After the Zen-like calm of its June opening with John Pawson’s contemplative “1:1” installation, Italy’s Bisazza Foundation for Design and Contemporary Architecture seems to be going in a decidedly edgier direction its second time around, unveiling Israeli artist and designer Arik Levy’s new “Rock Chamber” as the centerpiece of its latest exhibition.
Like Pawson, Levy has constructed a habitable space for the new cultural center’s second exhibition and permanent collection. But beyond that singular trait, it’s a foil in every way. Pawson’s “1:1,” a circular white chamber softly illuminated by skylight, embodied his aptly titled “Plain Space” retrospective — a survey of the understated aesthetic of someone who occasionally designs monasteries for a living. Turning the volume up in the exhibition space, “Rock Chamber,” not unlike other works in Levy’s “Experimental Growth” show, is a geometrically fragmented behemoth in jetblack, accented a very loud shade of yellow in the interior lining. Counter to Pawson’s serene minimalism, “Experimental Growth” explores Levy’s more dynamic obsession with rocks, craters, and other craggly forms.
In step with Bisazza’s heritage as a creator of fine mosaics, the exterior of “Rock Chamber” is going to glisten with black tiles. Levy describes the effect as “carbonized meteorite which has passed through the atmosphere and arrived on the Earth.” It’s fitting, after all, because “We are the prehistoric men of the future and this is our future cave.” The future has landed, and it looks pretty rad.
“Experimental Growth” is on view November 8 through December 21.
— Janelle Zara