Next VizCult: Tara Zanardi, Hunter College

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Abstract: Chief modeler Giuseppe Gricci constructed the Porcelain Room (1760-65) at the Royal Palace of Aranjuez at the commencement of Charles III’s reign (1759-88) as King of Spain. Gricci ambitiously tested the limits of porcelain with an elaborate rococo design. The room’s innovative technique, which employs porcelain as both the framework for the walls and ceiling and the medium for the design is a visual tour-de-force. The rococo ornamentation, including flora, shells, animals, exoticized figures, and arabesques, offers the viewer a luxurious sensorial experience. The room delights in the material’s decorative appeal through color and surface, creating a nearly three-dimensional tactility and a heightened playfulness of the very material itself in its ornamentation and in its mimetic replication of other materials, such as silk and lacquer—challenging the possibilities of porcelain as a medium for art making and innovation.

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