This inaugural exhibition at the Palazzo Grassi marks the first public unveiling of the François Pinault Collection.
Re-posing the question famously asked by Paul Gauguin at the cusp of the last century—and ironically adapted by Damien Hirst at the start of this one (the artists’ Where are we going? Where do we come from? Is there a reason? (2004), appears in the exhibition’s forth and final section, This is Today) —Where Are We Going? presents some two hundred works by forty-nine artists, organized into thematic chapters that unfold on the three floors of the Palazzo. Eschewing a strict historical chronology, the exhibition includes highlights of some of the most influential art movements of the past sixty years (Art Informel, Arte Povera, Minimalism, Post-Minimalism, Pop Art) and takes us up to the present moment.
From 1983 to 2005, Palazzo Grassi benefited from the sponsorship of the Fiat corporation. Under the company’s founder, the late Gianni Agnelli, the institution mounted a series of major exhibitions, culminating in the centenary exhibition Dalí. With the death of Agnelli, Fiat chose to play a less active role at Palazzo Grassi and sold its stake in the enterprise. François Pinault stepped up in May 2005, establishing the company Palazzo Grassi SpA, in which he holds an 80 percent stake. The remaining shares are retained by the Casino Municipale di Venezia, a public-private company controlled by the City of Venice.
Over the past thirty years, the François Pinault Collection has grown to encompass major holdings of modern and contemporary art. One of the most significant art collections of our time, it currently comprises more than two thousand works.
A fully illustrated catalogue, co edited by Ms. Gingeras and Artforum editor-at-large Jack Bankowsky, is available in Italian-, French- and English-language editions. The exhibition features full-room installations devoted to selections from artists as diverse as Mark Rothko and David Hammons, Donald Judd and Damien Hirst, as well as newly commissioned works, including a luminous installation by Olafur Eliasson for the Palazzo’s grand canal façade, a gallery of new wall paintings by Raymond Pettibon, a technicolor rainstorm comprising 1,700 hand-crafted raindrops conceived by Urs Fischer for the grand interior
staircase, and the premiere of Hanging Heart, a new sculpture by Jeff Koons.
Palazzo Grassi Web Site