Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Reflections of Heaven in Palazzo Loredan

Every time I happen into Palazzo Loredan, the beautiful exhibition space of the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti located on Campo Santo Stefano, I always see something that makes me wonder why I don't make a point of visiting the place more often.

The palazzo itself is worth a visit (especially considering one can do so free of charge), and until April 19 you can see the exhibition Within Light/Inside Glass (http://www.glass-light.org/), the latest in a series of exhibitions there that stand out for the inspired interplay between the art on display and the rooms in which they're located (or for which they've specifically been created).

The work pictured above and below is "Room of Angels, 2015" by the Finnish artist Anna-Lea Kopperi, in which the pavimento veneziano of the palace's rear stuccoed room is mostly covered by irregularly-shaped pieces of recycled glass. The original pavimento of the floor mimicked in its mosaic design the painting on the room's ceiling, but Kopperi's site-specific work quite literally mirrors the ceiling, creating a new kind of mosaic that both reflects the ceiling more accurately than the original stone floor and provides an entirely different sense of it--even as it also evokes the reflective qualities and movement of the water in the city's famous canals and lagoon.

And it's just one of a number of works on display by an array of international artists that are worth a look.


  1. Great Blog!
    Spend some hours here yesterday evening. It's really hard to find useful Information beside the regular tourist locations. I'm going on Venice for a day trip and would love to visit some "special places" and getting really tired of always getting the same results for stuff like islands I won't be able to get to.
    May you could write me if you have the time! I would be really interested in some useful information!
    Contact me here: roach@mail.austria.com

    Thanks and go on! This blog is awesome!
    Best wishes,

    1. Thanks very much, Roach, but I'm afraid I haven't been able to find the time to write to you in response to your questions, much as I might like to. I have a hard enough time keeping up with the blog as it is. And I'm also afraid that I wouldn't even know where to begin when it comes to advising people on what to see on a day trip to the city. Especially as part of me is inclined during the high season to question whether a day trip to Venice--unless one arrives very early in the morning, or stays late into the night, before or after the great masses of tour groups have arrived or left, respectively--is even worth making. I suspect that most people who come to Venice at such times are likely to be disappointed, and probably frustrated, unless they have a high tolerance for huge crowds and long lines.

      For those planning to spend a few hours in the city during the high season (or, really, at any other time), I'm afraid there are really no true "secrets" to divulge. The church of San Marco, for example, really is as memorable as people have been saying for centuries and centuries, but the lines to get in and the pace at which people file through it make me wonder how much most people are able to get out of it. And that is the great challenge to any visitor to Venice with limited time in the high season: how to happen upon an experience that strikes a chord with you in such challenging, exhausting and crowded conditions.