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Lesley Foxcroft and Grazia Varisco create original works for Villa Pisani
Lesley Foxcroft, Flight, 2018 Black M.D.F., 40x375x12 cm. Villa Pisani Bonetti, Bagnolo di Lonigo, 2018. Courtesy Associazione Culturale Villa Pisani Contemporary Art, Bagnolo di Lonigo Courtesy A arte Invernizzi, Milan Photo Bruno Bani, Milan.

BAGNOLO DI LONIGO.- The eighth edition of “Contemporary Art at the Villa Pisani” opened on Thursday, 21 June 2018. Every two years, the project invites contemporary artists to devise and create original works for the Villa Pisani Bonetti in Bagnolo di Lonigo in the Vicenza area, a youthful architectural masterpiece by Andrea Palladio.

This year the artists who have been invited to take on the morphological and expressive identity of this location are Lesley Foxcroft and Grazia Varisco, both of whom have chosen to intervene with their works both indoors and out.

The project was first launched in 2007 by Manuela Bedeschi and Carlo Bonetti, the owners of the Villa. The project is coordinated by Luca Massimo Barbero and curated by Francesca Pola, and put on by the Villa Pisani Contemporary Art Association in collaboration with A arte Invernizzi. The works created by the two artists are designed to interact with the place and with the spaces of this family home. This is a private, lived-in world that is not just an exhibition space, but also a place of active and creative memory. In its proactive relationship with its historical identity, it introduces unprecedented forms of experience for the visitor.

The exhibition welcomes the visitor as one would a guest in a home and the park around it: both inside and outside Andrea Palladio’s building, Foxcroft’s and Varisco’s works become an integral part of the place, as do the works created in previous years by the dialogue entered into with these spaces by fourteen other international artists. These include Nelio Sonego and Michel Verjux (2007), Igino Legnaghi and François Morellet (2008), Alan Charlton and Riccardo De Marchi (2009), David Tremlett and Bruno Querci (2010), Arthur Duff and Niele Toroni (2012), Nicola Carrino and Arcangelo Sassolino (2014), and Pino Pinelli and Mauro Staccioli (2016). Some of the works on display still form part of the Villa and its park, designed for and harmoniously inserted into the complex, making the Villa Pisani an active, living place of history in its encounter with the contemporary world.

Two bilingual monographic catalogues of Foxcroft’s and Varisco’s works contain introductions by Manuela Bedeschi and Carlo Bonetti, critical essays by Luca Massimo Barbero and Francesca Pola, bio-bibliographical notes on the artists and illustrations of the works installed at the Villa Pisani.

Villa Pisani in Bagnolo di Lonigo was designed by Andrea Palladio from 1541, upon his return from his first trip to Rome. It was built in 1544 and 1545 and is possibly the most representative work of the early part of his career, marking the beginning of his collaboration with the Republic of Venice. Inspired by the monumentality of Imperial Rome, Villa Pisani asserted the power of Venice on the mainland. The Villa was designed for official receptions but also as a home, and it controlled the surrounding farmland, while its position on the river connected it to the Serenissima for the transport of people and goods. The main façade faces the river, while the rear looks towards the working areas of the complex.

The Barchessa, which is located in the garden, was originally a rustic building with large arched roofs mainly for agricultural purposes. After careful restoration and a complete renovation, it has once again come back to life, preserved and improved for the twenty-first century. It is now an elegant Relais, with large spaces for events and the Osteria del Guà restaurant (

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