AFP reports Francois Pinault’s explanation for the his new Venice venture:
“Everyone knows my passion for art,” the owner of the Christie’s auction house said at a press preview of the contemporary arts centre filling the triangular tip of an island across from Saint Mark’s Square. “Venice gives me the chance to express it forcefully.”
The Guardian has lunch with Pinault’s curator, Alison Gingeras:
“Pinault loves creative spaces,” explains Gingeras. “The first thing he does when he touches down in New York is go to his favourite studios in Brooklyn. He spends most of his time there.”
Pinault is no Charles Saatchi, Gingeras says. “He favours artists he likes and has followed for a long time; he doesn’t try to be encyclopedic. We do go to new galleries and shows, but 70% of the art he buys is from artists he knows.”
Martin Gayford wonders in Bloomberg how many of the artists collected at the Punta della Dogana will be remembered in 100 years. He’s also iffy on Tadao Ando’s renovation:
the conversion must be judged only a partial success, as the smooth minimalist structures of the new construction meld awkwardly with the time-worn textures of the timber roof beams and brick walls.
The exhibition is a sort of Who’s Who of global art today. As one enters, virtually the first work to meet the eye is a 1995 sculpture by Rachel Whiteread, “Untitled (One Hundred Spaces),” a series of resin molds of the underside of tables that look almost edible — like so many pieces of candy or Turkish delight. Above, a stuffed horse by Maurizio Cattelan has apparently crashed head first into the venerable building, and dangles there.
Other highlights include a room of beautiful paintings by Cy Twombly, one of the grand survivors of 1950s American art: “The Coronation of Sesostris” (2000). They are huge canvases featuring scratchy images of rowboats, like graffiti from the ancient wall. Another space is filled with enormous pictures by the German star artist Sigmar Polke.