Istituto Veneto di Scienze, Lettere ed Arti, Venice, with the support of Michael Werner Gallery is pleased to present Markus Lüpertz: Palazzo Loredan, an exhibition of recent paintings and sculptures by the iconic German artist Markus Lüpertz (b. 1941, Liberec, Bohemia). The ornate libraries and halls of the extraordinary Palazzo Loredan on Campo Santo Stefano provide a unique and unexpected environment to view the artist’s works.
One of the most important and influential contemporary artists in post-war Europe, Lüpertz has continually engaged in a critical dialogue with painters of the past. The artist has said, “I live with artists I routinely retrieve from the recesses of history, and then they become part of my everyday life, they are my companions, they exist for me. I deal with them as if they were alive.”
Invoking the classical painting of Hals, Rubens, Poussin and Puvis de Chavannes, Lüpertz, with the same provocation as Picasso, de Chirico and Picabia, both engages with and renounces classicism, creating paintings that are entirely contemporary. The artist elaborates, “Today, avant-gardism has become a credo with its own rituals. I thrive to move past that and define something new and unique. For this I often look back at Old Masters. Influences I navigate between in order to arrive at a very specific visual language, a visual language of our time.”
In the exhibition at Palazzo Loredan, the artist explores traditional subjects in art history, such as the biblical stories of Cain and Abel, Adam and Eve and St. Sebastian, the ancient myth of Dionysus, and the idyllic utopia of Arcadia. He brings the past into the modern day with the purpose of making the unseen visible. Art historian Eric Darragon writes, “The artist’s place is doubtless today among the greatest, but Lüpertz is also the one who summons forth an unpainted painting. The one who is in thrall to a passion for an art he does not know and which he intends to confront as though it existed.”
In recent years, major surveys by the artist have been presented at the Hirshhorn Museum and the Phillips Collection, Washington, DC; the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris; The Hermitage State Museum, St. Petersburg; Kunst- und Austellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, Bonn; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Gemeentemuseum, The Hague; and most recently, the Moscow Museum of Modern Art.