Museo Correr

Museo Correr

Exhibition - Francesco Vezzoli. Musei delle Lacrime

The Exhibition

Francesco Vezzoli
Musei delle Lacrime

17.04 – 24.11.2024
Venezia, Museo Correr

Curated by
Donatien Grau

In collaboration with
Venice International Foundation


In the last decade, Francesco Vezzoli has extended his artistic path that has led him to create a bridge between the reality in which we live and the history of art, directing his poetic above all to antiquity and its most solemn and sacral expressions.
Through different media, such as video, artistic performance and his characteristic portraits with tears embroidered in small stitches, Vezzoli has sought to relate the past and its icons to contemporary imagery, weaving between different media in an interplay of allusions and combinations between eternal, solemn, classical culture and pop culture.
In 2011, for the first time, Vezzoli took his vision to New York with the solo exhibition Sacrilegio, in which he converted the spaces of the Gagosian Gallery in Chelsea into a Renaissance chapel, exhibiting his personal reinterpretation of some of the most famous 16th-century Italian paintings of the Madonna and Child. Instead of the virginal and hieratic faces depicted by Leonardo, Botticelli and Bellini, Vezzoli inserted the profane and sensuous likenesses of the most famous models of the 1980s and ’90s, such as Claudia Schiffer, Linda Evangelista, Stephanie Seymour and Cindy Crawford, decorating them with make-up, jewels and large embroidered tears. Subsequently, in a solo exhibition at the Collection Lambert in Avignon (2019), Vezzoli created a poetic dialogue between his own sculptures and Cy Twombly’s most famous works inspired by Roman antiquity. In the following years, for the first time in his artistic practice, he experimented with the inclusion of his works in real archaeological sites, for example in the exhibition Palcoscenici archeologici created with the Fondazione Brescia Musei.
In 2021, with the project Francesco Vezzoli in Florence, he created two new site-specific sculptures. In Piazza della Signoria, in the work Pietà, a monumental 20th-century lion rampant installed on an ancient base crushes a Roman head from the 2nd century A.D. in its jaws, in a pastiche between different artistic eras that has become the hallmark of many of Vezzoli’s recent works. The second sculpture, La Musa dell’Archeologia piange, placed in the Studiolo of Francesco I de’ Medici in Palazzo Vecchio, engrafts a “metaphysical” bronze head onto a Roman figure in a toga, a quotation from Giorgio de Chirico’s Archaeologists, one of the works that best represents the recovery of classicism in modern times.

The idea of a new project for the city of Venice was developed as a natural continuation and completion of this long discourse made up of archaeology, memory and contemporary invention, further explored in the recent exhibition Vita dulcis. Paura e desiderio nell’Impero romano (Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Rome, 2023).
Together with Donatien Grau, Francesco Vezzoli has devised the exhibition Musei delle Lacrime, in which he will place his works (historical, recent and some created for this occasion) beside masterpieces from the collection of the Museo Correr. The purpose is to create a dialogue and a new narrative, in which the history of art, instead of being immutable, is presented as alive and relevant in the present, hybridised with themes and iconographies – especially religious themes – from other ages, prompting artistic reflection on topics such as the cult of identity, authorship, emotionality, and how to experience the past without denying or erasing it.
Designed especially for Venice, the supreme city of art (eternal, yet eternally renewed), the project also pays tribute to Carlo Scarpa and his work on the city’s historical and artistic identity and in particular Venice’s museums.
A conceptual homage first and foremost, extended to the elements of the installation, to create a series of aesthetic-linguistic overlaps enhancing the forms of tradition, celebrating their transcendental and absolutely dialectical power with the present.

Admission to the exhibition with the Museum’s hours and ticket.