Ron Arad’s Last Train



The Last Train by Ron Arad is piece about the strength of the raw material rather than as a symbol of value and adornment, about the way diamonds have often been, since the advent of glass panes in the 16th century, used to etch messages of love, hate, rebellion or pain. From Elizabeth I who scratched love vows on bottles and jars with her ‘promise ring’ or ‘scribbling ring’ (in which the diamond would be fitted pointing outwards) to Robert Burns who scratched poems on glass panes to thousands of train travellers who scratch the windows with their anger, their love and their dissent.



“I was going to catch the last train from Naples – I arrived on the platform just as the doors closed. The train lingered a little and I saw that in an empty carriage there was a guy (I assume it was a guy) with a ring on his fist, doing the most amazing drawings on the glass. It reminded me of the images of Picasso drawing with a match in the air.

Although I didn’t know how I would get out of Naples that night, I felt like I was compensated for missing my train by witnessing some beauty that no one else had seen before. These pieces are about this memory.” Ron Arad


Arad’s Last Train is an emotive and powerful image in motion. Watching a cast of Arad’s fist, armed with an Arad designed striking Steinmetz diamond ring, poking through a black cloth, scratching glowing lines onto the glass pane, is a fascinating, mysterious performance. One can’t help but imagine the person hiding behind the cloth. It wasn’t enough for Arad to be the only artist, he also wanted to watch; Arad invited a number of other artists to take the role, including, to date, Francesco Clemente, Anthony Gormley, Christian Marclay, David Shrigley, Cornelia Parker, Richard Wilson, Robert Wilson, Sara Fanelli, Sue Webster and Tim Noble, Leandro Erlich, Gavin Turk, Javier Mariscal and Ai Weiwei.

Duration 01 June 2013 - 24 November 2013
Times 10am-6pm daily
Cost Free
Venue Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti
Address Palazzo Cavalli Franchetti Venice 2842 30124, ,
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