Venice, capital of contemporary art

Venice, capital of contemporary art It’s been a long week of inaugurations and international events in Venice. Since the opening of the 53rd International Art Exhbition to the long awaited inauguration of François Pinault’s new contemporary art centre at the Punta della Dogana in Venice.  Venice is back on the international map hosting a long list of shows, exhibitions and happenings all connected with contemporary art.

Venice has shown authority in the contemporary art world and taken its place as an art capital in the last few days.  The 2009 Biennale is, according to Sandro Bondi, Minister for Beni Culturali today, “the demonstration that freedom of expression and a combination of artistic expressions and styles is a sign of growth rather than decline.” Mr Bondi was speaking at the opening of the Biennale’s Italian Pavillion.

The newly renovated Italian Pavilian, according to Mr Bondi, sticks out among the other 77 dedicated to countries from around the world.  And the Italian offering allows the world to see that art in Italy is something special and has always been.  This year there is no lack of exhibition space, contemporary art has new locations in Venice – the Punta della Dogana or as it is also known, the exhibition of Ca' Pesaro, which was organised by the Foundation of Civic Museums (Fondazione dei Musei Civici) and the Mayor Massimo Cacciari. 
There is also the exhibition space at the Ca' d'Oro palace organised by the DNArt Foundation in collaboration with our governing body for the fine arts.
After two years of restoration work and 20 million euros, the Punta della Dogana opened on June 3rd.  The work was entrusted to Japanese architect Tadao Ando
The building was once the old Customs house and looks out from a strategic point over the mouth the Grand Canal and St Mark’s basin.

The exhibition space now houses about 100 works of art from the French magnate François Pinault, who is already well known in the city for his restoration in 2006 of the historic  Palazzo Grassi.

The exhibition: «Mapping the Studio: Artists from François Pinault Collection», is curated by Francesco Bonami and Alison Gingeras.  It begins in Palazzo Grassi with 150 works of art and continues on to the Punta della Dogana.

The inauguration, was a glamorous star spotting party with famous artists and film stars that carried on into the night  Pinault, Ando and Venice city Mayor, Massimo Cacciari, participated and together they unveiled the Charles Ray statue, near the Punta della Dogana, at the far end of the island, Boy with Frog (2009). It is to be a symbol of this new urban space.
The opening of the above space by the François Pinault Foundation was without a doubt the
more star-studded event, but the opening of the 53rd International Art Exhibition (Esposizione internazionale d’arte), entitled  “Fare Mondi” (Making Worlds)  made its own waves.  This year it is run by Daniel Birnbaum.

The exhibition opened on the 4th June and is open to the public from 7th June.  It will be open until November 22nd, 2009 at the Giardini in Venice and the large spaces at the Arsenale where the Italian Pavillion has been transferred.
The inauguration and award giving took place on 6th June with President of the Republic Giorgio Napolitano attending along with Venice Mayor Massimo Cacciari.  The monument of the Partigiana by Carlo Scarpa and the statue by Augusto Murer, that stands, half submersed in the lagoon at the Giardini waterfront in Castello were also unveiled.
The city saw many other events linked in some way to the Biennale with its 40 pavillions dispersed throughout the city.  Many artists, excluded from the official Biennale exhibits, take advantage of the event to show off their work independently thereby turning the city into an enormous contemporary art collection. 

53rd Mostra Internazionale d'Arte - Biennale di Venezia

Fare Mondi // Making Worlds // Bantin Duniyan// Weltenmachen // Construire des Mondes // Fazer Mundos
from 7th June to 22nd November 2009

«Mapping the Studio: Artists from François Pinault Collection»

Palazzo Grassi e Punta della Dogana
François Pinault Foundation
from 6th June 2009


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