Royal Academy of Arts

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The Genesis Foundation is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Royal Academy of Arts’ major new exhibition Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life, Death, Rebirth.

The Genesis Foundation is proud to announce its sponsorship of the Royal Academy of Arts’ major new exhibition Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life, Death, Rebirth. This is the first time the Genesis Foundation has supported the work of the Royal Academy.

Bringing together the work of the pioneering video artist Bill Viola with drawings by Michelangelo the exhibition will explore how, though working five centuries apart and in radically different media, these artists share a deep preoccupation with the nature of human experience and existence.

The exhibition is an opportunity to see major works from Viola’s long career and some of the greatest drawings by Michelangelo, together for the first time.

John Studzinski, Founder & Chairman of the Genesis Foundation said:

Bill Viola’s art enables us to contrast the material and metaphysical worlds. Experiencing his work gives us greater insight into our own faith. Presenting Viola’s work with Michelangelo’s will create a dialogue between them on their mutual preoccupation with the presence of the divine in our lives.

“In presenting Viola / Michelangelo, the Royal Academy shares with the Genesis Foundation a commitment to attracting new audiences to art that contemplates the divine.

“As we will experience with Bill Viola / Michelangelo, the fusing of the contemporary with the timeless creates something uniquely powerful.

Andrea Tarsia, Head of Exhibitions at the Royal Academy said“We hope this exhibition will offer our audiences an opportunity to consider ongoing traditions of spiritual and affective art, by bringing together two artists who have made this such a cornerstone of their very conception of what art is. Despite the difference in time, place and medium both Viola and Michelangelo offer deeply moving visions of the nature of existence, and of the relation between the material and the spiritual.”

As part of the Genesis Foundation’s support for the exhibition they are presenting long-term partners Harry Christophers and The Sixteen in a concert at the Royal Academy. Entitled Miserere, the concert on 27 February is a programme of music from the Sistine Chapel by Allegri and Josquin with musical responses from contemporary composers James MacMillan and Angus McPhee who has been commissioned by the Genesis Foundation to compose a new work inspired by the works of Bill Viola and Michelangelo.

About the Genesis Foundation

Established by John Studzinski in 2001, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as LAMDA, the National Theatre, The Sixteen and the Young Vic. Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights, actors and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.

The Genesis Foundation awards the bi-annual Genesis Prize to outstanding mentors of young artistic talent; it is the only arts award to focus on mentors and the vital role they play in an artist’s development.

The theme of art & faith increasingly characterises aspects of the Foundation’s work.  Recent highlights include sponsorship of the British Museum’sLiving with gods exhibition, the Sistine Chapel performance of James MacMillan’s Stabat mater, and choral commissions based on texts from the Eton Choirbook. The Genesis Foundation has to date commissioned more than 20 sacred music works, several by James MacMillan, for Harry Christophers and The Sixteen who have performed and recorded these new works over the past decade.

Bill Viola / Michelangelo: Life, Death, Rebirth

Open to public: Saturday 26 January – Sunday 31 March 2019 10am – 6pm daily (last admission 5.30pm) Late night opening: Fridays until 10pm (last admission 9.30pm)

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