ARTIST AND SPIRITUAL TEACHER ADI DA SAMRAJ'S COLLATERAL EXHIBITION OPENS TO WIDE ACCLAIM AT VENICE BIENNALE
Transcendental Realism: The Art of Adi Da Samraj—a collateral exhibition to the 52nd Biennale di Venezia curated by renowned art critic and historian Achille Bonito Oliva—opened to the public on Sunday, 10 June 2007, following an inaugural reception, private dinner and performance the previous evening.
Housed in the historic Palazzo Bollani, situated between St. Mark's Square and the Arsenale and Public Gardens of the Biennale, Transcendental Realism introduced the dramatic, philosophically and spiritually informed artwork of Adi Da Samraj to the international art world, which received the exhibition with broad acclaim. The general public's response has been just as warm. Writing in Corriere della Sera Magazine, Francesca Pini called the exhibition at the Palazzo Bollani "not to be missed," and Il Manifesto critic Ida Gerosa enthused that Adi Da Samraj's use of digital means was "the best I have seen."
Hundreds attended the opening reception on June 9. The subsequent banquet and performance at the Cipriani Hotel was packed to capacity with notables from the art, political, and social worlds. Among the attendees were ambassadors from Spain, Georgia, and Taiwan; the Ministers of Culture of Latvia and Georgia; Hong Kong's Secretary for Home Affairs; directors from Taiwan's Kaohsiung Museum of Fine Arts, Morocco's Hassan Museum, the Musée de l'Art Moderne of St. Étienne, France, and the Art Center (San Antonio, Texas); the director of the Georgian Academy of Fine Arts in Tbilisi; senators and deputies of the Italian parliament; and officials from the Biennale Commission, the City of Venice (under whose patronage the exhibition is held), and the Peggy Guggenheim Foundation. They were entertained with a thrilling acrobatic performance by the Irish-based Fidget Feet, incorporating electronically enhanced elements from Adi Da Samraj's artwork.
Artist, scholar, and spiritual teacher, Adi Da Samraj has explored new forms of digital technology to produce ever more complex and sophisticated images embodying his spirituality, philosophy, and distinctly Modernist aesthetic sensibility. Transcendental Realism: The Art of Adi Da Samraj comprises ten large, visually overwhelming works realized by Adi Da Samraj over the course of this past year and employing a complex variety of digital means. Displayed in the Palazzo Bollani's upstairs galleries, the ten recent works are supplemented downstairs by a rotating documentary of Adi Da Samraj's earlier work with photographic and digital media.
The chief curator for Transcendental Realism: The Art of Adi Da Samraj is Achille Bonito Oliva, famed art critic and historian who is best known as the champion of the Italian trans-avant garde and whose critical and curatorial accomplishments span contemporary art. Chief curator for the 39th and 45th Biennales di Venezia, Bonito Oliva has received numerous prizes and awards, including the Valentino d'Oro international prize for art criticism in 1999. In his remarks at the opening reception, Bonito Oliva described his relationship with Adi Da Samraj's work as "unique, because I didn't simply find myself in front of a new personal iconographic universe, but rather in front of images that returned me to an experience that is defined by a Greek word, also used in Italian, to describe an 'apparition' - that is, 'epiphany.'
Transcendental Realism: The Art of Adi Da Samraj runs the length of the Biennale, closing on Wednesday, 21 November 2007. It is open to the public Tuesdays to Sundays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. A 48-page catalogue accompanies the exhibition, with contributions by chief curator Achille Bonito Oliva and co-curator Peter Frank. An exhibition brochure featuring an annotated checklist is available free to all visitors.
Images of the exhibition and published material on Adi Da Samraj's artwork (including the recently published monograph The World as Light: An Introduction to the Art of Adi Da Samraj, by Mei-Ling Israel) are available by request to the press. Meetings, telephone and e-mail interviews with officials of the exhibition and others involved with the art of Adi Da Samraj can also be arranged.
EXHIBITIONCURATIONADI DA SAMRAJPRESSEVENTSBOOKS / CATALOGS