By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
For Mexican artist Bosco Sodi, when it comes to designing sculptures, it’s all about the ball.
That fact was made abundantly apparent in his new exhibit “What Goes Around, Comes Around,” which opened at Italy’s Vendramin Grimani Palace in Venice on Wednesday, April 20.
Composed of 36 works, including paintings, sculptures and a 195-clay-sphere installation, the collection will remain on exhibit in the Italian city through Nov. 27.
Many of the pieces in the collection were constructed in situ by Sodi, who spent more than two months in Venice preparing the show, which is part of the official collateral program of the 59th Edition of the Venice Art Biennale.
“The experience was extremely enriching,” he said. “The result is a collection of large-format works imbued with the essence of both the Palace and Venice. This was the culmination of more than 20 years of hard work, and I am very proud and happy with what we have achieved.”
Italian curators Daniela Ferreti and Dakin Hart worked closely with the Mexican artist, following his creative process and the making of the four canvases designed on the ground floor of the palace, which was adapted as Bosco’s artistic studio.
The new collection displays the hallmarks of the Mexico City-born artist’s usual techniques, in which he mixes natural materials such as sawdust, cellulose paste and the highly distinguished red pigment of cochineal insects from Oaxaca.
The rough and intensely colored surfaces, typical of Sodi, contrast dramatically with the monumental and neoclassical spaces of the Vendramin Grimani Palace.
The installation, titled “Noi Siamo Uno” (“We Are All One”), is made up of a large-format clay sphere and 195 smaller ones around it. Each of the spheres — molded, dried and baked in Mexico — represents one of the 195 known nation-states on Earth, while the largest sphere represents humanity, Sodi explained.
During the exhibition, each visitor is able to move one of the spheres from one point to another, giving the collection an organic nature and a sense of mobility. On the last day of the exhibition, visitors will be able to take one of the spheres home, thus completing a new, although still enigmatic, circuit of exchange, he said. The exhibition has a printed catalog and can be visited virtually on the Grimani Palace website.