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Venice Biennale 2011: Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova

Anselm Kiefer and Emilio Vedova explore the development of heightened awareness of human condition at this year's Italian art festival

With last week marking the start of the Venice Bienalle, the Fondazione Emilio e Annabianca Vedova and its curator, Germano Celant, has brought together the works of Anselm Kiefer and Emilio Vedova himself in two separate shows that encourage the viewer to explore the development of heightened human condition.

Germano Celant is one of the leading curators to have shaped the contemporary Italian art scene. His visionary work is still ongoing as senior curator at New York’s Guggenheim museum and Milan’s Prada Foundation, and last year he was voted as the 67th most powerful figure in the art-world by Art Review. He’s synonymous with questioning arts form and purpose, with his roots firmly in the Arte Povera movement he co founded back in 1967, and in this exhibition – facilitating the work of fellow Arte Povera veteran Vedova - the ethos of the movement continues to thrive in a fitting selection of work, past to present. Vedova’s work is displayed in his former gallery where a series of 116 canvases, produced by the artist between 1987 – 1988, forms “ continuum”.

Mostly in black and white, layers of paint and shapes generate a continuous and pure flow of energy. The unfinished nature of his work defies perceptions of time and its effervescent personal mirroring is a moving celebration of the late Vedova. Anslem Kiefer’s installation offers a more literal exploration into this notion. Kiefer delves into the alchemical process in “Salt of the Earth”. With the same objective to evolve personal and spiritual awakening, the artist has used painting, sculpture and lead electrolysis (using salt as both a literal and functional ingredient), as a vehicle to facilitate a journey that seeks to understand the self.

On display until November, the exhibition is a celebration of the purity, lasting relevance and influential legacy of the Arte Povera movement