The Golden Mean

Collateral Event - Solo Exhibition by Carole A. Feuerman
55th International Art Exhibition - Venice Biennale
The Encyclopedic Palace


Feuerman’s “Golden Mean Divina Proporzione” is a 10-foot stainless steel and epoxy patina sculpture dedicated to Venice, the only city that combines Renaissance art, science and the sea.

InParadiso Art Gallery, Venice

1 June – 22 November 2013

Saturday, 1st June 2013 at 6 pm

La mostra

Organized by Concilio Europeo dell’Arte and Muscarelle Museum of Art
Curated by Marina Bertoldini, Fabio Marafatto and John T. Spike

On the occasion of the 55a Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte – La Biennale di Venezia the garden of InParadiso Gallery will host the sculpture The Golden Mean Divina Proporzione by Carole A. Feuerman.

THE GOLDEN MEAN Divina Proporzione by John T. Spike

The Golden Mean first debuted in Fall 2012 on the riverfront in Peekskill NY as part of an installation for the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Art. Earlier that summer, her infamous “Survival of Serena”, a monumental painted bronze that first debuted in the 2007 Venice Biennale, was featured in Petrosino Square courtesy of New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.

Feuerman’s “Golden Mean Divina Proporzione” is a 10-foot stainless steel and epoxy patina sculpture dedicated to Venice, the only city that combines Renaissance art, science and the sea. An avid fan of the Olympics, Feuerman was inspired by and studied the shapes created by swimmers’ bodies as they dove off the high platform, often from handstands. The parabola the body makes for only a moment resonated in her memory. The “Golden Mean Divina Proporzione”, 2013, is based on Feuerman’s 14-foot bronze “Golden Mean” of 2012, which is on permanent exhibition in Riverfront Green Park overlooking the mighty Hudson River at Peekskill, New York (see photograph). The “Golden Mean” is a beautifully simple piece of mathematics apparently discovered by Pythagoras of Samos, and first written down three centuries later in Euclid’s Elements. Euclid called it ‘extreme and mean proportion’. The golden mean is a ratio between two unequal parts of a quantity, roughly 1:1.6, which means that the smaller part is to the larger part, as the larger part is to the whole. This ratio yields an irrational number with infinite decimal places, 1.618… (Phi). The golden ratio is integral to the configuration of pentagrams, sacred to Pythagoras, and other geometric forms, including the parabola. In 1509, mathematician Fra Luca Pacioli published in Venice his treatise De divina proportione, with drawings of polyhedra by Leonardo da Vinci. Pacioli called the golden mean ‘divine proportion’. Merging science, art and philosophy in the Renaissance way, Pacioli wrote that the ratio is divine because it is a perfect and unchanging unity. On Pacioli’s influence, the golden mean acquired the fame of being uniquely beautiful, although most artists have preferred to seek their own proportions. When Michelangelo was asked about the measurements of his figures, he said, “one needs to have compasses in the eyes and not the hands, because the hands work, and the eyes judge”. For Aristotle the golden mean was the desirable middle between the extremes of too much and too little. Looking at Feuerman’s diver on the brink of leaving the platform suggests that today’s term might be the ‘tipping point’. Divers seek perfect form while challenging the limits of physics. Against the watery backdrop of the Venetian laguna, the monumental sculpture towers 12 feet into the sky on six inch wrists.


Carole A. Feuerman is acknowledged as one of the world’s most prominent hyperrealist sculptors. Born in 1945, Feuerman began her career in the Seventies as one of the founders of super realist figurative sculpture, together with Duane Hanson and John de Andrea. She has exhibited many times in Venice, and her works are found in major collections and museums of modern art. “Golden Mean Divina Proporzione” was expressly made for this exhibition in the Caffé Paradiso in the Giardini of the Biennale, under the patronage of the Concilio Europeo dell’Arte and the Muscarelle Museum of Art. Her prolific career spans four decades. Working in resin, marble and bronze, Feuerman sculpts life-size, monumental and miniature works that encompass a trompe-l’oeil technique.

Feuerman has been exhibited internationally in countless locations for over 30 years. Public collections include: Grounds for Sculpture, Hamilton, NJ; Chrysler Corporation, Mr. Robert S. Miller, Detroit, Malcolm Forbes Magazine Art Collection, New York, NY; Brandeis University, Waltham, MA; Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Bass Museum of Art, Miami, FL; Amarillo Museum of Art, Amarillo, TX; El Paso Museum of Art, El Paso, TX; President Mikhail S.Gorbachev Foundation, Moscow, RUS; Vin & Spritcentralen Museet, Stockholm, SWE; Art-st-Urban, Lucerne, CHE; NetApp, Sunnyvale, CA, among others. Personal collections include: President Bill Clinton & Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, New York, NY; His Majesty the Emperor of Japan; Mark Parker, CEO of Nike, Beaverton, OR; Dr. Henry Kissinger, River House, New York, NY; Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hurst, Aspen, Co; among others.