Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Gustavo Aceves Lapidarium Sculpture



Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Dear Art Lover,
     I found myself in Lucca, Italy, recently, at the invitation of a new friend.  As the bus entered the station at Piazza Verdi, I saw the heads of horses.  They were sculptures and I was intrigued.  Knowing that I was early, I decided to wander over to have a look.  So glad that I did… and later, I even brought my friend over.

     Mexican sculptor Gustavo Aceves has created two massive sculpture works [one a single piece; the other an amazing parade] that is temporarily on exhibit in Lucca [I never saw for how long].  It is titled “Lapidarium,” although the only sign about the work implies the title is “Passo Sospeso” [Suspended Step] I will write about the large bronze horse in the next post.  This post is about the grouping of fifteen horses [the sign says, count if you like] that are exhibited “within” the famous wall around Lucca, in what appears to be a sunken area with arches.  My friend explained that the water and aqueducts passed by those arches behind this sculpture installation.

    I quote part of the sign for this sculpture grouping [I rewrote a little to correct the poor translation to English]:
     These sculptures represent a sort of “monument to the vanquished,” a metaphor of the unceasing migration process over thousands of years.  Part of a larger group, these sculptures travel along to many important sites around the world, such as Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, and an archeological area in Rome (Mercati di Traiano, l’Arco di Costantino e la Piazza del Colosseo).  After this exhibition leaves Lucca, Italy, it will travel on to the Acropolis in Athens, Beijing, and Paris.  In 2019 it will arrive in Mexico, the birthplace of the author.

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art

gate enclosure Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
the gate aids the impact of the message, no?

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art


Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art     The artist has obviously used the same mold to create the horses, the male African-inspired figures that stand atop some of the horses, and I think even the grouping of skulls that line the torsos of the three horses in the rear of the “parade.”  Repetition is a common compositional device.  It gives us a feeling of calm, continuity, cohesion of the separate items as a whole, and sometimes security.  Our brain catches onto the pattern and completes and continues it, feeling good about the order of things.  However, too much repetition creates boredom, precisely for the reason that the brain knows what to expect and needs not look further.  In a large sculpture, such as this grouping, it makes economic sense for the artist to do this as well.  


Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Repetition and Variety

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
One feels the exhaustion and struggle, yet anticipation [standing figures]

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
My apologies for the dark spot in the upper left white on the wall-need a new camera.

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Bus Station at Piazza Verdi is off to the left - wall of Lucca, Italy

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Even the holes on the neck of the fallen horses are repetition
 
     That said,  the artist Gustavo Aceves, has then used other compositional means to break up this repetition.  Each horse is different in content.  Some have been cropped, with only the neck and heads positioned as some of the fallen during the great migration.  The horses still walking are positioned in slightly different angles to imply movement and individuality within the group.  But more importantly, and visually and intellectually stimulating, the bodies of the horses are unique.  Some of the bodies have wooden sticks and even masts or crosses, implying migration by ship.  One shows the famine in the exposed rib cage of a horse.  Some of the horses have large stitching across a leg or a face to imply how the journey wounds and yet, the march continues.  Others have human figures tied to wooden sticks, depicting slavery.  There is one horse that carries the load of horses hooves inside his back/wagon. 

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
The train tracks were another reinforcing visual to the idea

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Powerfully conceived work of public art!

little suspended bodies tied up inside of this horse
little suspended bodies are tied up inside of this horse

larger proportioned figure of corpse in the horse on the right
A much larger proportioned human corpse rests inside the horse on the right

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Horse hooves must be a thing of value, or perhaps they were shoes/metal?


Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art

     Then there are the three figures in the back, obviously made from the same mold as the figure up front, but each individualized with netting and other small details.  They stand upon the necks of headless horses.  The bodies of the horses are made up of many skulls.  The visual language makes an obvious and clear heavy statement and yet the figures are beautiful at the same time.  The materials were not listed for this artwork but the surface texture looks like sand.  There are parts of horses’ faces that imply ceramic, although I think it was more likely colored or painted resin. 

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Do the African figures represent people or more like mast fronts on a ship?
Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Three horse bodies at the rear are made up of human skulls.

     An exhibition of this size is expensive to transport and to install.  However, I loved this work and the placement of it in Lucca.  I am curious how the same sculpture grouping looked and will look in the other cities along this tour.  If you happen to see it anywhere else, please share your images of it with me.

Enjoy.. I hope not too many photos!

