Das Meisterstück

Island of San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice
plus May, 08Jun, 14 2015

Matthias Schaller,Cy Twombly, 2007 (detail)

Extended until 14 June 2015


The exhibition consists of a series of photographs by German artist Matthias Schaller. The subjects of the photos are palettes of artists who have shaped the last hundred years of the history of European painting. To be installed in the Palladian Refectory on the Island of San Giorgio, the exhibition, entitled Das Meisterstück (“The Masterpiece”) reveals how the palette is a kind of “indirect portrait” of the artist and of his pictorial technique. Monumental photographs of the original palettes (c. 190 x 140 cm) provide an unprecedented historical key to the use of colour, organisation of space and brushwork of the “portrayed” artists.

Since 2007, Schaller has worked on photographing the beauty of artists’ palettes, seen as a window onto their creative genius – almost abstract landscapes of their artistic production.Capturing the essence of 180 palettes belonging to over 70 of the greatest 19th- and 20th-century European masters, Schaller explores the unconscious of painting, or the “paint before the painting”.

Das Meisterstück includes palettes of artists such as:

J.M.W. Turner

Eugène Delacroix

Paul Cézanne

Claude Monet

Vincent van Gogh

Wassily Kandinsky

Henri Matisse

Pablo Picasso

Francis Bacon

Cy Twombly

 The exhibition will feature a selection of around twenty palettes, casting light on the principal European art movements, from Impressionism to Abstract Art. During his research, Schaller collected palettes from some major European museums, such as the Louvre, the Musée d’Orsay, and Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Tate (London), the Kunsthaus (Zurich), the Akademie der Künste (Berlin) and the Metropolitan Museum (New York), as well as from private foundations, artists’ relatives and private collections.