The Metamorphosis of Space

Presenting the multiform, complex artistic career of the famous Spanish architect and engineer Santiago Calatrava, the exhibition named ‘Le metamorfosi dello spacio’ (The Metamorphosis of Space) formerly took place at Braccio di Carlo Magno, Italy in 2014.

The exhibition, sponsored by the Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Council for Culture, was curated by Micol Forti (Curator of the Collection of Contemporary Art of the Vatican Museums), which presents a collection of approximately 140 works of art to the public, showing the artistic productions of the famous architect.

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

Nucleus of the architectonic models were flanked not only by preparatory studies, but also by water colours which had separate origins, as well as a rich anthology of sculptures, both monumental and more reduced formats, in bronze, marble, alabaster and wood. The criteria binding works seemingly belonging to different artistic genres led the viewer to observe the diverse levels of possibility of reading architectonic volumes, from the vision of space to the forms that were the heart of Calatrava‘s work.

The combination of works pertaining to different artistic codes, although closely related, directs the observer’s gaze to different levels of interpretation of the architectural volumes, and of the vision of space and shapes, typical characteristics of Calatrava’s artistic path.

The selected core of architectural models is accompanied by the corresponding preparatory studies which were generated by a creative inspiration completely independent from the genesis of the same projects.

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

The models for architectural projects all over the world were exhibited including the Greek-Orthodox St. Nicholas Church, New York, the Path Terminal from the new World Trade Center, designed for Ground Zero, the project of the Palasportdell’ Università di Tor Vergata, Rome, models of the Towers di Malmö and of Chicago, of the Opera House, Tenerife, the bridges of Venice, Buenos Aires, Jerusalem, the audacious project for the completion of the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, New York and for the Los Angeles Chapel, dedicated to Fr Junipero, Franciscan brother sent in 1767 to the missions of the ‘Baja California’.

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

Courtesy of Santiago Calatrava

The protagonist of the exhibition was a movement in space, which opened, as petals of a flower, the joints that make the two vortex columns in bronze, modified the chromatic aspects of the Moving Painting, and overhung the emptiness of the bridge of Buenos Aires. It was a visionary movement, and not for this any less true, within the threading of the amassed bulls’ horns or in the dry branches of wood without light or body that made physical, psychological and spiritual spaces with their movements.

Exhibition Information:

Title : Le metamorfosi dello spacio (The Metamorphosis of Space)
Architect : Santiago Calatrava
Location : Braccio di Carlo Magno, St. Peter’s, The Vatican, Rome, Italy
Duration : 5 December 2013 – 20 February 2014
Sponsor : Vatican Museums and the Pontifical Council for Culture
Cu-ration : Micol Forti

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