Emilio Vedova's artistic career began in Venice in the mid-1930s. He immediately felt the deep allure of grand Venetian painting and sculpture and, guided by the restless agitation and dynamic mobility of the baroque, was soon plunged into total and extreme three-dimensional involvement. The work in Emilio Vedova Scultore originates precisely from his feeling of being a living and breathing part of the beloved spaces he encountered along his way, inexhaustible sources of stimuli and incitement, which he transformed into volumetric works of sculpture, architecture, opera and theatre. In his 1958 exhibition in Warsaw, the geometrical work mounted on the ceiling of the Zachenta Palace confirms Vedova's interest in sculpture and his penchant for articulating spatial implications.
This is followed in 1959 in Venice by the L-shaped teleri in the painting/ambient of Palazzo Grassi and then by his opera Intolleranza '60 (Intolerance '60) at the Teatro La Fenice, in collaboration with Luigi Nono. With the Plurimi (1961-1965), foreshadowed by the Rilievi (Reliefs, 1960-1964), Vedova removes the painting from the wall and installs it in the space of a fragmented, intersected set of surfaces somewhere between painting, sculpture and architecture. In Berlin he creates the Plurimi of the Absurdes Berliner Tagebuch '64, which found their natural development a few years later in Spazio/Plurimo/Luce (Space/Plurimo/Light), executed for Expo 1967 in Montreal. In this work, fourteen glass slides produced by the artist on Murano are projected simultaneously up to a height of 16 metres in the asymmetrical space by an equal number of large-format projectors. In 1977-1978, he works on the Plurimi/Binari from his Lacerazione (Laceration) cycle, where sliding, superimposed surfaces and black and white paintings squeezed into massive steel frames create images in continual transformation. In the same period he also dedicates himself to the Frammenti/Schegge (Fragments/Splinters) cycle - precarious, solitary and asymmetrical presences - and to the ... Cosiddetti Carnevali... (... So-called Carnivals...). Lastly, in the 1980s Vedova began his large installations of the Dischi (Discs) and Tondi - refound, vital and aggressive repossessions of space.
This book addresses the artist's entire career as a sculptor and includes a study of his series of models - his way of taking notes in three dimensions - which mark out his tireless daily quest for expression of the total work, towards which Emilio Vedova was inexorably drawn.
Germano Celant has been Director of the Prada Foundation (Milan) since 1995, and Curator of the Aldo Rossi Foundation (Milan) since 2007. In 2008 he was appointed Curator of the Emilio and Annabianca Vedova Foundation (Venice), and in 2009 became head of Art and Architecture at the Triennale di Milano. From 1989 to 2008 he was Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York. Internationally known for his writings on Arte Povera, in 1987 he received the Frank Jewett Mather Award, the most prestigious American prize for art criticism. In 1997 he curated the XLVII Biennale di Venezia. He served as artistic supervisor for “Genoa - European Culture Capital 2004“, curating for that occasion the exhibition “Arti&Architettura, 1900-2000“. He has been a contributing editor at Artforum since 1977 and at Interview since 1991 (both in New York); since October 1999 he has collaborated with the Italian weekly L'Espresso (Rome).