Living in Paris since the 80s, Brazilian Julio Villani is one of the artists featured in the exhibition … Et l'obscur, in the Abbey of Thoronet, in Provence, in the south of France. The show is organized by the Palais de Tokyo, which uses the 12th century building to carry out activities.
In 2019, Villani had already held a substantial exhibition at the Galerie RX in Paris. In POINT À LA LIGNE, between March and April, he presented a series of works with traits that “are a means of putting creation in motion and making the borders unstable”, which transited between painting, sculpture, collage and embroidery.
In Thoronet Abbey, a building that housed the Cistercian monastic order from the 12th century onwards, Julio carries a large piece of embroidery (On ne peut penser la cloture de ce qui n'a pas de fin), installed so that it was attached to the ceiling of one of the rooms in the building, which used to be the dormitory, like a big sky. It is the largest work in this format that the Brazilian has ever produced, which reflects on “the sleep of a sleeping community”.
In a text about the exhibition, curator and critic Jean de Loisy asks: “Some of the embroidered circles present interruptions in the thread from which the wool threads escape, widening the edges of the work to the floor here and there: do they descend from the embroidered elements or go to them? Who, cloth or visitor, feeds the other in dreams?”. In addition to this intervention, Villani created an object of bronze tubes with waxed wire, positioned on the ceiling of the church, “an almost diaphanous intervention, which depends on the reflection of light on the sticks to be visible”, the artist explains.
Three other artists, Oliver Beer, Marc Couturier and Jean-Marc Ferrari also occupy other spaces in the building in the exhibition. The Palais de Tokyo proposal to bring artists to occupy the abbey with their works is guided by the idea that the works can dialogue with the architecture of the space, but also with the spiritual memory around the place.
In Brazil, the artist will have two simultaneous exhibitions that open on June 15, one at Galeria Raquel Arnaud and another at Galeria Estação. For the first gallery, he takes embroidery, paintings and other formats, while in the second he will present his sculptures.
… ET L'OBSCUR
at Thoronet Abbey in Provence, France
until September 22