back to blog 2021.02.13.

Hungarian sculptor Ágnes Nagy will exhibit for the first time in Venice at the Contemporary Venice 2021 - ITSLiquid International Art Exhibition. This year’s prestigious art fair will take place in two venues, THE ROOM Contemporary Art Space in St Mark’s Square, Venice, and the Albrizzi-Capello Palace, from 1 to 21 February.

Ágnes Nagy’s unique, robust, zoomorphic sculptures were on display for the last time in September 2020 on the terrace of the Castle Garden Bazaar during the brief, deceptive pause between the first and second waves of the pandemic.

The exhibition “These are not animals!” was an overwhelming success, regardless of age or gender, perhaps helped by the experience of escaping quarantine. Among the works of art that offer every visitor an unrivalled visual experience and an inner journey, the bronze lion “Venetia II”, the steel bull “Europe II”, unicorn “Terra Antiqua” and the steel crayfish “Verona II” will be on display at the prestigious Albrizzi-Capello Palace in Venice, where Ágnes Nagy’s first exhibition since the September show in the Castle Garden Bazaar will be on view.

The seventh edition of Contemporary Venice 2021 - ITSLiquid International Art Exhibition and Fair is one of the first art events to be held in Venice, which is reopening after the pandemic. In this context, even more attention is being paid to the more than 130 artists in the selection, working in photography, painting, video, installation, sculpture and performance art in some 40 countries worldwide.

At the invitation of curator Luca Curci, this year’s selection explores the theme of identity: the meanings of existence in parallel to our everyday lives and the lifestyle we lead. The curator’s concept is that the events of our everyday lives are reflections of our identity and our communities. The new urban character, the new order, promises new everyday life.

Ágnes Nagy’s sculptures are naturally linked to the central motif of the Venice exhibition, expressing the artist’s free, rebellious, socially critical and environmentally conscious nature. Her works are unmistakable creeds, reflecting the identity of an artist who takes responsibility for her destiny and insists on freedom of expression to the utmost.

Art historian Gábor Bellák, who praised Ágnes Nagy’s works in the Castle Garden Bazaar, said in his autumn laudation:

“These are not animals, but cities, continents, lost and fictional places, cultures and stories that take shape in the form of animals.”

Organising the Venice exhibition was like an adventure, the sculptor told Index.

“After the success of the Budapest exhibition, I imagined how the Venetian-inspired lion and Terra Antiqua would look in a stately Venetian palace. I sent my application on a Friday and received a reply on Monday saying that they were happy to exhibit my work. The transport of the heavy statues in this extraordinary situation, which requires great care, involves a great deal of organisation and complications, including moving them by boat across the Venetian lagoons,” Ágnes Nagy explained the adventurous circumstances of the statues’ transport.

Ágnes Nagy mentioned that she had previously been infected with the virus herself and is confident that this will provide her with immunity for a while.

The sculptures were loaded onto the truck twice months ago and had to be cancelled at the last minute because either Italian provinces or museums were closed and closed. “But I’m still very happy about the exhibition, from which my husband and I arrived home at dawn on Thursday. You can see how hungry Italians are for culture, for anything that allows them to break out of the four walls of home. Now there’s a huge buzz around the partial opening, I read that the Guggenheim Museum in Venice has opened, Italians are flocking. But with no foreign tourists, Venice is a ghostly sight. But the pandemic has a not insignificant side benefit: the lagoons have been cleaned, and you can look down to the crystal-clear sea bed!

The sculptures were finally delivered to Venice on Tuesday, and the bronze lion, the steel bull, the unicorn and the metal crayfish have since been on display in St Mark’s Square. Well, not outdoors, but inside the museum.

The final event is on 19 February, an exciting party, and we are thinking very seriously about going to that. The reception of the artworks has been very positive, and it seems that we have managed to get into a circle that goes hand in hand with further invitations to prestigious museums. My animal sculptures are symbolic, expressions of human qualities, as much of our conscious being as of our unconscious instincts. They are as much the embodiment of strength, dynamism and piety as they are a reflection of the soul, an expression of faith. I am pleased to see that what I have to say resonates with Italian experts.”
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