Project Description

Mary Weatherford
The Flaying of Marsyas

Curated by Kulapat Yantrasas

Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Venice
April 20 – November 27, 2022

Promoted by:
Ministero della Cultura – Direzione Regionale Musei Veneto
Gagosian
Venetian Heritage

Set up on the second floor of the Museo di Palazzo Grimani, the exhibition The Flaying of Marsyas showcases a collection of new paintings created by Mary Weatherford between January and March 2021. This exhibition was designed in collaboration with the renowned architect and designer Kulapat Yantrasast and opened in conjunction with the beginning of the 59th Venice Biennale.
The works in the The Flaying of Marsyas series draw their inspiration from the great masterpiece of the same name by Tiziano from 1570-76, “The Flaying of Marsyas,” which is currently housed in the Archdiocesan Museum of Kroměříž in the Czech Republic. They reflect the timeless fascination that this painting holds for Weatherford. Drawing from the delicate palette of the Renaissance painter and paying homage to the characteristic light of Venice, Weatherford employs Flashe paint and neon lights to recreate the effect of an antique canvas. The artist responds to Tiziano’s composition by translating the violent nature of his mythological theme into a more spontaneous form, alluding as well to destiny, hubris, and the relationship between the human and the divine.
The myth of Marsyas is also depicted in the frescoes by Francesco Salviati adorning the ceiling of the Apollo Room, thus establishing an additional connection between the palace and Weatherford’s new series.