JAMES LEE BYARS
The Golden Tower
Stainless steel and 24 karats genuine gold leaf
Ø98 2/5 x 885 4/5 inches
57th International Art Exposition, Venice
“VIVA ARTE VIVA”, curated by Christine Macel
Courtesy Michael Werner Gallery, New York / London
During the 57th International Art Exposition in Venice (Italy), Michael Werner Gallery presented The Golden Tower, a monumental installation by the American artist James Lee Byars. This sculpture, more than 22 meters high, was exhibited en plein air in Campo San Vio (Dorsoduro) on the edge of the Grand Canal, between the Academy and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, and it remained on view till the end of the Biennale.
The exhibition was curated by Alberto Salvadori and made possible thanks to the generosity of Fondazione Giuliani (Rome).
Studio Reduzzi contributed to the realization of this ambitious project by gilding the entire surface of the sculpture (about 170 square meters).
The intervention involved a careful preparation of the metal support and its consequent gilding with 24 karats genuine gold leafs, applied using oil-based size prepared by Lino Reduzzi according to the good practice of the Italian craftmanship tradition. The whole operation required more than 30.000 gold leafs 80 x 80 mm each.
The surface, after having been adequately polished, was finally treated with a transparent protective paint against degradation phenomena.
“The Tower gives shape to a symbol of ascension, taking metaphorical aim towards the sacred mountain – a gilded machine to honor the gods. The splendor of gold hints at the symbol of the sun but also becomes a symbol of inner illumination, of intellectual knowledge and spiritual experience. A concept of divinity. That’s the deeper motivation in James Lee Byars’s use of gold… it is the ultimate symbol of greatness and infinite.”
A. Salvadori, May 2017