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Leonardo's "Angel in the Flesh" to Make Appearance with Work by Bill Viola
Leonardo da Vinci and Bill Viola’s exhibition concludes the 9th Italian Language Week dedicated to Arts, Science and Technology.
LOS ANGELES, CA.- The controversial drawing the “Angel in the Flesh” (c. 1513-1515), discovered in 1990, will appear in its unique splendor at the Istituto Italiano di Cultura (Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles) December 3-12, 2009. It is a truly historical moment as this is the first time ever that the “Angel in the Flesh” (formerly in the Royal Collection at Windsor Castle) will be shown on the West coast before it returns to Europe. Under the High Patronage of the President of the Republic of Italy and organized in collaboration with the Department of Cultural Affairs of the City of Los Angeles, Leonardo da Vinci and Bill Viola’s exhibition concludes the 9th Italian Language Week dedicated to Arts, Science and Technology.

Drawn with black chalk on rough, blue paper, like many of Leonardo's late anatomy studies in Windsor, the “Angel in the Flesh” is a masterpiece which was the object of scrupulous studies and interpretations by major art historians, psychologists and psychoanalysts.

Also part of the two-week exhibition is Leonardo’s “Theatre Sheet” (c. 1506-1508, from the “Codex Atlanticus”), which includes its two fragments, cut out of it in the late sixteenth century, now next to each other at last. “Theatre Sheet” shows Leonardo as a master in theatrical arts, set design and music.

Installed alongside Leonardo’s works at the Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles will be “The Last Angel,” a work featuring slowmotion imagery of an angelic figure in water by celebrated video artist Bill Viola, who is also part of MOCA’s new 30th Anniversary exhibition. At the private opening night celebration on December 2, 2009 at 6:30 PM noted scholar Carlo Pedretti, Professor Emeritus at UCLA, will discuss the relationship between Leonardo and Pontormo with Bill Viola. The evening will include a special screening of two short films: “The Greeting” by Bill Viola (1995, 10 min.), a powerful contemporary interpretation of Pontormo's “The Visitation” and “Leonardo's Deluge” (1989, 14 min.), a special production by the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Getty Trust, narrated by Anjelica Huston, directed by Mark Whitney and Carlo Pedretti. Carlo Pedretti, prominent Leonardo scholar, will also present his new bilingual book Leonardo da Vinci: The Angel in the Flesh & Salai, his 50th book, which includes 30 essays by the most renowned international scholars on “The Angel in the Flesh.”

On the occasion of this evening, both Pedretti and Viola will receive from the Director of the Italian Cultural Institute, Francesca Valente and the Consul General of Italy, Nicola Faganello, the IIC Lifetime Achievement Award for their outstanding lifelong activity and dedication to art.

The exhibition is free and open to the public December 3-12, 2009 10AM-6PM daily.

Carlo Pedretti
Carlo Pedretti holds honorary doctoral degrees from three major Italian Universities, Ferrara, Milano and Urbino, and from the University of Caen in France. Armand Hammer professor of Leonardo Studies at UCLA since 1985 and now emeritus, is still directing the Hammer Center for Leonardo Studies in its European headquarters at the University of Urbino in Italy. Author of fifty books, including the edition of the monumental corpus of the Leonardo drawings in the Queen’s Collection at Windsor Castle, and more than 700 articles and essays, he is still much active as a scholar and also as a regular contributor to the major Italian newspaper “Corriere della Sera” and to the Vatican “L’Osservatore Romano.” Since 1975 he has been organizing special events as a permanent consultant to the Ministry of Cultural Affairs of the Italian Government and as a life member of the committee for the National Edition of the Manuscripts and Drawings of Leonardo da Vinci. He normally spends six month a year in Los Angeles. With his wife Rossana he has established The Pedretti Foundation for the promotion of Leonardo scholarship in the world with its headquarters at their Villa di Castel Vitoni overlooking Vinci in the heart of Tuscany.

Bill Viola
Bill Viola is internationally recognized as one of today’s leading artists. He has been instrumental in establishing video as a vital form of contemporary art, and in so doing has helped to greatly expand its scope in terms of technology, content, and historical reach. For almost 40 years Viola has created architectural video installations, video films, sound environments, electronic music performances, flat panel video pieces, and works for television broadcast, as well as music concerts, opera, and sacred spaces. His works are shown in museums and galleries worldwide and are found in many distinguished collections. His single channel videotapes have been widely distributed on DVD, while his writings have been extensively published and translated for international readers. This year Viola was presented with the XXI Catalonia International Prize by the Government of Catalonia, Spain. Bill Viola lives and works in Long Beach, California with Kira Perov, his wife and long-time collaborator.

Leonardo da Vinci | Angel in the Flesh | Bill Viola | Italian Cultural Institute of Los Angeles |


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