“So long as we are in this place we shall not be free from her; it is as if our thoughts must be forever stained by some of her own dark illumination – the preoccupation of a stone woman inherited from a past whose greatest hopes and ideals fell to ruins. Behind and through her the whole idea of Greece glows sadly, like some broken capital, like the shattered pieces of a graceful jar, like the torso of a statue to hope.”
Lawrence Durrell, Reflections on a Marine Venus, 1953
Conceived with the artist, the exhibition “Francesco Vezzoli, Le Lacrime dei poeti” feature a group of about twenty of his recent sculptures, some created especially for Avignon, in dialogue with series of emblematic works by Cy Twombly, Giulio Paolini and Louise Lawler, all influenced by mythology and classicism.
With the grace and the force of a gesture or a word, Cy Twombly’s paintings and drawings evoke antique myths; Giulio Paolini’s collages and installations as conceptual as they are sacred and Louise Lawler’s photos of Greek and Roman sculptures, taken with a touch of irony in the great museums that own them or in the homes of private collectors, are transported here by bold arrangements, or by the very sculptures of Francesco Vezzoli, into a reflection on art history and contemporaneity.
Through the sensitive, unique dialogues with the classical heritage that such radical gestures create, through Francesco Vezzoli’s works consisting of ancient sculptures bought in auction houses for his transformation, rearrangement and completion, it is not only a question of observing how different generations of artists confront the history of art and classical representation, but also of sketching the outlines of the very notion of the contemporary in art. “It is as if this invisible light that is the darkness of the present cast its shadow on the past, so that the past, touched by this shadow, acquired the ability to respond to the darkness of the now.” (Giorgio Agamben, What Is the Contemporary?, 2009)