The Contemporary Mosaic Biennale opened in Ravenna at the beginning of October 2022. This is the seventh mosaic festival organized by the Municipality of Ravenna, the Mosaic Capital of the World, together with AIMC (International Association of Contemporary Mosaic) and MAR (Ravenna Art Museum).
The Contemporary Mosaic Biennale was scheduled for 2020, but due to the COVID-19 epidemic, it was postponed to a later date.
One of the highlights of the Biennale was the opening of the Opere dal mondo, an exhibition of 38 mosaic artists from around the world, whose works were selected by a special jury of the organizers of the event. As usual, this mosaic exhibition opened at the Palazzo Rasponi dalle Teste in the historical center of Ravenna.
Visitors to the exhibition – residents of Ravenna and people who came here specifically for the purpose of visiting the biennale of contemporary mosaics – could appreciate new approaches to creating mosaics, new trends and ideas.
In our opinion, the creation of a three-dimensional 3-D mosaic has already become a common approach of many mosaicists. At the same time, the departure from frames and boundaries gave a new impetus to the search for new form and new connections between the mosaic and the traditional basis – the wall, or an escape from it.
Certainly, the mosaics did not try to sell themselves, to be coherent with the views and cultural feelings of visitors. This is what gave scope for creativity and self-expression of artists.
On the other hand, mosaic artists remained captive to the great Italian and Romanesque culture, which is a measure of harmony and grace for any person who feels himself involved in art. Perhaps they did not make a conscious choice, but latently the shadow of Italy dominated every mosaic artist.
Current events, or even entire milestones in the modern history of mankind, such as epidemics and wars, were not bypassed.
In parallel with the exhibition of mosaics in the Palazzo, a mosaic exhibition of AIMC members opened in a neighboring building. In this mosaic exhibition, the artists were even more free to express their ideas, they were not shy about experimenting with unusual materials, forms and ways of presenting ideas.
At the same time, famous Italian mosaicists presented their mosaic works in the ancient Franciscan monastery in the very center of Ravenna. The project involves outstanding mosaic artists born in the 40s and 50s of the 20th century.
Exhibition Tessere. il filo del mosaico (The Mosaic Thread) reflects the vision of the Italian classics of modern mosaic trends, the invisible strong connection of these trends with classical antique art and the art of the Renaissance.
The Ravenna Art Museum MAR presented a joint exhibition of mosaics and others named Prodigy Kid by Francesco Cavaliere and Leonardo Pivi. The two artists have been collaborating since 2018 to create fantasy and contemporary tales that take the form of installations of mosaics, sculptures and objects animated by performances.
The exhibition is dedicated to the medieval legend about the monster of Ravenna – the birth of a creature suffering from severe physical deformities. Interpreting in their own way the medieval meaning of this event, as a harbinger of future events dictated by divine will, the artists turn the Monster of Ravenna into a Prodigy Kid, welcoming and enhancing the sense of wonder in relation to it, what seems to be beyond the natural order of things.
Some of the mosaics presented at the exhibition belong to other series of these artists.
These are far not all the exhibitions and events of the Contemporary Mosaic Biennale, which opened in October 2022 and are partially ongoing at the moment. Many such mosaic exhibitions have opened outside of Ravenna in the cities surrounding it like Faenza, Riccione and Mesola.
Currently (at the beginning of December) most of the mosaic exhibitions have already ended, but some of them are open until mid-January 2023.