On the occasion of the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale
Arsenale, Venice, Italy 2011
To celebrate the 54th Venice Art Biennale (June 1 - November 27, 2011), as a tribute to the city of Venice, the Italian Navy is displaying "...WHAT IF ROOTS COULD GROW IN THE WATERS OF THE ARSENALE?...", an installation by the American sculptor, Dalya Yaari Luttwak.
This corner of Venice was the expression of the power of the Republic through the glorious Navy. In the Golden Age of Canaletto it was already decaying. Today this sculptor dreams of a new life emerging from the waters of Venice and creates an ideal aerial bridge above the traditional and solid Venetian bridges.
The installation spans the two towers at the end of the Rio del Arsenale which overlooks the entrance to the Bacino del Arsenale. Emerging from the water, the sculpture climbs up along one tower nearly 15 meters then reaches across another 16 meters to the second tower appropriating the hooks eternalized by Caneletto. The sculpture, inspired by the root of the ivy, is of mild steel in bright red.
The artist has been visiting Italy for many years and found great inspiration in its magnificence and layers of history. The Arsenale is a powerful symbol of the continuing Italian naval tradition, as well as a glorious memorial to the power of the Venetian republic. The two towers of the Porta Magna built to protect the entrance to the Arsenale. The hidden beauty of "roots" finds a special echo in Venice, the city born out of water.
Since 2007 the artist has been working on a series of large-scale steel sculptures that symbolically represent the root systems of various plants. At times she works from the roots themselves, which she digs out of the earth; other times she photographs, copies or draws roots as the basis for her work. The artist tries to uncover the hidden beauty of roots, exploring the relationship between what grows above the ground and the invisible parts below. Her sculptures reveal what nature prefers to conceal. Her wish "is to uncover and discover roots even when they are hidden, indeed especially when they are hidden
The artist's work has been honored in solo exhibitions at the American University Museum's Katzen Arts Center, at James Madison University's Sawhill Gallery, and in group exhibitions in the Art Museum of the Americas, among other museums and galleries in the United States, Mexico, Germany and Israel. Her work is critically reviewed by journals such as Art Papers and Sculpture, as well as in the numerous catalogues of group exhibition. In 2010 she was Artist-in-Residence and Guest Critic for James Madison University's College of Visual and Performing Arts. The artist is scheduled to have a solo exhibition in 2012 at the Ermanno Tedeschi Gallery in Rome and other venues in Italy.