Rudolf Stingel at Palazzo Grassi
VENICE • PALAZZO GRASSI, 2013
Artist Rudolf Stingel believed the showspace directly affects the relationship between a painting and its viewer.
Since the 1980s, Rudolf Stingel has been expanding the scope and definition of a painting through his paintings, installations and conceptual projects.
What are paintings, and who makes them? Is it the artist, the viewer or the space? The artist creates artwork that subvert the expected two-dimensional experience of paintings by engaging the audience in a dialogue about their perception of art. This adds a new layer of meaning to what we know art is.
From 1991, Stingel began using carpets, which he often uses to create site-specific installations. This technique crosses the definition of what a painting is, as the artist gives meaning to his artwork through its environment.
Rudolf Stingel held an exhibition in which he filled the entire space of the Palazzo Grassi with an oriental carpet. The museum’s description of the exhibition declared: “The carpet represents the thousand-year history of Venice, the ‘most serene republic’, but also recalls the Middle-European culture so loved by the artist; for example, we are reminded of Sigmund Freud’s early twentieth-century Viennese study.” Moving beyond the contemporary notions of paintings, the exhibition aimed to subvert the usual spatial relationship between a painting and its viewer.