Perspectives the luminously beautiful art work created by leading minimalist designer John Pawson for Swarovski, opens as a collateral event of the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia on 1st June 2013, at the 16th Century Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore, one of the most powerful examples of Palladian architecture.
The installation, which uses the largest Swarovski lens ever made, is the first ever Swarovski official collateral event at la Biennale di Venezia.
The newly-established Swarovski Foundation is working in close collaboration with the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore and will provide a financial donation enabling the restoration of the statue of San Giorgio, which stands on top of the dome of the church. This restoration will help ensure that the 16th Century Basilica is preserved as one of the key examples of Palladian architecture in the city of Venice.
It will be the first donation made by the new Swarovski Foundation, in line with its mission to support creativity and culture. The Foundation will demonstrate its commitment to promote artistic inspiration in creative industries including art, design, fashion, theatre and film, in a natural extension of the collaborations that Swarovski creates with established and emerging designers such as Ron Arad, Zaha Hadid, Gaetano Pesce, Tom Dixon, Ross Lovegrove, Tord Boontje, Piero Lissoni, Fernando & Humberto Campana, Karl Lagerfeld, Christian Lacroix, Mary Katrantzou, Marios Schwab and Giles Deacon.
Perspectives will be placed beneath the central cupola in the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore, providing visitors with architectural perspectives beyond the range of the naked eye, thereby inviting them to look at and appreciate Palladio’s glorious 16th century Benedictine church with fresh eyes.
The spectacular reflective work was first installed in the Geometric Staircase of St Paul’s Cathedral for the 2011 London Design Festival. The move to Venice is in homage to the genius of Palladio, the greatest architect of the Italian Renaissance, and will create a dramatic optical experience that depends on material simplicity and complex combinations of light, space and proportion to reveal the Basilica in a new way.
John Pawson commented: “I am delighted that Perspectives is being shown as a collateral event at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. I am also honoured to be collaborating on the Swarovski Foundation’s inaugural project. The focus of the work has never been about the physical piece itself, so much as how this object enables people to see in a different way. The Basilica of San Giorgio Maggiore is an immensely complex spatial environment. The temptation is to try to take in everything. This is about offering viewers a dynamic visual experience of Palladio’s architecture, based around a single, sharply honed perspective.”
Nadja Swarovski, Member of Swarovski’s Executive Board and Chair of the Swarovski Foundation’s board of Directors, commented: “It is an honour to participate as a collateral event at the 55th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia for the first time, and we are proud to collaborate once again with John Pawson. A master of minimalism, his simple but magical piece pays eloquent tribute to the complex majesty of the Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore and to Palladio’s creative genius. This is a truly inspirational debut project for the Swarovski Foundation in its mission to foster creativity and contribute to culture and design. ”