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Palazzo becomes Picasso

Grab your chance to see a live size contemporary version of Picasso's Guernica, at The Musa Pavilion - Palazzo Pisani Revedin, in Venice 28th May - 10th June, Escape the big garden exhibitions and museums of the Venice Biennale 2024 and find this hidden gem in the back streets 5 mins walk from Rialto Bridge, in the heart of the city.

Contemporary British artist Pete Codling will be exhibiting his 'maritime' version of Picasso's iconic master piece. That was created in 1937 in response to the slaughter of innocence at Gernika during the Spanish Civil War. Codling's version echoes our international current affairs with references to many of the current war zones, migration, immigration and environmental disasters, but focused o the maritime rather than the static architecture of the original.

Codling's has called his drawing 'Kinship' and was inspired by his work with the National Gallery London and Southampton City Gallery in a Creative Connections school project. The award winning drawing is similar in size at 10m x 3m, to the original but is drawn in charcoal on a canvas sail with traditional rope edges and stitch detailing.

He has mixed old and new iconography to create new conversations and metaphors and it is easy to see the poignant references to Ukraine, the Middle East and other global humanitarian issues.

Along side the large drawing you can see Codling's preparatory drawings and sketches from research in Madrid and Paris in what he calls his 'conversations with Picasso': " I felt I needed to go and ask permission and converse with the spirit of Picasso" to" ' "understand his hand, and the purpose of his Guernica".

Codling also has a sketch study for a new large drawing he has called 'Neighbours'. It is a darker and more

uncomfortable vision than Kinship.

Its subject matter is obvious to everyone in 2024. It has a more panoramic feel with a small central detail of an elephant in a room, book ended by two screeching giant birds. It is heavily loaded on both sides with Codling's reinvented versions of Picasso's iconic characters and a few of his own imagination. A two headed Dr Do-Little, 'push me pull me', camel replaces the screaming horse, and an American buffalo head replaces the Spanish bull.

It does however depict victims on both sides and in the spirit of Guernica is focused on the innocent victims of war. The clouds become body bags, the rubble of architecture and chaotic scene of heads, bodies, and screaming spirits loom from the ruins and of the plumage of two giant birds. The national birds of the two countries. The Israeli Hoopoe bird and the Palestinian Sun Bird scream from the corners of the drawing, across the chaotic scene unfolded in from of them. Note the angel in white with the glass in her feet.

This intense vision needs time to absorb and Codling hopes also to find a patron or curator that will enable 'Neighbours' to reach full Guernica scale.

Kinship and Neighbours will be on show at Palazzo Pisani Revedin in central Venice 28th May - 10th June. Codling will be in Venice throughout the exhibition and is happy to meet press, curators, visitors. Contact for appointment through his social media. Gallery is free to visit and five minutes walk from Rialto Bridge.

Email: or @petecodling on socials.

High res printable photos and press release available on request.


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