Safet Zec: Powerful Painting at the Correr

Doors and drapes, boats and baskets, paints and potatoes, Venetian façades: silent, radiant objects speak volumes to viewers at the Correr until July 18th.

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Even though he’s acclaimed internationally, has had an atelier in Venice since 1998, and painted for decades in Sarajevo and Pocitelj (near Mostar), you still may not know the engaging, evocative works of Bosnian artist Safet Zec.

ZEC 04.jpgIf you don’t, this adeptly curated exhibition would be the perfect occasion to make his acquaintance. These engrossing pieces vary widely in subject matter, medium, and presentation; some never before on exhibit. Visitors are routed past intimate watercolor studies and reflective pen and pencil sketches that are not only marvelous in their own right, but as precursors offer insight into the series of rich, almost life-sized watercolor, tempura, and oil depictions that follow.

ZEC 012.jpgThe abundance of natural light filtering through the white mesh panels on the upper floor of the Correr is particularly complementary to a radiance that seems to emanate from almost every painting. Adding another dimension is the frequent and unexpected use of carta intelata: newsprint or other common paper stock treated to serve as canvas. It seeps and peers though images and brush strokes, incorporating itself seamlessly to become an integral part of the whole.

“I like that something discarded, dirty, and  of little apparent value serves as the base for a work with grander intent,” says Zec. The result of his unique approach and intuitive, impressionable eye is a powerful, delicate, fascinating collection of paintings that seem to exude the very essence of their subject matter, making them a pleasure to behold.

Safet Zec: The Power of Painting

Through July 18

Museo Correr

10 – 6 p.m. (last entrance at 5 pm)

9 thoughts on “Safet Zec: Powerful Painting at the Correr

  1. Bonnie

    Saw this a couple of weeks ago – VERY powerful and highly recommended! I would give anything to be able to get a print of the first image shown here. So strong, so amazing when you get up close and see the text of newspapers etc., included in the painting.

    the experience of seeing this show was a highlight of my trip to NE Italy this year.

    1. natalie myatt

      Hello, can I ask if you ever managed to get a print of this painting? I am currently seeking it myself

  2. Stefania

    These paintings are amazing! Some of them look like pictures! I’m going back to Venice at the begining of July, I might be able to go and see this exibition.

    Proprio bei!

  3. Tony

    Saw this exhibition at the Museo Correr last week. Had to keep pressing to be shown where the Safet Zec exhibition was and then…. we were both just knocked out. Fabulous paintings, a man with a wonderful eye.

    If you get near Venice – go to see it.

  4. Lucy

    Saw this in June, was so blown away that certain paintings literally brought tears to my eyes. Such a powerful painter, technique is unsurpassed, use of different medias is so unique.

  5. Vlada

    I’ve seen him in Correr as well, he was the one painter who really impressed me after visiting Correr and Galleria. I just loved the exhibition, very powerful indeed, but was saddened to see there were almost no visitors there.

  6. susie cosner

    My daughter and husband had the best experience in Venice…they stumbled upon Safet Zec in his studio..they were invited in and spent over 30 mins with this remarkable genius..afterwards they got my mother and myself and we spent hrs at his show…we were all moved to tears…does anyone know where he’ll be showing next? Were obsessed…finest artist we’ve ever seen…Susie Cosner

  7. Living Venice Post author

    Susie, I’d just check his website,, to stay apprised of where his work might be showing. It’s powerful stuff — I hope you get to see it again soon.


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