Lisson Gallery

Ai Weiwei presents monumental new glass installation in Venice

4 August 2022

Ai Weiwei, Berengo Studio and Fondazione Berengo, in collaboration with Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore - Benedicti Claustra Onlus, today announced the opening of La Commedia Umana - Memento Mori, a new solo exhibition by Ai Weiwei on the island of San Giorgio Maggiore.

In the heart of a Palladian church, Ai's vast hanging sculpture La Commedia Umana will be unveiled in Venice for the first time after its public debut earlier this year in Rome. One of the largest works ever created in Murano glass, the hanging sculpture is composed of over 2,000 pieces of blown and cast glass, weighing around four tons, measuring 6.4 meters wide and a staggering 8.4 meters high.

The monumental piece is the result of a three-year collaboration between Ai and the Italian glass studio. Although the sculpture was started well before the outbreak of COVID-19 the vast hanging installation composed of a series of hand-crafted black glass bones and isolated organs comes together to form a striking monument to the lives lost over the course of the pandemic.

This sculptural installation acts as a vivid centrepiece, while a network of weaving roots and unexpected Lego pieces await within the exhibition spaces of the grand monasterial complex. Together, these strands bring together the central themes of Ai Weiwei's work: nature, spirituality, and the continual fascinations of the contemporary world. This unexpected creation by the renowned contemporary artist reflects upon the mysteries – and the humour – to be found in our shared humanity.

An opening celebration will take place on Saturday the 27th of August 2022 from 5pm.

Find further information via Berengo Studio.

Ai Weiwei presents monumental new glass installation in Venice
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