PITTSBURGH, PA.- Carnegie Museum of Art presents an otherworldly installation by noted Italian glass artist Maria Grazia Rosin for Forum 62, Maria Grazia Rosin on view March 21June 28, 2009. This immersive installation features 20 illuminated glass chandeliers suspended within an environment that includes sound and video components. The chandeliers, which evoke the forms of both marine and microscopic life, exist in an intra/extraterrestrial world that envelops and disorients the viewer and raises questions about the beginning of creation. Initially trained as a painter in Venice but working in glass since 1992, Rosin is fascinated by science, from marine biology to the physics of black holes, and her interests are manifest in her art.
Rosin brings to us a fascinating universe that is part marine, part outer space and anything our imaginations allow it to be, said Sarah Nichols, guest curator for Forum 62. For Rosin, the latest scientific discoveries not only offer inspiration for new shapes but also fuel her interest in delving back and discovering that first archetype, that first moment in time. In her installations, she wants to re-create the beginning of the universe.
The exhibition is one of a series of Rosins installations titled Gelatine Lux (literally, gelatinous light). Light is an essential part of her work. This is evident in her use of the chandelier form, a quintessential Venetian glass type that goes back to the early 18th century. Using sophisticated LED and fiber-optic lighting, Rosin explodes the traditional chandelier out of its historical box with her innovative and thought-provoking designs.
In addition to the chandeliers resembling otherworldly octopuses, jellyfish, and crab claws, the installation includes sound and video elements; Rosin has described the cumulative effect of these pieces as a seductive sensory machine. The video projection, Black Water Hole, created in collaboration with Andrew Quinn, was informed by Rosins fascination with black holes but in fact generated digitally based on water swirling up through the drains of Venice. Former DJs and electronic sound engineers Visnadi and Camomatic contribute a complex sound component entitled Glass Tongues.
Rosin has been featured in solo exhibitions at the Palazzo Fortuny, Venice (2007); La Galerie Italienne, Paris (2006); Caterina Tognon Arte Contemporanea, Venice (2006); Caffè Florian, Venice (2003); Space Volt et Watt, Paris (2003); Galleria Civica, Cortina dAmpezzo (2001); the Museo Correr, Venice (2000); and Galleria DArte & Divetro, Bergamo (2000).
Her work has also been presented regularly in group shows, including Viva Vetro! Glass Alive! at Carnegie Museum of Art (2007); XX Century Venetian Glass at the Eretz Israel Museum, Tel Aviv (2005); Vetri nel mondo oggi at the Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venice (2004); and Venice and the Touch of Glass at the Italian Institute of Culture, London (2003).
General support for the exhibition program at Carnegie Museum of Art is provided by The Heinz Endowments, the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, and Allegheny Regional Asset District.