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Venice Biennale 2013: Victor Matthews/ Paolo Nicola Rossini

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Venice Biennale 2013: Victor Matthews/ Paolo Nicola Rossini
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Artist's Victor Matthews and Paolo Nicola Rossini present their work in a project that has been approved by the Venice Biennale committee to participate as an official collateral event of the 55th Venice Biennale 2013.

Details

The Venice Biennale (La Biennale di Venezia) – currently presided over by Paolo Baratta – has for over a century been one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world.Ever since its foundation, it has been at the forefront in the research and promotion of new artistic trends. In Venice, it organizes international events in the field of the contemporary arts that are amongst the most important of their kind in the world.The 55th International Art Exhibition will take place in Venice from June, 1st to November, 24th 2013 at the Giardini and at the Arsenale (preview: May 29th, 30th and 31st 2013), as well as in various venues throughout the city. “The Biennale will again use the "dual" form defined in 1998: a great International Exhibition directed by a curator chosen for this purpose and the National Participations.”The title chosen by Massimiliano Gioni for the 55th International Art Exhibition is: Il Palazzo Enciclopedico / The Encyclopedic Palace. A celebration of the desires and representation of each country and nationality that participates. It may certainly be said that in them the countries reveal the role attributed to contemporary art as messenger of their present and their cultural wealth.

The Project
This project is open to the general public and entrance is free. The exhibition will run through the entire month of June and will be open daily in order to facilitate visitors. The project has been approved by the Venice Biennale committee to participate as an official collateral event of the biennale - arguably the biggest celebration of visual arts on the calendar. The project is to be curated in a garden courtyard area and ground floor of a building so it is easy to access for all. The venue is very important as it is located in the Accademia/ Dorsodoro area which is a central hub for the arts - with neighboring institutions such as the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, Museum of Bellas Artes and the Punta della Dogana - the museum housing the François Pinault private collection. This area is a place of learning and culture and attracts visitors of all ages and nationalities. We have committed to renting the space for nearly 2 months. This so that the artists will work with art students to help create and develop the project and the installation of the proposed pathway/ vortex and garden sculptures which will be site specific. The art students will be working alongside Victor Matthews - and will have insight into his working methods as well as be learning about the logistics of creating a show of this scale. Victor will be building stretchers and stretching canvas for works for this exhibition. They will be an integral part of the creative process. The event is of enormous cultural significance as it brings together nations from all over the world to celebrate all that is valid and current in the visual arts. We really want to embrace the values and validity of different art forms and contribute two wonderful contemporary artists work to share with the visitors of this event. Last Biennale drew over 300,000 visitors and this work will be seen by a huge international audience who will be able to appreciate it.

