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  • 04 Feb 2015
  • Restored “Alchemy” by Jackson Pollock comes to new life and goes on show in Venice

    Eliana Di Caro
  • With its 4.6 kg of paint and 19 different colors on a thin pictorial surface, “Alchemy” by Jackson Pollock (1912-1956) has come to new life. After undergoing a one-year long restoration at the Opificio delle Pietre Dure (Hard Stone Factory) in Florence, the painting will be on display in Venice, at the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, from February 14 to April 6.

    The exhibition is entitled “Alchimia. Viaggio all’interno della materia” (Ed’s note: Alchemy. Voyage inside the Matter). The event will be followed by two other arts shows: Murale (Ed’s note: Mural), also by Pollock, and the first retrospective show ever dedicated to his brother Charles.

    The three events were presented yesterday at Il Sole 24 Ore headquarters in Milan in the presence, among others, of Philip Rylands, director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection which owns the painting, the curator of the Alchemy exhibition Luciano Pensabene Buemi, the deputy director of the Opificio, Cecilia Frosinini, and the editor-in-chief of Il Sole 24 Ore, Roberto Napoletano.

    “Peggy Guggenheim discovered Jackson Pollock’s talent and launched him on the arts scene. She considered him as the greatest artist of his generation,” said Rylands, speaking about the origins of the project.

    The second exhibition, from April 23 until November 9, will be dedicated to Mural, the largest painting ever created by the American artist. Dating back to 1943, the six-meter long artwork was “commissioned by Peggy for her apartment in New York when the artist was still unknown,” Rylands said.

    Frosinini explained that the Opificio traditionally preserves classic artworks. “Behind Alchemy there was Leonardo da Vinci,” she said. “One day the team worked on Pollock, and another day the same team focused on Leonardo. For us it was an important opportunity to think about our work. At the end of the restoration work, we realised how Pollock was much more rational and complex. We learn through restoration, we enter the artist’s mind,” Frosinini said.

    Pensabene praised the teamwork of the Opificio. “Chemists, physicists, biologists, researchers coming from Pisa, Perugia, Roma, Torino, more than 50 different professional and scientific figures worked on Alchemy for more than 12 months,” he said.

    For a sensorial experience, visitors will be able to “touch” the artwork through a multimedia installation with videos, 3D reproductions, touch screens, interactive tools, documents and historic items.

    (”Alchimia. Viaggio all’interno della materia”, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni Venezia, from February 14 to April 6).