Contemporary Sculpture. From Sicily to Venice, two sculptors engage with the "genius loci" and history.

Francesco Diluca and Lorenzo Quinn, two Italian artists and sculptors, provide a tangible example of how contemporary sculpture imposes no limits on materials and techniques. They are exhibiting in Sicily and Venice, respectively, until September 2024.

A sinistra: Francesco Diluca. Rarica, Orto Bontanico di Palermo, installatio view. A destra: Lorenzo Quinn, Anime di Venezia - Souls of Venice, Ca' Rezzonico, Venezia.

It was 1912 when Umberto Boccioni, in his "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture," wrote: "The sculptor can use twenty or more different materials in a single work, provided that the plastic emotion requires it. Here is a small part of this choice of materials: glass, wood, cardboard, cement, horsehair, leather, fabric, mirrors, electric light, etc." Contemporary art and sculpture have demonstrated how prophetic this statement was, with a continuous experimentation of new techniques and different materials. Coming to the present day, we have chosen two artists and exhibition projects that provide a perfect example of this.

Discover the two exhibition projects

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Francesco Diluca in Sicily

Francesco Diluca has engaged in a new site-specific project designed specifically to pay homage to Sicily. The exhibition, curated by Lara Gaeta and Camilla Nacci Zanetti, is on view until September 30, 2024, at two venues: the Castello Maniace in Ortigia (Syracuse), a historic monument from the Swabian period overlooking the sea, and the Botanical Garden of the University of Palermo, which houses a precious variety of plant species. "Rarica," the chosen title for the artistic project, is the Sicilian dialect word for "root." The dual exhibition comprises over thirty works: sculptures as well as land art installations and videos, demonstrating the interdependence between human beings and nature, revealing ecosystems, organisms living in communities, and transformative processes.

Francesco Diluca, Rarica

Francesco Diluca. Rarica, Orto Bontanico di Palermo, installatio view

The artist's sculptures depict human anatomies, to which he adds concretions and heterogeneous elements such as filaments, leaves, and butterflies. The bodies are in a transformative state, disintegrating and appearing insubstantial, despite being made from solid materials like iron.

In the background, there is the relationship between myth—specifically, the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice—and the complex interplay of complementary elements: water and earth, the abyss and the surface, marine and terrestrial creatures, life and death. It is a fascinating journey through the artist's works and the places where they seem to come to life, embodying the regenerative capacity of life. Learn more about the exhibition.

The locations

The Botanical Garden of Palermo is a museum and educational-scientific institution of the Service Center of the Museum System of the University of Palermo. It is one of the most important Italian academic institutions. Considered a huge open-air museum, it boasts over two hundred years of activity which has also allowed it to study and spread countless species in Sicily, Europe and the entire Mediterranean basin. The peculiarity of this Botanical Garden today is represented precisely by the great variety of plant species hosted, many originating from tropical and subtropical regions, which make it a place rich in expressions of different flora.... read the rest of the article»

The Maniace Castle is one of the most important monuments of the Swabian period in Syracuse and one of the best-known Frederickian castles. The castle stands on a place where tradition tells of previous fortifications; recent excavations, however, have not brought to light any trace of the manor which takes its name from the Byzantine leader Giorgio Maniace. The castle of Syracuse was built at the behest of Frederick II who considered it the spearhead of the great network of Sicilian castles, and today it represents an obligatory stop when visiting the city of Syracuse.

The artist

Francesco Diluca, born in Milan in 1979, followed painting and sculpture courses at the Brera Academy, where he graduated with honors in 2004, and today lives and works in Milan. His most significant exhibition activity began in 1999, at the Palazzo della Permanente in Milan. In 2003 he received the second prize for the sculpture Icarus work on display at Palazzo Reale, in the Volare exhibition. 2008 is the year of the first solo show entitled Fresco di factory, at Fabbrica Eos.

In 2011 he participated in the 54th Venice Biennale, Italian Pavilion in Turin, Sala Nervi curated by Vittorio Sgarbi and in the same year he created Ultima cena for the Casa Testori foundation for the exhibition Giorni Felici 2011.

Lorenzo Quinn pays homage to the history of Venice

It takes the title of "Anime di Venezia – Souls of Venice", the new creation by Lorenzo Quinn which is on display in Venice until 15 September 2024, in honor of the anniversary celebrations of Marco Polo 700 years after his death. The work consists of 15 statues made of mesh, a metal weave, to represent some of the most significant souls in the centuries of the Serenissima: Lorenzo Tiepolo, Caterina Corner, Veronica Franco, Elena Lucrezia Corner Piscopia, Carlo Goldoni, Antonio Vivaldi, Marietta Barovier, Elisabetta Caminer Turra, Andrea Palladio, Antonio Canova, Tiziano Vecellio, Rosalba Carriera, Giacomo Casanova and Marco Polo.

Anime di Venezia

Venezia, Ca' Rezzonico: Anime di Venezia - Souls of Venice di Lorenzo Quinn

The installation has been placed in the Atrium of Ca' Rezzonico, the splendid and imposing building overlooking the Grand Canal designed by Baldassare Longhena, which houses the Museum of 18th Century Venice.

"In its simultaneous presence of past, present, and future, Venice inspired this installation, which aims to symbolize my 'journey' into the soul of the City," says Lorenzo Quinn. It is a tribute to all the "Souls" who have lived here and who will live here forever. Through artistic creation, humans seek to narrate their past and present. These statues of illustrious Venetians, both women and men, bear witness to the uniqueness of our being 'works of art' shaped by the hands of Mother Earth.". Learn more about the exhibition.

The location

Ca' Rezzonico, which today houses the Museum of Eighteenth-Century Venice, was built by the Bon family, exponents of the ancient Venetian nobility. In the mid-seventeenth century they entrusted its execution to the most famous architect of the period: Baldassarre Longhena, who was also responsible for the construction of Ca' Pesaro and the Basilica della Salute.

The palace houses the works of the Mestrovich Collection, among which authors such as Iacopo Tintoretto and Bonifacio de' Pitati stand out. On the first floor, through eleven rooms, it is possible to admire paintings, sculptures and eighteenth-century furnishings, as well as the precious decorative frescoes on the ceilings. On the second floor, which opens with the portego of paintings dominated by two early canvases by Canaletto, not to be missed are the room dedicated to the work of Longhi and the frescoes detached from Villa Zianigo executed by Giandomenico Tiepolo. Finally, on the third floor, in addition to the three rooms of the Ai do San Marchi Pharmacy, there is the precious Egidio Martini Art Gallery.

The artist

Lorenzo Quinn is an internationally renowned Italian-American figurative sculptor, born in Rome in 1966 to Oscar-winning Mexican-American actor Anthony Quinn and his second wife, costume designer Iolanda Addolori.
During his years of study at the American Academy of Fine Arts in New York, Quinn realized that, of all the arts, sculpture was his future.
All of his public art works, as well as his smaller pieces, convey his passion for eternal values and authentic emotions.

In particular, many of his most famous works represent expressive reconstructions of human hands: "I wanted to sculpt what is considered the most difficult and technically demanding part of the human body. - says Quinn - The hand holds so much: the power to love, to hate, to create and to destroy."

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Pubblicato il May 15, 2024

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