MINI – maxi | Una collezione di opere in miniatura

12 DECEMBER 2023 – 26 JANUARY 2024

BABS Art Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition MINI/maxi, from December 12, 2023, to January 26, 2024. The exhibition aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the work of Federica Marangoni, an internationally active artist and designer from Venice.

The exhibition compares some of her most significant works with a collection of jewelry specially designed by her for the exhibition. For an artist deeply committed to creating monumental works and public sculptures, the idea of reproducing the essence of her works on a smaller scale to transform them into wearable art represents a fascinating artistic practice. This approach has allowed her to produce wearable pieces for both herself and others. Thus, a significant collection of mini-sculptures has emerged, growing alongside the large-scale projects pursued by Federica Marangoni.

As a multimedial artist and performer in the ’70s and ’80s, Marangoni stands out for her extraordinary career dedicated to exploring the boundaries between light, technology, and image. Born and raised in Venice, she has rooted her artistic practice in the atmosphere and rich history of her city.
Marangoni’s artistic journey is characterized by profound experimentation with technological means, bringing together glass, light, and video to create works and installations that challenge traditional boundaries in art. Her dedication to artistic exploration is evident in decades of international activity, exhibiting in renowned museums and galleries and contributing significantly to the development of contemporary art.
A pioneer since the ’60s and ’70s in the use of new materials such as plexiglass, neon, and video, Marangoni has opened new artistic perspectives, influencing subsequent generations of artists. Her artistic philosophy embraces concepts such as ephemerality, transparency, and the virtual mobility of images, contrasting with the rigid concept of solid masses in traditional sculpture.

Glass, in particular, plays a central role in her work, becoming a conceptual link with the environment and the history of Venice. Her relationship with the island of Murano, famous for glass production, continues to permeate her work, often representing the ephemeral and relative aspects of both natural and artificial things.
From the perspex silhouette on the streets of the 1970s to the luminous steps of the Infinite Staircase and the caged Paradise of 2001, the artist has created a forest of signposted paths, drawing a rhizomatic map of movements and utopian projects.

Among her most significant works is the 14-meter Electronic Rainbow, presented at the Venice Biennale in 1997, an installation composed of polychrome glass, iron, video, and Murano glass fragments. Another noteworthy piece is the large Tree of Life from 2008, set up on Seventy-Second Street in New York, reproducing the negative of a tree cut between two large steel slabs and made visible thanks to a green neon profile – a technological artifice creating the illusion of Nature’s presence.
Emblematic works include those exhibited in 2022 in the grand reading room of the Biblioteca Marciana in Venice, designed by Sansovino: The Archive of Memory, which revisits and transforms the 1996 work Archive of Memory, and The Inexhaustible Gold of the Mind. These works delve into the cherished theme of the book, understood as the book of books that can contain everything, becoming a technological archive of humanity.

Her most recent work, exhibited in the courtyard of Palazzo Reale in Milan during BookCity 2023, is a site-specific installation featuring a monumental semi-open book at its center, placed in a cage from which blue neon words emerge – signs of a new vital energy released upwards. The large volume emerges from a luminous heap of Murano glass fragments, seemingly shedding light on words linked to the drama of humanity.
These and many other works, recognized as incisive and distinctive urban signals of modern art, have been a source of inspiration for Marangoni in the production of her jewelry. With her unique combination of concept, technology, and craftsmanship, the artist continues to be a prominent figure in contemporary art, leaving a lasting imprint on the Italian and international artistic landscape.