Peace,

Kelly Borsheim, artist

P.S. IF original art, while affordable, is STILL a bit out of your budget, or the piece you adored has sold?  Or do you like arty things in different formats, to surround yourself with art?  Looking for a gift?  See my store online for pillow, phone cases, shower curtains, towels, tote bags, and yes, even prints on metal, wood, canvas, and so much more:

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
View from the gate at the bottom

Gustavo Aceves horses migration sculpture exhibition Lapidarium Passo Sospeso Lucca Italy public art
Imagine the quality of images from a GOOD camera!

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Mimmo Paladino Alligators Sculpture



Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy
Dear Art Lover,
     In the underground portion of the Museo Marino Marini in Florence, Italy, is the place for contemporary [living now] guest artists.  When I was there recently, Mimmo Paladino’s work was on exhibit with another artist.  I have written about his work before and am “accidentally discovering” him as a sensitive and inspired conceptual and interesting artist.



     Giovanna, the docent and a friend of my friend Kumiko, explained to us that the people are sleeping here, while the alligators pause at the edges.  The repeated patterns of obviously one mold brought cohesion to the work, even when the artist created slightly different compositions with each one.  The figures reminded me of the frozen corpses of Pompeii that I had seen in my mother’s slides back in the 70s.  Together with the beautiful dark lighting, I felt a bit at home here.


Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy



     You may see the dark passages that Kumi and I explored after skipping over a little rope intended to keep us out.  We found another exhibition room, although much smaller, and we could have gone another way… the museum’s intended way.  Hahah.. but I liked the dark passages and seeing more of the building itself.

Helpful related links:

     Past posts on sculptor Mimmo Paladino:

     Past posts on other aspects of this space:
Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre:

The sculptures by Marino Marini in Florence, Italy:

The drawings by Marino Marini:

The architecture:

Rucellai Chapel:


Peace,

Kelly Borsheim, artist

P.S. IF original art, while affordable, is STILL a bit out of your budget, or the piece you adored has sold?  Or do you like arty things in different formats, to surround yourself with art?  Looking for a gift?  See my store online for pillow, phone cases, shower curtains, towels, tote bags, and yes, even prints on metal, wood, canvas, and so much more:

Dark Passageways Doorways Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Dark Passageways Doorways Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Dark Passageways Doorways Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Dark Passageways Doorways Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Mimmo Paladino art sculpture exhibition Marino Marini Museum Florence Italy

Monday, October 9, 2017

Alberti Rucellai Sepulchre Chapel



Dear Art Lover,
Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy Altar


     Inside of the Museo Marino Marini, featuring the sculptures and drawings of the Tuscan artist who lived from 1901 to 1980, lies the Rucellai Chapel and Sepulchre.  It is an unusual sacred space in that one may only see it by paying admission to enter the museum [or in my friend Kumiko’s and my case, enjoying a free museum day, as we did on Sunday, October 1, 2017].

     Leon Battista Alberti (1404-1472), who designed the upper façade of Santa Maria Novella church in Florence, was commissioned by Giovanni di Paolo Rucellai to build him a tomb in the family chapel in the Church of San Pancrazio, the current and renovated location of the Museo Marino Marini.  The Rucellai Chapel is a room off to the left as you enter the museum. 

     Inside is an altar, which one would expect, but also there is the small scale copy of the Holy Sepulchre of Jesus Christ in Jerusalem.  It is mostly made of white marble and very well crafted with inlaid green marble, as well as well-carved letters and architectural decorative details.  There is a short, wooden door with bars, allowing you to look inside.  During my visit, there were small bronze birds on top on the tomb.  They are all from the same mold and just placed in differing angles for effect.  I do not think they are there all of the time since you will see them absent in the gorgeous pictures in the links below.

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy birds

     There is something about blue skies and golden stars . . . that combination seems quite popular in Italy, perhaps gold because of its value.  I would have put blue with silver, but … whatever works!  I also enjoyed other details inside of the chapel, included the inlayed marble disc in front of the altar. 
Enjoy these images, but please click on the links below to get the more official stories… you know that I often give the “Kelly tour” and not so much the technical information or history of a place that so many people enjoy hearing about.  Thank you for following along.

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy
Blue Skies and Gold Stars

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy


Helpful related links:
Great photos by Alexandra Korey.

Good pics of the circular designs carved in stone:



Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy
 
     Past posts on other aspects of this space:
The sculptures by Marino Marini in Florence, Italy:

The drawings by Marino Marini:

The architecture:


Peace,

Kelly Borsheim, artist

P.S. IF original art, while affordable, is STILL a bit out of your budget, or the piece you adored has sold?  Or do you like arty things in different formats, to surround yourself with art?  Looking for a gift?  See my store online for pillow, phone cases, shower curtains, towels, tote bags, and yes, even prints on metal, wood, canvas, and so much more:

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy Floor

Rucellai Chapel and Sepulcre Museum Marino Marini Florence Italy Floor Marble