not only 4×20
From 26/02/2022 To 10/04/2022
Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation Institution – St Mark’s Square, 71/c, 30123 Venice
Reinforced Green Pass required
President Bruno Bernardi
Director Michele Casarin
Organised by the City of Venice and the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation Institution, with the support of Cris Contini Contemporary.
Recommended to: Lovers of kinetic art; Ferruccio Gard enthusiasts; Curious about the artistic research of one of the most influential personalities in this field in Italy.
March 3, 2022
The exhibition was inaugurated on February 26, 2022, with the artist’s presence, the presentation of Francesca Brandes and with the speech of Venice’s Mayor Luigi Brugnaro. It will continue to be open until April 10, 2022. With this exhibition, the City of Venice and the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation Institution celebrated Ferruccio Gard’s eightieth birthday with a retrospective exhibition in the prestigious venue of Piazza St Mark’s Square (Venice).
Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation was established in 1898 through a testamentary legacy and has been dealing with contemporary art since the beginning.BLM organizes exhibitions and meetings dedicated to the promotion of young artists and internationally recognized artists. The Foundation is a place of excellence in the Triveneto area and a privileged point of observation for artistic experiences. It is an incubator for projects involving the local artistic community and an area of mediation with quality national and international realities. In recent years, the activities of Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation have revolved around some main programmatic lines, such as the organization of exhibitions by internationally acclaimed living artists, made possible thanks to the connection with Italian and foreign institutes, thus allowing the Foundation to become part of the circuit of major international exhibition spaces with which various collaborations have been set up. In addition, it organizes and sponsors conventions, conferences, publications, and meetings with artists and cultural operators, which are meant as an opportunity for discussions and in-depth study. In addition, it promotes activities that involve young artists, particularly those from the Triveneto region, thanks to the annual renewal of the Collective Exhibition, open to all residents or domiciled in the Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Friuli Venezia Giulia regions, aged between eighteen and thirty-five, with the distribution of scholarships for the most deserving and the annual exhibition of Fellows.
Il calendario degli eventi comprende numerose mostre personali e collettive di emergenti, in collaborazione con istituzioni italiane ed estere. Riallacciandosi alla prima fase della sua storia, è stata ristabilita l’assegnazione di studi d’artista collocati negli spazi di palazzo Carminati a san Stae e nel chiostro di Ss. Cosma e Damiano in Giudecca. Un ruolo importante è svolto anche dall’Archivio Giovani che ne cataloga il lavoro favorendone la consultazione attraverso la collaborazione con il centro di documentazione Via Farini di Milano e il sito Italian Area. La continua attività di catalogazione e conservazione si unisce a tutto questo. Oltre all’archivio storico della Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa dal 1906 al 2002, si è andata costituendo una piccola, ma ben fornita, biblioteca che raccoglie tutti i cataloghi degli eventi ospitati assieme a un cospicuo numero di edizioni monografiche e tematiche di difficile reperibilità. In fine, la riflessione sull’identità e sull’immagine della città di Venezia ha contraddistinto un’ampia parte delle attività della Fondazione negli ultimi otto anni, in modo trasversale.
The events calendar includes numerous solo and group exhibitions of emerging artists, in collaboration with Italian and foreign institutions. Going back to the first phase of its history, it has re-established the assignment of artist’s studios located in the spaces of Palazzo Carminati in San Stae and in the cloister of Ss. Cosma and Damiano in Giudecca. An important role is also played by the Youth Archive, which catalogs their work and encourages consultation through collaboration with the Via Farini documentation center in Milan and the Italian Area website. The continuous activity of classification and preservation combines with all this. In addition to the historical archives of the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, dating from 1906 to 2002, a small but well-stocked library has been built up, which contains all the catalogues of the events hosted, together with a large number of monographic and thematic editions that are difficult to find. Finally, the reflection on the identity and image of the city of Venice has marked a large part of the Foundation’s activities over the last eight years, in a cross-cutting way.
After all, an eighty-year-old is not an old man but a young man that has turned four times twenty.Ferruccio Gard
Ferruccio Gard, born in December 1940, is one of the leading exponents of neo-constructivist and kinetic art, which he has been practicing since 1969. He has taken part in seven Venice Biennales (1982, 1986, 1995, 2007, 2009, 2011, and 2017), the XI Quadriennale in Rome (1986), two International Architecture Biennales in Venice (2016 and 2021), and numerous international exhibitions on kinetic art, including the ones into the National Gallery of Modern Art of Prague and the National Gallery of Modern Art in Rome (2012) and in 2014 on Italian kinetic art of the 1970s, at the Museum of Contemporary Art of the City of Buenos Aires and MACLA, the Latin American Museum of Contemporary Art in La Plata (Argentina). Of great importance is the invitation, in 2017, to the 57th International Art Biennale, with the participation, at the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation, in St Mark’s Square, in the exhibition dedicated to the thirty years of activity (1978-2008) of the Visual Art Centre VERIFICA 8 + 1, with a selection of 17 artists, from Bruno Munari, Alberto Biasi, and Sara Campesan to Marina Apollonio, Franco Costalonga, Horacio Garcia Rossi and Julio Le Parc, the latter of whom won the Grand Prize at the 1966 Biennale and was one of the founders, in Paris, of GRAV, Groupe de Recerche d’Art Visuelle. With his participation in this exhibition, curated by Giovanni Granzotto and a Collateral Event of the 57th Biennale, Ferruccio Gard was further and definitively consecrated among the historicized artists of programmed and kinetic art. From Beijing to New York, he has held over 170 solo exhibitions worldwide. In 2018, he celebrated his half-century of painting history with his entry, at the Farnesina, into the Italian Contemporary Art Collection, considered the most important in the world.
In love with Venice, he has lived and worked in the City of the Doges since 1973, with a studio on the island of Lido.
At the opening of the exhibition, Ferruccio Gard teased everybody with a promise: to create an exhibition for his 5 x 20 year anniversary.
THE KINETIC GARD. not only 4X20. proposes an itinerary that goes from the first kinetic works of the 1970s, through the momentary interludes dedicated to informal and geometric abstractionism of the 1990s, to the 2000s and the intensification of renewed research in optical art concentrated on the colors of black and white and shades of grey. Also on show are the abstract-kinetic sculptures in plexiglass, the great novelty of the master’s production.
The exhibition is spread over the two floors of the exhibition space accessed from St Mark’s Square, the center of Venice, the historic city of great Venetian painting. The heart of the city, which made Gard fall in love with it, at the height of the vitality of the carnival highlighted the vibrations that characterize his painting, the illusive depths and the compositional rigor of his works, which are the result of a daily exercise in which the artistry goes through the variations of color with precision and scrupulousness.
The research work carried out by this great artist is carried out with continuous effort. Thought and exercise involving hands, mind, and body are the cornerstones through which his works develop. The repetition, from day to day, of this artistic exercise in poetic mathematics is an attempt by the master to seek perfection. In his works, based on color, geometry, and the luminous pulsation of its dynamic interweaving, reality and unreality seem to merge within a common discourse based on the image of a rectangle rotating on itself or on a stain asserting itself among different shades of color.
Passion pulses alive in the heart of his paintings and ignites Ferruccio Gard, leading him, in his eightieth year, to refer to the great Ennio Flaiano and to consider himself a young man who has turned four times twenty. From the center of his works, this incandescent ardor is revealed to us as the secret of his infinite and continuous youth.
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