Object Image

The Eruption of Vesuvius

Central gallery Pompei@Madre

The central gallery of the exhibition contains a series of landscape paintings of the Vesuvian countryside showing the volcano erupting: it is an eruption which – as in a sequence that takes in the whole room in a circular panning shot – seems to continue uninterruptedly from the mid-eighteenth century, with landscapes and vedute of the neo-classical, romantic and naturalistic-verist eras (from Johan Christian Dahl, Joseph Francois Desire Thierry, Pierre-Henri de Valenciennes and Pierre-Jacques Volaire to Gioacchino Toma), until the 1980s, with an example of Vesuvius by Warhol, only to stop temporarily at the same year as the exhibition, with the work Untitled by Wade Guyton.

Heaps of “archaeological matter” from Pompeii, made from both stone and pottery, are placed in the centre of the room – in a silent juxtaposition with the works in marble and stone by Trisha Donnelly and Christodoulos Panayiotou, from which hints of a hypothetical figuration begin to emerge – illustrating the flow of this material between different but coexisting eras, media, styles and sensibilities. The adjacent room contains, on a terracotta floor by Petra Feriancova. materials that are undergoing transformation, ranging from the assemblage by Robert Rauschenberg Pompeii Gourmet to the tyre-leaf by Mike Nelson.

Courtesy Didier Aaron

Oil on canvas
65.5 x 80.8cm
Image © Th. Hennocque