Mortalia Dement

7 May 2019 - 21 May 2019

Palazzo Martinengo, Venice, IT

Mortalia Dement - the MLB exhibition in the spectacular Palazzo Martinengo, for the Venice Biennale: from Op de Beeck to Masuyama

The MLB Maria Livia Brunelli Gallery (Ferrara, Porto Cervo) exhibits at the Venice Biennale in a spectacular location, Palazzo Martinengo in the Dorsoduro area, formerly the family home of the painter Mariano Fortuny, where the artist lived and had his atelier from 1889 to 1899, the date on which he purchased Palazzo Pesaro Orfei, the current Fortuny Museum. Moving from Paris, where his family frequented a creative international environment, Fortuny found relief from allergies and asthma in Venice. He became a noted painter, photographer, set designer and textile expert, and made his palace a museum full of collections of ceramics, armor, fabrics, carpets, paintings and engravings, as evidenced by the period photographs. This fascinating former atelier is now home to the Maria Livia Brunelli Gallery MLB from 7 May to 21 May,

The three salons that overlook the Grand Canal host the works and installations of five artists, from some of the most recognized names in the art world to emerging young talents of international scope.

The extraordinary light boxes by Hiroyuki Masuyama dedicated to the four seasons emerge from the shadows filling the room with surprising floral colors: the artist has photographed the same place for a whole season every day, to then digitally superimpose all the images. The bright photographs are therefore the result of a superposition of hundreds of digital photographs, a work of great meticulousness inspired by the seasons of nature and the passing of time. Masuyama exhibits in parallel in the exhibition " After JMW Turner 1834–2019 ", organized by Studio La Città in the new GAD-Giudecca Art District space on the Giudecca island.

A spectacular still life by Hans Op de Beeck , in monochrome gray, welcomes the visitor to a symbolic dinner in the main hall overlooking the Grand Canal: an allusion to the classic paintings of seventeenth-century vanitas, with plants, bottles, fruit, skulls, but also cigarettes, cell phones and candelabras, in a wise contamination of current and classic. The sculptural versions of the art of the taxidermist form united compositions that represent our current environment, certainly, but they also function as "memento mori", reminding us of the transitory nature of human existence.

Bertozzi & Casoni present refined ceramic works that express the sense of transience with incredible realism. The subjects, often unsightly or unlikely, destabilize the judgment for the preciousness of the material and the undoubted mastery of their workmanship. The large blue “ Waiting ” mandala is made up of first aid kits which, open, reveal a sky-blue vault crossed by snails, a symbol since antiquity of harmony and resurrection, while a barrel of oil with a greater veil placed on the edge becomes an inverted concept of ready made , a waste object that taken from the real and made of ceramic takes on the value of an aesthetic object.
The accumulation of bones called " Marvelous bone" On top of which a skull of Big Horn is placed is ideally a memento mori that extends its hand to the custom that still exists in some areas of Italy where traditionally the bones of the ancestors are cleaned by making contact with them to exorcise the fear of death.

Ketty Tagliatti has composed a great site specific installationin the shape of a rose, disseminating directly on the wall hundreds of female anti-aging cosmetics covered with infinite patience of red thread. The work, which required the artist ten years of work, alludes to the delicate phase of menopause exorcising, through the repetitiveness of the obsessive performative gesture, the fear of women of "fading". The union of the red points composed by these objects creates the vision of the petals of the rose, represented at the moment of maximum flowering, which precedes its withering. The same concept is found in the incredible tapestry that reveals a camellia composed of thousands of pins cleverly woven together in order to lift the canvas and create the scrolls of the flower: allusion to the patience of the female universe, capable of transforming even an insidious accumulation of pins into beauty. An art, that of Ketty Tagliatti, which starts from spatialist matrices to then penetrate the terrain of performance, so much so that the artist accompanies the slow realization of his works with silent litanies linked to his childhood.

Finally, Matteo Valerio , a thirty-year-old “ new talent ” from the prestigious Saint Martins in London, represented in Italy by MLB, has specially created installations and sculptures in fabric he sewed by hand and colored with vegetable dyes inspired by the flowers that were once used to create the oil colors of Venetian paintings. A tribute to the era of construction of the building that houses the exhibition, which was bought by the grandmother of the current owner, Countess Ina Nani Mocenigo. It was she who suggested the title of the exhibition, " Mortalia Dement", motto of the Mocenigo family. The Marquise Maria Giuseppina Sordi wrote a presentation text for the exhibition illustrating the close link between the works on display and the family motto linked to the history of the building.

The artists' works have as their common thread the theme of the memento mori linked to the vegetable and floral component, but also that of the beauty of every season of life, because, as Gabriele d'Annunzio claimed, who frequented the same environments as Mariano Fortuny in those years, "the rose that is about to fade unleashes its intensity and beauty to the maximum". The rose is one of the symbols of the exhibition: one side is linked to the history of Venice, on the other it was the favorite flower of Peggy Guggenheim, in homage to the two most significant buildings in the history of Venetian art near Palazzo Martinengo, the Gallery of Palazzo Cini and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

The exhibition avails itself of the precious collaboration of the Studio La Città (Verona), Galleria Continua (San Gimignano, Beijing, Les Moulins, Habana) galleries and of the well-known collector and gallery owner Gian Enzo Sperone (Switzerland); opens with a preview on invitation on May 7th at 6pm (preview for brunch print at 1pm) and will be open every day until May 21st from 3pm to 7pm or by appointment. From 7 to 14 May the main hall of the building overlooking the Grand Canal will host seven dinners reserved only for seven people who will be invited to participate in a culinary performance in which the chefs will interpret the works of the artists through small and refined edible sculptures exposed (for info: ).