Eva Jospin creates a magical portal in Venice

Her cardboard creations reference Renaissance art and architecture

Selva, or ‘forest’, is an apt name for Eva Jospin’s transformation of Palazzo Fortuny in Venice for the duration of this year’s Biennale. The Parisian artist composed a fantastical woodland of sinuous trees and fairy tale cottages using her go-to materials of wood, cardboard and earthy fibres. A forested portal ushers visitors between the villa’s 15th-century portego like a hollow way.

Curated by Chiara Squarcina and Pier Paolo Pancotto in collaboration with Galleria Continua, the installation is transporting and even slightly disorienting. Jospin creates an environment devoid of modernity, a pastiche of historical eras and rustic styles.

Her richly embroidered framed works evoke Renaissance paintings and tapestries, of the kind that might have decorated the walls back when this palace was known as Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei and the natural world was right outside. Around two of them, Jospin has built a Baroque serliana of arches in paper and wood.

At one end of the portego is a forest in relief, formed from sinuous strips of husk and resembling the bush of thorns protecting Sleeping Beauty. It leads to the centrepiece Jospin calls ‘Gallery’ (2021-2024), a colonnade with a classical coffered ceiling made from cardboard and wood. The vaulted space is like a Renaissance studiolo in which to view more framed drawings and collages recalling storybook landscapes in autumnal hues.

Selva is on view until 24 November, 2024, at Museo Fortuny, S. Marco, 3958, 30124 Venezia VE, Italy

Eva Jospin, Selva, exhibition view at Museo Fortuny, Venezia, 2024. Photography: Benoît Fougeirol. © ADAGP, Paris.

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