New Philip Colbert exhibition ‘House of the Lobster – from Pompeii to Venice’ opens at the Patricia Low Gallery in Venice

Lobster Octopus II (Pompeii Scene), 2023

 VENICE – The recently opened new Patricia Low gallery in Venice is hosting a solo show by renowned British artist Philip Colbert as their second exhibition on the Grand Canal, from 20 May to 26 August 2023, alongside the 18th International Architecture Exhibition also being held in Venice.

 After the success of Colbert’s 12-metre inflatable – a surprise installation for the opening of the 2022 Venice Biennale – Patricia Low Venezia is hosting his return to the city. Inspired by Canaletto’s renowned paintings, synonymous with Venice, Colbert uses the city itself as a context to present the work. 

 In the exhibition titled, “House of the Lobster”, Colbert presents a new Pompeii series that celebrates the origins of lobster mythology reviving the lobster of Herculaneum and Pompeian mosaics and frescos. 

 Philip Colbert, born in Scotland and living and working in London, is a contemporary artist working across painting, sculpture, clothing, furniture, and within digital spheres. Often referred to as the “godson of Andy Warhol,” he has created a global following for his cartoon lobster persona and his masterful hyper pop history paintings and sculptures.

 His work powerfully explores the patterns of contemporary digital culture and its relationship to art history, merging high art themes from old paintings and art theory with everyday symbols of mass contemporary culture, all narrated through the eyes of his cartoon Lobster alter ego.

 Colbert has exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide, including the Museo di San Salvatore in Lauro (Rome, 2023), The Page Gallery (Seoul, 2022), Saatchi Gallery (London,2020), and Multimedia Art Museum (Moscow, 2020). Colbert has also collaborated with luxury brands such as Rolex, Montblanc, Christian Louboutin, COMME des GARÇONS, Chupa Chups, and Adidas.

 Central to the exhibition is the eternal conflict between the lobster, as a symbol of mortality, and octopus, a sacred symbol. In these underwater battle scenes, they are caught in the midst of a struggle, initially inspired by a mosaic From the House of the Geometric Mosaics in Pompeii (eruption in 79 AD), where a moray eel has joined in the aquatic fight. 

 The Venice series taps into the artistic rite of passage the city has become for contemporary artists while simultaneously speaking to the major force Venetian painting was in Italian Renaissance painting and beyond. Along with the symbol of the lobster in Dutch still-life painting, the artist draws on its rich legacy in art history to create these battle scenes, where pop surrealism and classical antiquity collide. 

 Established in Gstaad, Switzerland in 2005, Patricia Low Contemporary is the destination for contemporary art in the famed Alpine resort. With 18 years of exhibition practice and more than 75 shows in Gstaad (with more in her Geneva and St. Moritz outposts), Patricia Low has been central to putting Gstaad on the contemporary art map.

 The focus is primarily on introducing the most prominent international artists to the Gstaad audience, with an emphasis on the legacies of Contemporary German Painting, Young British Art, Contemporary Photography, Post-Feminism, and Pop.

DATES From 20 May 2023 to 26 August 2023

OPENING HOURS Tuesday – Saturday 10am – 1pm, 2pm – 6pm

ADDRESS Patricia Low Venezia, Palazzo Contarini Michiel, Dorsoduro 2793, Venice


Venice Scene IV (From the Lobstar Planet), 2023
Colbert's 12 metre inflatable in Venice