April 22, 2022

The Venice Biennale’s 59th International Art Exhibition – Trees Grow from the Sky

Kathryn Shanks
The Venice Biennale’s 59th International Art Exhibition – Trees Grow from the Sky
2022 is the International Year of Glass at this year’s La Biennale di Venezia.

This year marks the 59th International Art Exhibition with La Biennale di Venezia, with the event running from April 23 until November 27. Titled The Milk of Dreams, the exhibition ‘aspires to be an optimistic [one]’, featuring 213 artists from 58 countries. While the exhibition itself is an exceptional event from which we can expect some incredible artworks, today, we want to focus on one of the collateral events of the Biennale Arte – Rony Plesl’s Trees Grow from the Sky.

This installation of glass sculptures by the renowned Czech artist is situated in the church of Santa Maria della Visitazione and marks the global debut of Vitrum Vivum, a new full relief glass casting technology. This new technique enabled Plesl to create grand, large-scale glass sculptures ‘without any limitations’, building on his four decades of glasswork to produce exceptional, revolutionary sculptures that are made in a similar vein to bronze casting. Artists can craft base sculptures out of paper, plaster, or natural objects and cast them in glass, resulting in beautifully detailed relief sculptures.

Plesl’s installation features four glass monoliths, three of which comprise pure crystal glass sculptures cast from an eighty-year-old oak tree found in the woods of Northern Bohemia. These tree trunks stand in the centre of the church, mirroring the rhythmic columns of the church altars, and invite visitors to look within the transparent yet textured cylinders to explore ‘the true essence of things.’ The fourth and final sculpture is a tree with a different form: the uranium glass trunk features a bas-relief of the bodies of Jesus Christ, illuminating the space with its phosphorescent yellow-green glow.

… the overall concept of the exhibition addresses questions of human existence and definition of humanity, touching upon the relation of man and nature, and its multiple layers of meaning. The narrative revolves around a journey; around seeking our path in the world of today.
– ARTIST RONY PLESL.

While a press preview of the installation will take place on April 21, visitors to the Biennale Arte exhibition will have until November 27 to take in Plesl’s glass trees amongst their early Renaissance setting. As a celebration of art, glass, and the intersections between them, Plesl’s Trees Grow from the Sky is an incredible addition to the Biennale Arte’s exhibition, showcasing the artistic, technological, and symbolic elements of art within a single installation.

Visit La Biennale di Venezia’s website here to learn more about the exhibition and the artists taking part.

If you liked this article, you might like our feature about THE LUME’s Vincent van Gogh exhibit in Melbourne.

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The Venice Biennale’s 59th International Art Exhibition – Trees Grow from the Sky