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Cybele Varela - Ad Sidera, per Athanasius Kircher Opens at Naples National Library
Cyble Varela, San Gennaro, digital print, 2008.

NAPLES, ITALY.- Naples’s National Library presents the exhibition Cyble Varela – Ad Sidera, per Athanasius Kircher, on view through October 24, . Dedicated to the polymath Athanasius Kircher (1602-1680), one of the first to have studied the Vesuvius, this show is part of a wider project created by the artist Cyble Varela, which will exclusively be shown in some of Italy’s most prestigious historical libraries.

Ad Sidera was first presented in Rome, in March 2008, in the monumental Crociera, headquarters of the Study of the Collegio Romano and former Museum Kircherianum. It now reaches the celebrated spaces of the National Library at Palazzo Reale, Naples.

The exhibition includes paintings, photographs and sculptures, some of which created exclusively for the Neapolitan venue, such as the canvas Greetings from Naples (2008). Varela’s colored and poetic images inhabit the Library and offer the viewer an unusual dialogue between Kircher, Vesuvius and History.

The event is placed under the patronage of the Italian Ministry for Cultural Heritage and Activities, the Soprintendenza for Neapolitan Museums, Province of Naples, City of Naples, National Institute of Roman Studies and the Academy Angelica Costantiniana.

Cyble Varela began her career in early 1960s Brazil, where she was born in 1943. In her earliest paintings and sculptures she developed a critical and often ironical appreciation of urban life, which was much influenced by American Pop art and was part of a local movement called Tropicalism. In 1968, Varela moved to Paris and began focusing on the self-reflective representation of Nature, in a series of paintings, photographs and video called “Images”. This research, through which she questioned the ambiguous representation of appearance, fitted in the Figuration narrative wave. It progressively evolved into a geometrical construction of space, which was carried on after she moved to Switzerland in the 1980s. As from 2000, Varela’s paintings shifted towards pop surrealism, while in her installations, she started developing site-specific projects, closely related to the historical places and art collections. Recent major solo exhibitions include “Surroundings”, at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Rio de Janeiro (2003) and at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Sao Paulo (2005). Her works has been presented in important international exhibitions and is part of several International public collections, such as the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the MASP in Sao Paulo or the Art Museum of the Americas in Washington DC.

Catalogue Gangemi Press, English/Italian. Foreword by Paolo Portoghesi, texts by Mauro Giancaspro, Eugenio Lo Sardo, Alessandro Orlandi, Francesco Sissini, and Salvatore Enrico Anselmi.

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