We're finally here!

The very rich contemporary art collection by François Pinault, which includes more than three thousand works from the 20th century to the present day, reopens to the public after the lockdown necessary to contain the spread of Covid-19. The typology of works ranges from painting to photography, through installation, sculpture and video.Among the great names that appear in this prestigious collection are artists of the calibre of Andy Warhol, Jeff Koons, Mario Merz, Lucio Fontana, Damien Hirst, Cy Twombly and Takashi Murakami.

In fact, from Saturday 11th July 2020 it will be possible to visit again the two great Venetian exhibition venues: Palazzo Grassi, an imposing 18th century building overlooking the Grand Canal, inside the San Marco district and Punta della Dogana located between the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal, also known as the Dogana de Mar, Punta della Trinità or Punta del Sale, and is practically the mouth where the Grand Canal begins and has ancient origins, probably from the late fourteenth century.

The Pinault Collection and contemporary art exhibitions

The great collection of the French entrepreneur is structurally linked to the city of Venice even though it is not permanently preserved here, but on the contrary, his masterpieces go around museums, exhibitions and shows all over the world.

In fact, François Pinault's cultural project is not simply aimed at "filling" the rooms of a new museum with works, but rather, it aims at creating a true centre for the creation and promotion of contemporary art, pushing around three major activities: a museum/exhibition in Venice, a programme of off-site exhibitions that dialogue with Venice and initiatives to support artists and promote art history. All this with the idea of making the city one of the most appreciated capitals of contemporary art, already able to count on a millenary history, which has in art and aesthetic culture its most important characteristic.

The two incredible places chosen for museum activities, Palazzo Grassi, inaugurated in 2006, and Punta della Dogana, opened a few years later in 2009, have both been restored and re-designed by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, who was awarded the prestigious Pritzker Prize in 1995. In the two buildings, the masterpieces of the Pinault Collection are the subject of regular exhibitions, with each one actively involving the public and artists, invited to create works on site or to carry out precise commissions.

For a few years now, the Palazzo Grassi Theatre, built by Tadao Ando himself in 2013, has been joined by a conspicuous cultural and educational programme of lectures, study days, screenings and concerts held together with other institutions in the city, such as universities and cultural centres.

Henri-Cartier Bresson. Le grand Jeu: the exhibition

As part of the post-covid reopening there will be three exhibitions present, which can be visited by a closed number, subject to reservation, ensuring maximum safety for visitors and professionals. At Palazzo Grassi it will be possible to admire the deep gaze of the French photographer Henri-Cartier Bresson in his personal exhibition entitled Henri-Cartier Bresson. Le grand Jeu, realized together with the National Library of France and the Foundation of the same name on the artist.

The entire exhibition project, conceived and coordinated by Matthieu Humery, was created with the contribution of five important curators on the Bressonian work (1908 - 2004), and in particular on the so-called "Master Collection", a sample of over three hundred images that the artist identified at the beginning of the 1970s, with significant and interesting details on his entire work. The German director Wim Wenders, the Spanish writer Javier Cercas, the American photographer Annie Leibovitz, the curator and director of the Prints and Photography department of the Bibliothèque Nationale de France Sylvie Aubenas, together with François Pinault, have identified and chosen about fifty images each from the original "Master Collection", of which there are five examples. The critical gaze of these five different personalities further enriches the debate on the photography of a master like Bresson, now known throughout the world.

The Henri-Cartier Bresson exhibition. Le grand Jeu will be open at Palazzo Grassi in the following period: 11.07.2020 - 10.01.2021, only on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10:00 to 19:00. Reservation is compulsory: click here

Other exhibitions

Together with the exhibition on Bresson, to which the entire first floor will be reserved, Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana are preparing to inaugurate two other extremely interesting exhibitions, which I am convinced are worth a visit!

  • ONCE UPON A DREAM, di Youssef Nabil

Palazzo Grassi presents a monograph dedicated to the artist Youssef Nabil (Cairo, 1972), entitled Once Upon a Dream by Matthieu Humery and Jean-Jacques Aillagon. Another extraordinary look at contemporary photography: here the artist uses a traditional Egyptian technique frequently used for family photographic portraits and posters from the films that populated the streets of Cairo. All these images are then hand painted by Youssef Nabil, giving back the suggestions of a new Egypt, identity and ideology.

The exhibition will be open at Palazzo Grassi in the following period: 11.07.2020 - 10.01.2021, only on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10:00 to 19:00. Reservation is required: click here


Very different from the latter, the exhibition event hosted at Punta della Dogana Untitled, 2020. Three perstectives on the art of the present, curated by Caroline Bourgeois, Muna El Fituri together with the British artist Thomas Houseago. Designed specifically for the spaces of Punta della Dogana, the exhibition is divided into thematic environments that tell the works of over 60 artists, both from the Pinault Collection and other museums and private collections, through a path that spans from the twentieth century to today, according to a common thread based on different emotional and sensory connections.

There will be space between multiple media, from sculpture to video, from painting to photography, moving around the reconstruction of Houseago's studio, inside Tadao Ando's cube room, with a site-specific installation.

It will be possible to admire the works of: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Nairy Baghramian, Garry Barker, Maria Bartuszová, Lee Bontecou, Marcel Broodthaers, stanley brouwn, Teresa Burga, James Lee Byars, Eduardo Chillida, Robert Colescott, Bruce Conner, Enrico David, Karon Davis, Hélène Delprat, Abigail DeVille, Jan Dibbets, Elliot Dubail, Marlene Dumas, Valie EXPORT, Saul Fletcher, Llyn Foulkes, Kasia Fudakowski, Ellen Gallagher, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster, Nancy Grossman, Philip Guston, Lauren Halsey, David Hammons, Duane Hanson, Georg Herold, David Hockney, Thomas Houseago, Arthur Jafa, Joan Jonas, Mike Kelley, Alice Kettle, Edward Kienholz & Nancy Reddin, Tetsumi Kudo, Deana Lawson, Bernd Lohaus, Lee Lozano, Markus Lüpertz, Paul McCarthy, Gustav Metzger, Peter Mitchell, Henry Moore, Otto Mühl, Rei Naito, Senga Nengudi, Meret Oppenheim, Nam June Paik, Solange Pessoa, Charles Ray, Auguste Rodin, Cameron Rowland, Betye Saar, Lorna Simpson, Ser Serpas, Daniel Steegmann Mangrané, Alina Szapocznikow, Henry Taylor, James "Son Ford" Thomas, Luc Tuymans, Gilberto Zorio. A great exhibition not to be missed!

The exhibition will be open at Palazzo Grassi in the following period: 11.07.2020 - 13.12.2020, only on Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays from 10:00 to 19:00. Reservation is required: click here