The Show :
‘Transitions’ and ‘About the Artists’ and their work:
As the Venice Biennale’s President Paolo Baratta together with curator Massimiliano Gioni –have this year decided to emphasize the importance of the different national pavilions and the theme of the ‘Encyclopedic Palace’, so we wanted to put together the works of two seemingly very different artists – one homegrown Italian photographer and an American born and NY based painter – Victor Matthews. Despite their different backgrounds, artistic mediums and geographic separation their artwork tells their stories – each canvas and photo a testament of human experience. Both artists question universal themes such as life, memory, dream and the subconscious, time and space but departing from the same starting point arrive at different destinations yet both exploring the theme of transitions.Rossini’s evolution toward an artistic approach to photography started in late 2007 and he was initially drawn to common and yet mostly ignored subjects such as manholes, cigarette butts,abandoned objects, as well as decadent buildings. He was driven by a need to give dignity to these subjects and express their continued potential as being fascinating, interesting objects.His attention then evolved to a deeper conceptual approach and to a personal way to see and represent reality with landscapes (in the loosest sense of the word), elements, people, various still life becoming his subjects; in the works they appear as suspended in time and space,almost indefinite.His photographs are achieved by overlapping and melting the subjects with photos of raw surfaces which combination almost changes their identity and makes the works look more like paintings; The overlap of sequential images melted together create a real distortion of the space. This process aims to catch reality in its transition, a suspension between past and present; transition of spaces and subjects is the main theme of the body of work; they loose definition and color, details tend to disappear; Concept, style, subjects, processes come all from the inside and from deep personal inspiration;being self-taught has been very important in this process of intimate expression, enabling Rossini to be unconditioned by any specific previous teaching and be guided only from the inside.Photography is not the final goal but a means of representation; the works look more like a painting of a reality seen from the mind more than the eyes and the camera lens.Rossini’s photography is ethereal. Bringing together many moments in time simultaneously reveals compositions of many passing moments. The works raise the question of the passing of time, our own mortality and the choices we make in any given moment and how the outcome of these affects our lives. The possibilities are infinite in this world in our lifetimes and it is only through experience that we gain knowledge. Rossini’s photos make us think about the concept of time. They are abstracts images full of movement, energy and life. They capture the transition of one moment in time to the next.Victor Matthews’ work similarly questions a lot of the same universal themes. He is drawn to the motif of the vortex which for Matthews is representative of everything in life being intrinsically linked – nature, the environment, animals, people, weather; we are all drawn together as one and all sucked into one universal experience – life. For Matthews it’s all about the light and the way it feels and ‘a magnetic light’ which inspired the vortex body of work.“The tones of the plants and the tones of living organisms are so vivid. I feel that we are all tones- as in the humans, the planets, and the universe - we are all tones that are pulled into an unknown vortex.”The Vortex series is energetic - paint spirals into a central point – and you get a sense of a great expanse being drawn in and at the same time perpetually expanding. The vortex is a powerful force that pulls in the light bringing tones and elements together. Like a black hole in space we are sucked in further to explore. Matthews’s colors more often than not are hot - combining scarlets, ocean blues, emerald greens and yellows. At other times dark moody blues and purples dominate.In contrast, are his white paintings which reference the New York landscape – they have a serenity and simplicity about them which is innocent and playful and demonstrate Matthews intimate relationship with his city. The interplay of what appear to be shapes become apparent as landmarks - recognizable to every inhabitant as shared visual terrain: water towers and bridges, cars, sidewalks, hydrants – the very essence of the New York landscape. The paintings have a Modernist sensibility. Based on a palate of white, the textures of paint play against the raw-colored canvas demarcated by a strong presence of the two-dimensional — of line. The constant, fluid construction of shapes is both conceived and created in the same moment. As Brice Marden has observed, Victor Matthews has “the line”. Distinctive of Matthews’ work -each piece marked by the eternal presence of the line – which has a fluidity, strength and beauty of its own and which he has mastered.This exhibitions is an invitation into Matthews’ psyche – like the man himself, we are drawn to the bright splashes of color from the outside which are inline with Matthews’ cool cat exterior.On further exploration the balance and silence of the elegant white paintings and monochrome vortex pieces are representative of his poised approach and focus - revealing the inner calm which is Matthews to a tee. Matthews is an artist at peace with himself. The paintings transcend from Matthews dreams and he explores the idea of the subconscious and what is reality,memory and our perceptions of the world we live in.

The venue
Space Gallery has secured a wonderful spot for the exhibition. Located in the heart of the Accademia/ Dorsodoro area adjacent to the Peggy Guggenheim museum. This zone is the hub centre point for arts in Venice – a stone’s throw also from the Pinault collection housed in the Punta della Dogana.It is the most important area for the arts and therefore attracts all major visitors.



About the artists


Victor Matthews
International artist Victor Matthews was born in Brooklyn in 1963 and currently lives and works in New York City.He attended the High School of Art and Design and received his BFA from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo exhibitions in the US and abroad, including the 48th Venice Biennale, Museum Sala Uno (Rome), Stephen Wirtz Gallery (San Francisco), Perry Rubenstein Gallery (New York), and The Sculpture Center (New York). His work is in the permanent collection or the Museum Overholland (Amsterdam), Cornell University (Ithaca NY), Museum Ludwig (Cologne), New School (New York), and Museum Nuova Icona (Venice), as well as in the private collections of Russell Simmons, Brice & Helen Marden, Francesco & Alba Clemente, Vera List, Nathaniel Rothschild, President Mogae of Botswana,Ronald Perelman and Salman Rushdie, among others.

Paolo Nicola Rossini

Rossini’s evolution toward an artistic approach to photography started in late 2007 and he was initially drawn to common and yet mostly ignored subjects such as manholes, cigarette butts, abandoned objects, as well as decadent buildings. Rossini was driven by a need to give dignity to these subjects and express their continued potential as being fascinating, interesting objects. His attention then evolved to a deeper conceptual approach and to a personal way to see and represent reality with landscapes (in the loosest sense of the word), elements, people, various still life becoming his subjects; in the works they appear as suspended in time and space, almost indefinite. The photograph is achieved by various approaches. One approach is overlapping and melting the subjects with photos of raw surfaces which combination almost changes their identity and makes the works look more like paintings; At other times pinhole photography is used, with long exposures that extend the perception of time in a single shot, catching the movement and the changes in the scene. Here the overlap of sequential images melted together create a real distortion of the space.This process aims to catch reality in its transition, a suspension between past and present; transition of spaces and subjects is the main theme of the body of work; they loose definition and color, details tend to disappear; Concept, style,subjects, processes come all from the inside and from deep personal inspiration; being self-taught has been very important in this process of intimate expression, enabling Rossini to be unconditioned by any specific previous teaching and be guided only from the inside.Photography is not the final goal but a means of representation; the works look more like a painting of a reality seen from the mind more than the eyes and the camera lens.




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