Still life: the meditative scenography by Michael Anastassiades for the Cyprus pavilion



Still life: the meditative scenography by Michael Anastassiades for the Cyprus pavilion

From the floating boathouse by Michael Beutler to the immersive installation of Venetian glass by Loris Gréaud, the intersections between the spheres of art and design are not uncommon at the Venice Biennale. Example: the Cyprus pavilion, which presents the art of Polys Peslikas, in a setting imagined by the London designer Michael Anastassiades.

Organized by contemporary art critic Jan Verwoert, the exhibition takes the history of color as a starting point, analyzing the central role of Cyprus in the exchange of pigments across Asia and the Mediterranean. Verwoert focuses on this East / West notion, an increasingly important political subject in modern times.

“Rejecting the false securities of catastrophic thought”, explains the curator, “the exhibition pays homage to the vibrant insecurities of life and the trade of ideas, via painting and its sister arts”.

Installation view of “The Future of Color” at the Cyprus Pavilion

Housed in the Associazione Culturale Spiazzi in Venice, the pavilion presents paintings by Pselikas (alongside works by the artist collective Neoterismoi Toumazou and ceramist Valentinos Charalambous), large canvases depicting semi-abstract anthropomorphic figures in a pastel palette .

Anastassiades, from Cyprus, was called in to oversee the design of the exhibit and provide furniture for the space. Facing a Venetian canal, the uncluttered space served as a blank canvas for the designer, who added a series of white walls to punctuate the building’s original raw elements.

“I designed the pavilion to optimize the experience of viewing paintings,” explains the designer. “By minimizing architectural noise, I wanted to offer a space to contemplate in this unique location by the canal.

Anastassiades also designed a discreet series of stone benches, scattered around the place. The designer notes: “The result is a very meditative environment reflecting the depth of the works.


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