Linda Yablonsky went to the opening of the Punta della Dogana and writes about it for ArtForum:
The building, ingeniously renovated as an art space by architect Tadao Ando, sits on the point of an island facing the Bay of San Marco, opposite the celebrity-burdened hotel, Il Palazzo. The sunset event was really just a name-dropping opportunity that attracted everyone of importance in Pinault’s several companies, which include Louis Vuitton and Christie’s. So Naomi Campbell was probably required to be there, as was Marc Jacobs, a few Fendis, Amy Cappellazzo, and other high-ranking employees who sipped prosecco and took hits of a scrumptious seafood risotto before swanning into the building to see “Mapping the Studio,” a two-part exhibition curated by Alison Gingeras and Francesco Bonami. (The better half is in Pinault’s Palazzo Grassi, a few sweaty vaporetto stops up the Grand Canal.)
“This is like an evening sale at Christie’s,” observed Gavin Brown, gazing at a crowd that included the former empress of Iran Farah Diba, Stella McCartney, Lord and Lady Linley, and playwright John Guare with American Academy in Rome president Adele Chatfield-Taylor. American collectors joined Italian, French, and the odd Russian and every dealer Pinault had ever overpaid for an artwork: Larry Gagosian, Jay Jopling, Lorcan O’Neill, Monika Spruth, Massimo De Carlo, Eva Presenhuber, Anton Kern, and Carol Greene, among others.
Filling out the mostly Euro business crowd were several artists whose works were on view: Jeff Koons, Cindy Sherman, Rachel Harrison, Peter Fischli and David Weiss, Matthew Day Jackson, and Rudolf Stingel, all gussied up and loving it. The exception was Gingeras, who looked great but had to make sweet small talk to all the better-heeled guests. “I am not having a good time!” she exclaimed. “And you can quote me.”
Inside, under the original wooden beams of cathedral-height ceilings, and between new marblelike concrete walls, big works by big-name artists awaited guests who kept praising the building. The piece that attracted the most admirers, especially among the male museum guards, was the ten-foot-tall nude boy by Charles Ray that is now the Dogana’s figurehead, facing the harbor while holding aloft, between two fingers, not a beacon but a white frog, by the tail. The symbolism was lost on no one.
Dogana Days (ArtForum)