Turin, Fabio Viale's sculptures invade the Royal Museums: it's the In Between exhibition

In Turin, Fabio Viale's sculptures invade the Royal Museums and Piazzetta Reale for his solo exhibition "In Between," which also features some previously unseen works.

Fabio Viale ’s sculptures invade Turin’s Royal Museums: from Oct. 14, 2021, to Jan. 9, 2022, the Piedmontese artist’s sculptures are in fact on display in Piazzetta Reale and inside the Royal Palace with the support of Galleria Poggiali, Viale’s gallery of reference. The exhibition, titled In Between, curated by Filippo Masino and Roberto Mastroianni, brings for the first time to the Royal Museums the monumental works of Fabio Viale, who has gained international notoriety thanks to his ability to transform marble.

After a solo show at the Glyptothek Museum in Munich, participation in the Venice Pavilion of the 2019 Biennale, an exhibition at the Pushkin Museum in Moscow, and Truly, an exhibition spread across the city’s landmarks of Pietrasanta in the summer of 2020, Viale also brings to the Piedmontese capital his sculptures based on technical virtuosity and contemporary reinterpretation of classical art forms and themes. Eternal models of beauty and metropolitan tribalism, tradition and innovation, a timeless past and the most current imagery thus meet in an exhibition designed to make the public space and the museum space interact and dialogue. The exhibition is also meant to be an opportunity to account for Viale’s many years of research and poetics, delving into the theme of making techniques within a modern professional sculpture atelier, between traditional knowledge and numerically controlled technologies.

Moreover, with In Between the Royal Museums once again open up to the new languages of contemporary art, but also physically to the city: in fact, the exhibition will be partly freely usable by Turinese and tourists who will be able to admire the series of famous tattooed statues in Piazzetta Reale. The large space in front of the Royal Palace is thus intended to become an urban setting for the monumental works, which, bathed in light, dialogue with the architecture and urban space, staging a portion of our contemporary imagination.

The journey continues inside the Savoy residence with Amore e Psiche, a new work that dominates the Salone delle Guardie Svizzere and replicates Antonio Canova’s neoclassical masterpiece, twisting its reading through the tattooing of the female body with the nuptial motifs of Middle Eastern brides, suggesting a highly topical reflection on the condition of women in the current geopolitical context around the themes of conquest, suffering and salvation. “Cupid and Psyche is a sculpture I had started working on several months ago, for which I had imagined wonderful Japanese tattoos,” the artist says. “But in light of recent events in Afghanistan, I felt that my project needed to change radically to try instead to build a cultural bridge between the West and the Middle East, giving voice to women not only from that country but from many parts of the world. From my point of view, this work represents a great novelty, because it allows me through sculpture to open a window on aspects of our current affairs.”

“Through the keys of wonder, technical virtuosity and creative reinterpretation,” says Enrica Pagella, Director of the Royal Museums, “Fabio Viale’s art prompts us to look with new eyes at the masterpieces of sculpture that populate our museums and our imagination: an arc stretched between past and future, between tradition and present experimentation, a tribute to the multifaceted potential of cultural heritage and an invitation to get to know it and challenge it without prejudice.”

In the Chapel of the Shroud, the public will find Souvenir Pieta (Christ) from 2006, in dialogue with one of the most important and mysterious icons of Christianity. Finally, in the Royal Armory, the original Lorica work is the invention of an old-fashioned pink marble armor, perfectly wearable, made on the basis of a high-resolution three-dimensional scan of the body of the well-known rapper Fedez, who lent himself to a game on the theme of the heroization of the public figure.

“For millennia,” explains curator Filippo Masino, “marble has been transforming what is born humble and transitory into noble and eternal substance, be it a human body, a cloth of fabric or a tuft of acanthus. Thanks to Fabio Viale’s gesture, the vitality of the real re-emerges from the stone surfaces, but not according to the usual metaphors: the decomposition of the statues of the Masters, the rewriting of meanings and the illusion of false materials stimulate our senses and our curiosity, and are at the same time capable of conveying messages of universal value.”

“Fabio Viale’s works,” adds Roberto Mastroianni, “stage a portion of our collective imagination, in a dialectic between classicism and metropolitan tribalism, between innovation tradition, between reality and simulation, capable of delivering us a universal image of the human and its forms. In this intermediate space between the known and the unknown between being and becoming, Fabio Viale explores the eternal value of art and aesthetic praxis, returning with the languages of the contemporary our cultural heritage in a constant dialogue between present and past.”

During December 2021, a second stage of the exhibition will take shape, within the new Royal Antiquities Rooms, which will be dedicated to the series of material fictions: marble becomes wood, plastic, rubber, styrofoam, paper. A comparison/oximory between the Greco-Roman statuary collected by the Savoy family and the experiments that have consolidated Fabio Viale’s global reputation. The exhibition sees as technical sponsors the IREN Group, which provided the lighting for the sculptures in Piazzetta Reale and in the Palace interiors, General Marmi of Collegno, which provided the stone bases for the monumental statuary, and Strategica Group of Milan, which offered insurance coverage for the works.

Turin, Fabio Viale's sculptures invade the Royal Museums: it's the In Between exhibition
Turin, Fabio Viale's sculptures invade the Royal Museums: it's the In Between exhibition

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