Venice Returns to Proportions at Palazzo Fortuny

This is the last weekend if you want to visit the show Proportio at Palazzo Fortuny. The exhibition is the result of the latest collaboration between Alex and Mary Vervoordt Foundation and I Civici Musei Pubblici di Venezia. Preceded by Artempo (2007), Infinitum (2009), Tra (2011) and  the solo show dedicated to Antoni Tàpis, Proportio is, once again, the confirmation of this fruitful relationship. Common thread of the three-floor exhibition, revealed by the title, is the concept of proportion and the role it plays in our lives. Proportions, which have been gradually moved to the background in contemporary art practice, are instead a useful mean to read the structures that shaped the present. In harmony with the series of shows by Vervoordt, the theme is investigated here in a variety of fields: art, human body, nature, music, science, design and so on.


Proportio, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice Biennale

Exhibition view of Proportio at Palazzo Fortuny, second Floor


Sight, hearing and olfaction are called together in order to fully experience the show. In the darkness of the ground floor the first thing to hit the public is a pleasant, although strong, smell. The weak light reveals five cubes of different dimensions made of hemp, built according classic and mathematic proportions. The dialogue between lights and shadows in the five pavilions, such us in the marble surfaces of Eduardo Chillida’s sculpture, gives the viewer, who is going through the space, the sensation of being in a sacred place.

As usual in exhibitions curated by Axel Vervoordt, a remarkable number of art works crowd the higher floors enchanting the senses. Entering the first floor the spectator is overwhelmed by the multitude of art creations combined with the richness that characterizes Mariano Fortuny’s apartments. Like in a modern Wunderkammer, masterpieces from the XX century are gathered together with artwork specifically commissioned for the occasion, Old Masters’ paintings, archaeological artifacts, and architectural models to be shown off.


Proportio, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice Biennale

Exhibition view of Proportio at Palazzo Fortuny, second floor


The overabundance of the first floor contrasts the poetically white second floor, which smartly makes fun of the viewer’s perception skills, creating a confusion among visual certainties with artworks like Golden Dream by Ann Veronika Janssens, Build Up by Kees Goudzwaard, and The Trascendental by Ryoji Ikeda.


Proportio, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice Biennale

Exhibition view of Proportio at Palazzo Fortuny, second floor


At the last floor, the wabi pavilion, a sort of dark labyrinth in the middle of the room, monopolizes the space by creating a shade area in which artworks are dedicated to the void dimension, silence and cosmos proportions.


Domimique Stroobant, Proportio, Palazzo Fortuny, Venice Biennale

Domimique Stroobant, Tre Fonoliti, un omaggio a Elmar Daucher, 2015


In this show, Axel Vervoordt conceive proportions as the key to read universal connections and imagine the future.

If you are going to Venice for the finissage of the 2015 Biennale, don’t miss this!

Proportio is at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice as part of the 2015 Venice Biennale (through November 23)


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by Arianna Bertolotti
in A Walk Through The Art, Focus on Europe

Wed Development by Digital Art Factory