What do an industrial robot, a Renaissance master, and an astronaut have in common? Last year, all three made appearances in London’s National Gallery and the Royal Opera House as part of a project titled Metamorphosis: Titian 2012. The commemorative hardback book Titian | Metamorphosis: Art Music Dance immortalizes the Royal Ballet-National Gallery collaboration in 180-plus pages of thought-provoking interviews and stunning photographs. The book gives us insight into some enduring tensions in art and dance: that between past and present, power and vulnerability, narration and abstraction, and technology and tradition.
This volume is itself a work of art, edited by Dr Minna Moore Ede, Assistant Curator of Renaissance Paintings at the National Gallery. Photographs by Gautier Deblonde, Johan Persson, and Andrej Uspenski decorate every page. Ede’s conversations with three contemporary British artists (Mark Wallinger, Conrad Shawcross, and Chris Ofili) make up the text in Titian | Metamorphosis. Together, the text and images reveal the project’s progress from nascence to maturity in a vivid and uncluttered package.
Each artist was commissioned to create work for the National Gallery, and was separately teamed up with a composer and choreographers to design a ballet. Wallinger created the ballet Trespass with composer Mark-Anthony Turnage and choreographers Alastair Marriott and Christopher Wheeldon. Shawcross’s Machina featured music by Nico Muhly and choreography by Wayne McGregor and Kim Brandstrup. Ofili’s designs for Diana and Acteon set the stage for choreography by Liam Scarlett, Will Tuckett, and Jonathan Watkins. Composer Jonathan Dove and librettist Alastair Middleton rounded out Ofili’s team. [Read more…]