In Venice Caterina Tognon Arte Contemporanea presents the first Italian ‘personal’ exhibition of Vaclav Cigler, a Bohemian artist born in 1929, living and working in Prague.
‘Cigler’s work is devoted entirely to the creation of a unique relationship between architecture and sculpture, which are conjugated in his works through the presence of glass,’ says the curator Caterina Tognon. ‘Though centuries old, in the artist’s work optical crystal becomes an innovative element used to produce new and complex creations. Signs that are as decisive and intense as they are sharp and minimal connote Cigler’s geometric and conceptual work, concealing the complex scientific and technological research behind each of his pieces. The result is that of precious and mysterious, cold and ethereal structures that, through the optical effects of transparency and depth or combined and juxtaposed vitreous masses, lead to a meditative dimension and a mystical tension.’ The exhibition takes you on an itinerary that acts as a dialogue between the artist and the different spaces and settings: from the gallery overlooking a Venetian square to the large silent spaces of a historical palace, to the spacious and sunny garden on the Grand Canal.
In the gallery in Campo San Maurizio are the preliminary models: small and medium-sized sculptures, studies of primitive and absolute forms or geometries connected to the dimension of transparency, typical of optical glass. Complete study elements, albeit in small dimensions, that are the basis of large-scale architecture and sculpture.
Not far from the gallery, the ample spaces of the seventeenth-century Palazzo del Doge da Ponte have been transformed by the exactitude of the artist into a place of meditation: the water shimmering in a well, the large forms of the installation ‘Un Fiore per Da Ponte’ in the salon on the piano nobile and the sound complementing them; all of this leads us naturally towards silence and concentration.
And then, on leaving the shadows of the palace, out in the open and heading towards the Grand Canal, you come to Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti, the spectacular neo-Gothic headquarters of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere e Arti next to Accademia Bridge. In the garden situated on the water, the artist has arranged four long, elegant and supple metal and glass spears inside of which is a virtual space-tent. Spears - or feathers, as the artist calls them - which vibrate and gently sway in the wind, reflecting all the colours of the rainbow as the light hits them.