Packed with museums, galleries and art-filled churches, Venice is a culture lovers’ paradise – especially during the Biennale, when the art spills onto the streets – and even into the canals. We’ve picked three of our favourite outdoor sculptures on view at the moment:
“The Golden Tower” by James Lee Byars: Positioned in Campo San Vio between the Accademia Galleries and Peggy Guggenheim Collection, this 20 metre-high pillar is hard to miss – especially on a sunny day, when its glittering gilded surface reflects in the nearby canal and echoes the golden mosaic façade of the adjacent Palazzo Barbarigo. Conceived by American artist James Lee Byers back in the 1970s, it was intended as a colossal beacon and oracle that would bridge heaven and earth and unify humanity – a contemporary monument surpassing the grandeur of the Lighthouse of Alexandria.
Campo San Vio. On view until 26th November 2017
“The Bathers” by Carole Feuerman: Walking along the waterfront at Riva dei Sette Martiri, you may be surprised to see a group of scantily clad swimmers relaxing in the Marinessa gardens – seemingly drying off after a quick dip in the lagoon. After your first double-take, however, you’ll soon realise that these figures are in fact statues – meticulously created from resin, bronze and marble by hyper-realist sculptor Carole Feuerman. An amusing and arresting installation, highly worth seeking out before the winter chill sends the bathers back inside.
GIardino della Marinessa, Riva dei Sette Martiri. On view until 5th December 2017
“Support” by Lorenzo Quinn: Undoubtedly one of the most striking sights in Venice at the moment, Lorenzo Quinn’s “Support” installation features a giant pair of white hands emerging from the Grand Canal in an apparent attempt to prop up – or perhaps to tear down – the Ca’ Sagredo Hotel.
The sculpture serves as a thought-provoking visual reminder of the rising sea levels caused by global warming; Quinn has commented “Venice is a floating art city that has inspired cultures for centuries. But to continue to do so it needs the support of our generation and future ones, because it is threatened by climate change and time decay.” It’s also a meditation on the two sides of humans – the creative and the destructive – and a reflection on mankind’s ability to change and rebalance the world around us.
Ca’ Sagredo, Campo Santo Sofia, 4198/99. On view until 26th November 2017