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The show

The Museo di Palazzo Grimani is pleased to present The Flaying of Marsyas, an exhibition of new paintings created by Mary Weatherford between January and March 2021. Set up on the second floor of the museum, the exhibition was designed in collaboration with the well-known architect and designer Kulapat Yantrasast and inaugurates in conjunction with the start of the 59th Biennale Arte.

The works that make up The Flaying of Marsyas cycle are inspired by Titian's great masterpiece of the same name from 1570-76 - The Punishment of Marsyas, now housed in the Archbishop's Museum of Kroměříž in the Czech Republic - and reflect the timeless charm that this painting exerts on Weatherford . Inspired by the delicate palette of the Renaissance painter and paying homage to the characteristic light of Venice, Weatherford uses Flashe paint and neon lights to restore the effect of the ancient canvas. The artist responds to Titian's composition by translating the violent character of his mythological theme in a more spontaneous form, also alluding to destiny, haughtiness and the relationship between the human and the divine .

“I met The Punishment of Marsyas for the first time in the last room of the extraordinary 'Tiziano' exhibition, curated by Antonio Paolucci at the Scuderie del Quirinale. I was alone and the devastating moral weight of that painting hit me with all its might, ”explains Mary Weatherford. “I immediately thought that one day I would build an entire exhibition inspired by this painting. Last January I started working on it. In each painting, as in that of Titian, there are nine figures compressed into a scene that is, at the same time, dramatic and yet strangely calm ”.

Weatherford's approach to painting is rooted in personal experience and evokes a variety of urban and rural environments through experimentation with light, color, texture, gesture and the interaction between the painted surface and three-dimensional elements. In his best-known works, layers of Flashe vinyl emulsion are sponge applied to heavy linen panels topped with neon glass tubes, a material that Weatherford began using in 2012, drawing inspiration from old luminous signs still visible in Bakersfield, in California, where he then worked as a guest artist. Casting intense light on the regular fields of color in the paintings, the tubes and their power cables often look like hand-drawn lines.


Works on display

Timetable and tickets


Castello Ramo Grimani, 4858
30122 Venice


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