds, will be completely covered with yarns and threads in a palette of colors ranging from white to gray.
Tradition, research and colors are starting points for the Russian-based AES+F and the Iranian Razmi, in their collaboration with Fortuny. The artists carry all the weight of their origins in their work, the intrinsic force of their territories, the experience of their travels and the interpretation of cultures stretching back thousands of years. The company, in turn, has placed at their complete disposal its customary visionary talent which has always made it stand out from the crowd. From this, they develop their exploration to rediscover and imagine a contemporary language with deep links to the Fortuny tradition.
The weaving mill of Luigi Bevilacqua is back for the first time since its last exhibit at the Venice Pavilion in 1934. The company is proud that the decorative art of weaving once again meets the latest trends of figurative art represented by the exhibition as they work with artists Roselli and Yin.
Gli Orti Di Venezia, San Marco, Cassa di Risparmio and the Abate Zanetti Glass School will also be participating in the exhibition.
Also during the Venice Biennale, Rubelli hosts the Acqua Alta project in the Palazzo Corner Spinelli.
The Venice Biennale runs from June 1 through November 24 in Venice, Italy.
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