Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Beauty in Venice, part 2
San Marco, May 29, 2011. All photos courtesy the author.
After hunting down as many outlying pavilions for the Bienniale as I could find, I feel I know Venice better than I ever have. The tourist count wasn't as high as it will get, and anyway, tourists did not touch the alleyways where international art would be found.
View from Museo Correr.
I had never been to Museo Correr, and Rick Steve's guide book was right: great view of San Marco from the windows still unobstructed by scaffolding.
View of canal from installation Days of Yi.
I would suspect most tourists would be mortified to see this open window, I thought about the Renaissance.
Building style exposed.
Impressive--look at the size of those beams. No wonder Italy is almost denuded, they've been building for thousands of years.
Saint in l'Accademia.
It's hard to find decent small gifts in Venice--too many kitschy glass gondolas, way too many Carnivale masks (perfect only for 12 1/2 year old girls). I loved this painting at l'Accademia--a saint whose mask looks back. Too bad there wasn't any information about who this was--where is my "Dictionary of Saints and Symbols" when I need it?
Conservation methods at l'Accademia.
L'Accademia's state of repairs is rather shocking. I saw many wall patches that looked like hastily-bandaged war wounds scattered throughout the building. The first floor, where all my favorite proto-Renaissance works were shown, was virtually unairconditioned--and we all know the effects of humidity on wood and paint.
Nothing like the slick and elegant spaces of Francois Pinault's Palazzo Grassi (no pics here, they are forbidden). Perhaps some wealthy collectors could spend a little less on themselves and toss a few bones to the public institutions in Italy that are clearly starving?
With the public in Italy fed up with the antics of their clownish government, I hope they will insist on protecting the Italian culture that has so influenced virtually every artist, almost around the globe, for centuries. When I worked with Yoshitomo Nara in the 1990s he told me that Giotto was a big favorite of his--see the connection? This historical work is important to all of us in the arts.