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Musical and Art Historical Explorations on Mystical Symbolism

On the occasion of the exhibition Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897

The program is made possible by the Araldi-Guinetti Foundation, Vaduz

Gaetano Previati, Maternità
Gaetano Previati, Mother and Child, 1890–1891. Banca Popolare di Novara

November 29, 2017, 6 p.m.
Venice, Ca’ Foscari, Zattere (Tesa 1) | Seats available on a firts-come, first-served basis

For the first Brera Triennial in 1891, Gaetano Previati (1852-1920) presented Mother and Child, a monumental painting (175.5 x 412 cm) completed that same year. This exhibition marked the public debut of Italian div isionism and spurred a heated debate regarding the subjects of the paintings and the new method the artists employed. Previati, in particular, showed a sacred subject, painted in the bold div isionist technique and represented in the poetic Symbolist style which was emerging in Italy at that time.
Vittore Grubicy, the artist’s champion and dealer, defended Previati during the controversy indicating that “... ideas which spring from the mind, feelings that arise from the soul or emotions absorbed from the outside world can be expressed in painting.” He found the answer to the main question of how and even if ideas could be expressed through representation in a kind of “overall variable vision made of shapes and colors.”
Previati reached this point after a long investigation, which was in line with the mystical Symbolism promoted by Rosicrucian critic and writer Joséphin Péladan, organizer of the Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris between 1892 and 1897. Previati’s participation with Mother and Child at the first Salon de la Rose+Croix, held at the Galerie Durand-Ruel, did not go unnoticed in Italy or in France. The painting was purchased in 1904 by Count Lionello Hierschel de Minerbi for the rooms of Ca’ Rezzonico in Venice. The work is currently part of the Banco BPM’s art collection.

Thanks to Università Ca' Foscari Venezia.

Giovanna Ginex
Giovanna Ginex is an art historian and independent curator. She has worked as a freelancer since 1980 in multiple specialized fields of art historical study, with particular focus on the visual arts of the nineteenth and early twentieth century, the history of collecting, minor and decorative arts, the history of photography, illustration and comics, and the issues of preserving and cataloging cultural patrimony. She is the author of numerous publications and has collaborated with public and private organizations, both local and international, most recently on William Merritt Chase (1849-1916), edited by Elsa Smithgall, Erica E. Hirshler, Katherine M. Bourguignon, Giovanna Ginex, exhibition catalog, Washington, The Phillips Collection; Boston, Museum of Fine Arts; Venice, Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna Ca' Pesaro (Boston: MFA Publications, 2016).
Alexandre Séon, 
Lamentation d’Orphée
Alexandre Séon, The Lament of Orpheus (Lamentation d’Orphée), ca. 1896. Musée d’Orsay, Paris

December 1, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
Venice, Teatro La Fenice, Sale Apollinee | Booking required. Seats are limited.


2 Chords of the Rose+Croix … as a Revelation
(with Première Pensée Rose+Croix)

Erik Satie, Sonneries de la Rose+Croix
Air de l'ordre; Air du grand maître; Air du grand prieur

Erik Satie, Le Fils des étoiles (Wagnérie Kaldéenne du Sar Péladan)
3 Préludes: 1. La Vocation, La nuit de Kaldée; 2. L'Initiation, La salle basse du Grand Temple;3. L'Incantation, La terrasse du palais du patesi GOUDÉA

In a melding of the arts that Richard Wagner’s Gesamtkunstwerk directly inspired, Péladan’s geste esthétique extended to all artistic disciplines, especially music, which was pivotal for Symbolist theory. The Salon was the locus for concerts and theatrical presentations. Noteworthy among the musical figures involved in 1892 was the first Salon’s official composer, Erik Satie, who, also interested in esoteric religion, composed experimental works for Péladan. These included Sonneries de la Rose + Croix for the Salon’s opening.
Over the course of Satie’s term as the Salon’s official composer, his relationship with Péladan became increasingly acrimonious. Sometime around early 1893, Satie wrote a new piece, entitled Vexations, as a parting gesture to the Salon de la Rose+Croix. Satie never performed Vexations. The piece remained more or less lost, an obscure manuscript in a private collection, until it was uncovered in 1948 by John Cage, who saw to its publication the following year and staged its first public performance in New York in 1963. The ensemble of pianists included Cage and, among others, Philip Corner.
In 2013 Corner recorded Satie Slowly, a 2 CD set of patient interpretations that take Satie’s indication “lent” seriously. For his concert, Corner performs 2 chords of the Rose+Cross by Satie…as a revelation, a piano piece that incorporates a Hörspiel recorded by Corner in 1990 and based on the chords of Satie’s Première Pensée Rose+Croix.

Philip Corner
Philip Corner (b. 1933, New York) is a composer, performer, and visual artist. He studied with Fritz Jahoda, Henry Cowell, and Olivier Messiaen, among others. A founding participant of Fluxus, he was also a resident composer and musician for the Judson Dance Theater (1962–1964), collaborating with key figures in contemporary dance including Yvonne Rainer, Lucinda Childs, and Elaine Summers. In 1976 he cofounded Gamelan Son of Lion, a still-active new music ensemble. He was also professor at the New School of Social Research (1967–1970), the New Lincoln School (1966–1972), and Livingstone College (1972–1992). Since 1992 he has lived in Reggio Emilia, Italy with his wife and collaborator, dancer Phoebe Neville.

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