Saturday, May 28, 2011

Venice Part 3: Modern art and performance art

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is housed in a little one storey Venician palace not far from our hotel.  It was supposed to be as big and grand as the palace it faces across the Grand Canal but for an unknown and much speculated reason (possibly the neighbours' influence in 18th century circles) it never got higher than the basement and ground floor.  Many many years later Peggy moved in and started to amass her collection around her.

From the street side you enter a little courtyard full of sculpture and statues,
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And then some more modern glass and mirrors

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I don't have a photo of my favourite; a wishing tree where wishes were written on little pieces of paper and hung off the branches. There were wishes for world peace, wishes for happiness, and wishes from all over the world. My wish was a little closer to home (I'm not telling or it won't come true).

Inside the rooms were cool and plainly decorated to show off the art to its best advantage.

I'm fairly picky about modern art so I skipped a few rooms that didn't have anything to hold me and lingered more in others. There's no photography allowed inside the rooms so these photos are borrowed with thanks from the Peggy Guggenheim website and the links underneath each will take you to the appropriate page.

Agostino Bonalumi's Black

(here) is one that I just wanted to get inside and have a good look at to see if it's really concave or whether it's just an illusion (it's concave and it moves around the room with you).

Lucio Fontana Spacial Concept

(here) which I spent ages staring at to decide whether the black is a painted stripe or a slit in the canvas.  Conclusion: a slit. I know that seeing it just as a picture you think 'oh anyone could do that, how can it be classed as art' but in the flesh there's something more to it; it's a very engaging piece of art if it was simply an artist's tantrum.

Hundertwasser Shelter
(here), the inspiration for a whole line of Regia yarn

Jackson Pollock Alchemy

(here) I've loved Jackson Pollock from afar for years but this was the first time I'd come face to face and it was completely wonderful. I could have spent hours looking at them, close up, far away, somewhere in the middle.

The photos are good but nothing can really convey the texture; it's chewy and thick and you just want to dig your fingers in and squish it. It's no wonder they've got all of them under glass.

I'm not sure what Kitty made of modern art; she liked the ones with bright colours and then she went for a little snooze in her carrier until we ended up back in the shop where she woke up to be petted and cooed over by the shop assistants.

And while she napped away the heat of each afternoon, I sat on our balconey and knit:
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I finished a little cardigan while we were there, and it's since gained some buttons and had a gentle block. Kitty had three new cardigans that need a photoshoot so I'll have to hope the sun's shining next time she's in an amenable mood.
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It was sunny every day until the last day when after we came back from our early morning trip to Piazza San Marco when the heavens opened, and there was a sudden need for brollies.
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H bought me a lovely red umbrella with little white hearts and a white frill and I loved it unreservedly. I twirled and sang singing in the rain and it was big enough to keep Kitty and I nice and dry all the way to her toes.
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It was too big to fit in the suitcase so we had to leave it in Italy and I was quite sad. H has promised me a replacement but I've got to do some serious research to find a proper replacement.

And now, to round off my picture tour to Venice I have one more photo. You see cruise ships come to Venice, towed in tightly fore and aft, rounding past San Giorgio Maggiori and down the Zattere to the sea port, and well, they're just a little disproportionate:

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1 comment:

  1. Fabulous post. Thank you for showing us parts of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, it must have been fascinating. I would love to see it. Great cardi for Kitty, and Oh that umbrella, how could you leave it behind, it was gorgeous, I hope you find a replacement soon, (especially if your going to come to knitting on a rainy day!)


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