July 3, 2020

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini

Adrian Ghenie's exhibit at the Palazzo Cini, looks to art history (Pieter Bruegel's work) for inspiration, while still focusing on contemporary events.
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Museums

Palazzo Cini

Of all the Palazzos (Palazzo Cini, Palazzo Grassi, Palazzo Grimani) I visited when in Venice for the 58th Venice Bienalle, Palazzo Cini had my favorite exhibit, by Adrian Ghenie, but was not my favorite in terms of architecture. 

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
“The Palazzo Cini Gallery is a refined museum house created in 1984. It contains a significant part of the historic art collection of a leading 20th-century Italian collector: the industrialist and philanthropist Vittorio Cini (1885– 1977).” (source
Entrance to Palazzo Cini

The Palazzo is Gothic-style and is located between the Palazzo Balbi Valier and the Rio San Vio on the Grand Canal, which is absolutely breathtaking. 

Grand Canal, Venice

One consistent trait of all the Palazzos, and most places I visited in Venice, are the incredible Terrazzo floors. 

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini

About the Exhibit - Adrian Ghenie

Adrian Ghenie’s exhibit, The Battle Between the Carnival and the Feast, was on view 19 April – 18 November 2019.

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini

The name was inspired by Pieter Bruegel’s the Elder’s Battle between Carnival and Lent.

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini

The exhibit was put on in collaboration with Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac. The show consists of 10 paintings, with highlights of contemporary events, some great such as the New York Yankees, some bleak such as Donald Trump. 

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
“The art must be more important than the subject. In 20 years or 200 years, I don’t want these Trumps to be seen as Trumps. Painting is a medium practiced by many but kept alive by few,” Ghenie says, adding that the political undercurrent is incidental. “I’m not interested in Trump as the bad guy. To me, his face has become an archetype.” (source
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
“I make a small collage as a starting point and glue those elements onto a board. I use this as a guide and transfer it to a canvas [reproducing the different parts]. My painting has to be crisp, like Flemish painting. I want to clarify an area and work within the painting. There has to be energy and control,” (source
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
“Adrian Ghenie surveys and subverts historical and artistic narratives through his paintings, which aim to unearth feelings of vulnerability, frustration, or desire, and often draw on human experience and ideas of the collective unconscious.” (source
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini

The next few artworks are two self portraits of Ghenie.

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini

Adrian Ghenie currently lives and works in Berlin.

Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini
Adrian Ghenie at Palazzo Cini


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