Beyond the Veil

Sylke von Gaza is painting in the church of San Lio, an old Venetian church nearby Rialto. Commissioned by the Ufficio Beni Culturali e Turismo del Patriarcato di Venezia the artist will be creating three panel paintings for the Gussoni family chapel during this year’s Venice Art Biennale. Sylke von Gaza's Red Veil Paintings will be integrated permanently in the chapel’s ensemble, with its altar relief by Pietro and Tullio Lombardo and the tomb of the Venetian painter Canaletto. The Beyond the Veil project, curated by Gianmatteo Caputo, begins on 6 May 2015 and visitors are invited to witness the artist’s creative process directly in the church until October 2015.

Netherlandish and Italian Renaissance painting has always been a key source of inspiration for Sylke von Gaza. With her large-scale abstract oil paintings she positions herself within the tradition of the Old Masters without, however, referencing them directly in her formal language. Oscillating between past and present, Venice provides an ideal creative environment for the artist, whose works not only probe the questions of tradition and identity in painting, but also provoke a discussion of the intrinsic value of art and society.

For the Beyond the Veil project, the artist has joined forces with the priest and curator Gianmatteo Caputo, director of the Diocesan Museum of Sacred Art in Venice. The title of the project is intentionally ambiguous; it alludes to the artist’s series of Veil Paintings as well as to the figurative meaning of the phrase ‘beyond the veil’ – i.e. after death – which is echoed by the figure of the Virgin cradling the dead Christ on Pietro and Tullio Lombardo’s altar relief in the Gussoni chapel. Radiant in a luminous yet contemplative red – a colour that draws on the liturgical tradition – Sylke von Gaza’s three canvases frame the Lamentation scene of the stations of the Cross. Last, but by no means least, the word ‘beyond’ invites viewers to go beyond the contemplation of the finished work, to witness the old-masterly process of its creation and to watch the artist at work in the public space of the church. Calling for a bold combination of art historical references, the re-articulation of archetypal themes and the consideration of its architectural setting, the project Beyond the Veil allows Sylke von Gaza to take her work into a new direction. The project lasts from May until October 2015. Sylke von Gaza’s contribution will remain permanently in the Gussoni familiy chapel.

Ticket: ingresso libero
from May 6, 15 to Oct 6, 15
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