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'Jodice Canova' exhibition opens in Hong Kong
Portal of the Italian language

‘Jodice Canova’ exhibition opens in Hong Kong

Categories: Culture and creativity -Visual Arts
Two eras and two great artists who together crystallise art's capacity to be eternally emotional.
Photo by Felix S.C. Wong
Photo by Felix S.C. Wong

In 2020, in conjunction with the celebrations for the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Italy and China, the Italy-China Year of Culture and Tourism was announced and finally takes place in 2022, postponed by the pandemic. 2022 also marks the 200th anniversary of Italian Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova’s (1757 – 1822) death.  For this occasion, Novalis Art Design is delighted to host the travelling exhibition ‘Jodice Canova‘, organized by the Italian Cultural Institute in Hong Kong, after various stops in Bassano del Grappa, Milan, Arezzo, Mexico City and San Marino, which will then travel to Shanghai later this year.

‘Jodice Canova’ puts in dialogue two Italian artists from different eras: one of the greatest sculptors of the European Neoclassicism and one of the major interpreters of Italian and International contemporary photography; a union that combines the ideal and real, body and soul, matter and image.

Mimmo Jodice interprets 17 sculptures of Canova with 52 shots, four or five of which dedicated to each work of art. He selects glimpses, points of view, keeping a scale of 1:1 between the sculptural detail in focus and the dimension of the photographic print. He searches for a visceral connection with Canova, with his vision, his creative process and in approaching the sculptures he revives the natural body, he exalts the softness of the flesh, bringing them back to life. Jodice recounts in an interview an aspect about Canova that had particularly fascinated him:

when the artist presented the finished works to his commissioners, it is said he would do it in the dark and with just the light of a candle he would trace the shapes of the sculptures, exalting their natural beauty. In the same way Jodice tries to return this close-up vision and the “carnal” to the spectator, with a masterful placement of light sources and an attentive research of chiaroscuro tones («Rai News», 2018).

Canova in his works tries to achieve the absolute idea of  ‘Beautiful’, conceived according to the Neoclassical principles of pure form, devoid of any type of passion, torment and excess. Jodice through his pictures not only manages to repropose this ecstatic tension, the beauty and lightness of the characters, but he emphasizes these elements by focusing on some features and zooming in on the faces, breathing new life into the works of art and making them very contemporary. In the choice of details Jodice does not look for beauty as much as the intensity: as he writes

I don’t have any credible notion of beauty. It’s the least of my problems to get to know something because it is beautiful. The aim of my job is the intensity. It’s from here that emotion flows. I don’t know other genuine routes” (interview for «Repubblica», 2016).

In the photographs, the works of Jodice and Canova really become a duo, a pairing and mirroring of two great artists that together crystallize the ability of art to be eternally emotional.

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