Exhibition of Igor Mitoraj in Pompeii
Pompeii is a famous destination throughout the world and one of the most significant proofs of Roman civilization. It provides outstanding information on the art, customs, trades and everyday life of the past. No doubt, it is the perfect place to take a sightseeing tour enjoying the wonders that the Greek and Roman cultures have left us! And it is a perfect place for everyone who loves history and wants to do a walking tour in a suggestive and unique atmosphere.
To give greater prominence to its beauty, a new monumental exhibition has been recently scheduled in the Pompeii excavations until the 8th of January 2017 that will bring to the attention the works of Franco-Polish artist Igor Mitoraj, who passed away a short time ago. The artist was born on the 26th of March 1944 and he died on the 6th of October 2014 and, towards the end of his life, Mitoraj divided his time between Italy and Poland, where he was laden with awards, from the Vittorio De Sica prize of 2001 to an honorary degree from the Kraków Academy in 2007 and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, conferred two years ago.
The symbolic potential of Mitoraj’s art made it ideal for religious commissions, which included two sets of bronze doors – at the Basilica di Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri in Rome in 2006 and, three years later, at the Jesuit church of Matka Boża Łaskawa in Warsaw.
But to realize an exhibition in Pompeii was the main dream of Mitoraj in his last years and to do this right now in the ruins has been the best way to honor his memory. Moreover, the exhibition arrives in Campania after his success in the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento and in the Trajan’s Forum in Rome.
The exhibition consists of 28 bronze sculptures that will be placed in different areas of the archaeological excavations, from the Sanctuary of Venus to the Forum, from the Stabian Baths to the portico of the Theatres. In particular, the grand statue of Daedulus will stand amongst the sacred Temple of Venus, whilst the figure of Ikaria, imagined by Mitoraj as the sister of Icarus and Daedulas, will be placed within the Temple of Isis. Such strategic placement of the sculptures are the result of the artistic direction of Luca Pizzi, who worked with Mitoraj as his assistant on the creation of his works for 20 years.
The elegant sculptural characters, inspired by the iconology of classical myths and legends, will coexist with the architecture of ancient Pompeii in a perfect marriage between modern and ancient culture. Through the suggestion of the lost and undiscovered, Mitoraj's work has always embodied a sense of the theatrical, a quality most likely attributed to his early training at the Krakow Academy of Art under Tadeusz Kantor, a noted playwright and artist. As Mitoraj himself described "my art is an example of this dichotomy: mesmerizing perfection attached to corrupted imperfection".
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