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Video Presentation - Transcendental Realism, The Art of Adi Da Samraj at 2007 BIennale di Venezia - 52nd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition - Collateral Exhibition


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Cenacolo di Ognissanti
Via Borgo Ognissanti, 42
Firenze - Italy

23 February - 22 June 2008
Hours: 9.00 to 17.00
Closed Wednesdays
Free admission

Thursday - 21 February 2008
Grand Hotel
Piazza Ognissanti, 1

For information contact:

Tel. +(39)055.051.6361

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Direct from its widely acclaimed official participation in the 2007 Venice Biennale, the exhibition Transcendental Realism: The Art of Adi Da Samraj will be on display from 23 February to 22 June in the Cenacolo di Ognissanti. This is the first modern art exhibition to take place in the Cenacolo di Ognissanti.

The centerpiece of the exhibition is the monumental Alberti's Window I  (137 cm x 1,419 cm), a work of dazzling beauty. The title is a reference to Leon Battista Alberti, the Florentine architect and philosopher whose ideas on perspective and 'point of view' are a counterpoint to Adi Da Samraj's 'beyond point of view' transcendental art.

Alberti's Window I  is one of the artist's most ambitious works, in which Adi Da 'reverses' Alberti's paradigm of 'painting as window'. Rather than creating an illusion of perspective - an illusion that, ultimately, points back to the viewer (thereby reinforcing self-identity) - Alberti's Window I invites the viewer to relinquish self-identity by participating in a world free of perspective.

Renowned scholar and critic and curator of Adi Da Samraj's 2007 Collateral Biennale exhibition, Achille Bonito Oliva, notes "Adi Da's image-work constitutes an epiphany in the sense that it presents itself neither in objective nor in subjective terms. It doesn't belong either to the universe of the artistic search of the 20th century, the whole canon of optical-perceptual experimentation that was developed in the 1950s and 60s, nor on the other hand to an expressionist creation that tends to represent identity and subjectivity".

It is auspicious that Adi Da's work is being exhibited in the Cenacolo di Ognissanti, which houses Domenico Ghirlandaio's famous fresco of the Last Supper (circa 1480). Adi Da states: "The art I make and do has a profound purpose. Therefore, the art I make and do can only be fully rightly viewed within a context that supports that purpose A traditional temple or church is culturally and artistically purposed to open up into something beyond - a life-transforming space that is profoundly protective, and, yet, demanding."

The exhibition is made possible through the patronage of the Soprintendenza Speciale per il Polo Museale Fiorentino and is organized by the Comitato Promotore Inverno a Firenze.