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Museum of 18th Century Venice Ca Rezzonico Presents Barry X Ball Portraits and Masterpieces

The Museum of 18th Century Venice Ca Rezzonico resents Barry X Ball Portraits and Masterpieces, on view 4 June–11 September 2011.

In conjunction with the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Ca’ Rezzonico presents Portraits and Masterpieces, a solo show of American sculptor Barry X Ball, curated by Dr. Laura Mattioli. Ball’s work incorporates both the traditional and the contemporary, directly engaging the history of art while stretching the boundaries of technique.

Barry X Ball, “Envy,” 2008–2010. Golden Honeycomb Calcite, 22 x 17-1/4 x 9-1/2 inches. Private Collection, Basel, Switzerland. Barry X Ball, “Purity”, 2008–2009. Golden Honeycomb Calcite, 24 x 16-1/2 x 11-1/4 inches. Private Collection, London, UK. Sala del Trono, Ca’ Rezzonico. Photo Francesco Allegretto.

In his recent work, Ball reinvigorates the age-old tradition of figurative stone sculpture through the use of unconventional stones and methods. He employs a complex array of equipment and procedures to realize his sculptures, ranging from the cutting edge to the traditional, from 3-dimensional scanning, virtual modeling, and computer-controlled milling to hyper detailed hand carving and polishing. Ball’s sculptures, although paying reverent homage to their historical antecedents, are completely new.

Portraits and Masterpieces will be the largest exhibition of the artist’s work to date, with 24 sculptures loaned from collections in the U.S. and Europe installed in 19 rooms on three floors. The sculptures have been carefully selected to interact with particular Ca’ Rezzonico room environments, creating a lush progression of site-specific installations. Two of the works in the exhibition, Purity and Envy, were inspired by the Baroque-era sculptures in the permanent collection of the museum: Antonio Corradini’s Dama Velata and Giusto Le Court’s La Invidia. Also included will be the artist’s monumental Sleeping Hermaphrodite (realized with the cooperation of the Musée du Louvre in Paris), a selection of his portrait sculptures, and three works from his Scholars’ Rocks series.

An accompanying book, published by Charta Editions of Milan, will include photographs of Ball’s sculptures at Ca’ Rezzonico, an interview, and essays by several leading international scholars and critics including Jean-Pierre Criqui, Mario Diacono, Elena Forin, Laura Mattioli, Bob Nickas, Gianluca Poldi, and Giandomenico Romanelli.

Ca’ Rezzonico is located at Dorsoduro 3136, 30123 Venice – vaporetto stop Ca’ Rezzonico.

Artist Biography
Barry X Ball was born in 1955 in Pasadena, CA and lives and works in New York. His work can be found in the collections of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Norton Museum of Art, The Maramotti Collection, Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall, The Berlingieri Collection, The Olbricht Collection, and The Panza Collection, among others. Solo museum exhibitions of his work have been held at SITE Santa Fe in New Mexico (2007), PS1 in New York (2004), Le Printemps de Septembre in Toulouse, France (2004), Magasin 3 Stockholm Konsthall in Sweden (1993), and Domaine de Kerguéhennec in Bignan, France (1990). He is represented by Sperone Westwater in New York, Galleria Michela Rizzo in Venice, and Galerie Nathalie Obadia in Paris.

Exhibition Support
This exhibition has received generous support from Mihail S. Lari and Scott E. Murray, Roberto and Mary Ellen Marziale, Jerome L. and Ellen Stern, TOR ART & C. s.n.c., Zane Bennett Contemporary Art, and an anonymous donor.

Additional support has been provided by Dudley and Michael Del Balso, Bobbie Foshay, Jerry and Linda Janger, Nancy and Robert Magoon, Unocad s.r.l., and anonymous donors

Museum of 18th Century Venice, Ca’ Rezzonico
Collateral Event of the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia
Dorsoduro 3136, Venice

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