BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors

Prima Materia at Punta Della Dogana

François Pinault Foundation - Venice, Italy

Sherrie Levine, Crystal Skull, 2010
Sherrie Levine, Crystal Skull, 2010

After a microcosmic Grand Tour of the contemporary art world, my feet grew weary pounding the wet gravel and palazzo floors of the Venice Biennale. In search of a more permanent fixture in the city of art I made my way to Punta della Dogana. Occupying the spectacular point where the Grand and the Giudecca Canals converge, this exquisitely restored museum presents site-specific commissions and long-term exhibitions assembled from the François Pinault collection. With a rolling programme, the Pinault Foundation enters into a game of synergy with neighbouring collections, visiting artists and a global audience. Thus, contemporary art thrives in Venice, even when the colossal presence of La Biennale rolls out of town for the winter.

Amid a seasonal downpour, Philippe Parreno’s canopy of lights beckoned me to seek shelter in the exhibition "Prima Materia". Echoing desolately in the foyer, the unrelenting drips of Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster’s sound environment marked the transition from the soggy outside world to a dystopian urban-patio mise-en-scène in the next room. Here, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch’s immersive ‘sculptural theatre’ is sprawled languorously across the enormous space, filling it with the trappings of bourgeois leisure and an incessant stream of attention-deficit characters. The calibre of artists on show and the scale of the projects enabled by the Pinault Foundation immediately demonstrate a finger placed resolutely on the art world pulse. Impressive presentations by the likes of Theaster Gates, Sherrie Levine and Llyn Foulkes spark dialogues with new commissions and are equally at home within the extensive collection as in any major biennial.

Sensitive restoration by master architect Tadeo Ando allows the city’s legendary light to permeate the building; viewing apertures in the upper level onto ‘the Cube’ below reveal the wild dense thickets on Zeng Fanzhi’s immense canvases groping for its source. This vast project space at the heart of the museum gives invited artists free rein for a full year. In an adjacent space, a stifling white-hot laboratory of light by Loris Gréaud has likewise been supported by the Foundation. The importance placed on providing initiatives which allow both visiting artists and a general audience to enter into a dialogue with the collection and its setting is a common value of the BMW Art Guide by Independent Collectors.

Diana Thater, Six Color Sun Vertical Stack, 2000
Diana Thater, Six Color Sun Vertical Stack, 2000

In the central nave, the light and life breathed back into the building is mirrored in the calm, elemental order of seminal works from the Mono-Ha and Arte Povera movements which have a strong representation in the collection. In the upper level, fluid conversations between medium and environment continue, reclaiming attention from magnificent views out of half-moon windows. Roni Horn’s solid glass casts in washed-out hues of blue and blue-green, gently frosted by the casting process function like gleaming basins of canal water plucked straight out of a Canaletto. They evoke the import/export industries once centred on this very spot in the city and demonstrate how visual culture has superseded them.

If "Prima Materia" is the basis for any magnum opus, then the Foundation finds its parallel in the alchemist’s Ouroboros: in connecting with its own genesis, it enables the circuitous reception and production of transformative contemporary art. As the sun sets upon La Biennale for another two years it is reassuring to know that the François Pinault Foundation remains, year round: a permanent beacon for contemporary art in the city of light.

Kate Andrews is an Edinburgh-based writer, curator and founder of "JaAliceKlarr projects"; a cross-disciplinary curatorial collaboration.
Photos by: © Palazzo Grassi, ph: ORCH orsenigo_chemollo; © Thomas Mayer

Collections (94)

Kasteel Wijlre Estate

Art from the 1960s to the present in a modern pavilion

Museum Liaunig

Nuriel Molcho and Francesca Gavin travel out of Vienna to hillside Carinthia, to meet with Peter Liaunig

Fundació Vila Casas

Three buildings, three points of focus: painting, sculpture and photography

Gibbs Farm

A sculpture park in XXL format with monumental art in the grandness of nature

Kloster Schoenthal

Nature-inspired sculptures in a pristine landscape

Pinchuk Art Centre

Blue-chip contemporary in the first private museum in the former USSR

Museo James Turrell — The Hess Art Collection, Colomé

Turrell’s largest Skyspace and additional light rooms in breathtaking surroundings

Kunst(Zeug)Haus

An extensive private collection of Swiss contemporary art of the last fifty years

Mathaf—Arab Museum of Modern Art

A Royal Collection Spanning 200 Years of Arab Art – Doha, Qatar

Sara Piccinini

Senior Coordinator, Collezione Maramotti - Reggio Emilia, Italy

Reflection and Speculation

Sammlung von Kelterborn – Frankfurt, Germany

KaviarFactory

DJ Cassy and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Venke and Rolf A. Hoff in Henningsvær, Norway

Deichtorhallen Hamburg – Sammlung Falckenberg

Positions of social criticism in German and American contemporary art – Hamburg, Germany

Houghton Hall

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Lord David Cholmondeley in King’s Lynn, Norfolk

The Walther Collection

Inside and Outside the Frame – Neu Ulm, Germany

Peter Ibsen Collection

Minimalist Works That Hone Your Sense for Detail – Copenhagen, Denmark

Initiating Dialogues

Sammlung Hoffmann – Berlin, Germany

The Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

Andrea Denver and Francesca Gavin meet with collectors Sherry and Joel Mallin in Upstate New York

The Agah Uğur Collection

One of the Largest Video Art Collections in Istanbul, Turkey

KA Modern and Contemporary Art Space

900 Square Meters Dedicated to Lebanon’s Most Significant Artists – Beirut, Lebanon

Art About Beauty and Infirmity

Collezione De Iorio – Trento, Italy

Living Collection

Gary Yeh and Francesca Gavin meet with architect and collector William Lim in Hong Kong

Early Passions

Z Collection – Hong Kong, China

Infinite Interiors

Philara Collection – Dusseldorf, Germany

Papko Art Collection

Works of Turkish Modernism at the legendary Ralli Apartment in Istanbul

Risky Business

Astrup Fearnley Museet – Oslo, Norway

Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo

Pari Ehsan and Francesca Gavin meet with collector Patricia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in Turin, Italy

Something Special, Something Sacred

The Goss-Michael Foundation – Dallas, United States of America

JAHM – Justin Art House Museum

Digital and Abstract Art — Melbourne, Australia

A More Democratic Art

MACBA – Museum of Contemporary Art of Buenos Aires, Argentina

Embracing the Accidental

Trajković Collection – Belgrade, Serbia

Galila's P.O.C.

A Collection Made up of Thematic Collections – Brussels, Belgium

Establishing Roots and Creating Links

The Ovidiu Șandor Collection – Timișoara, Romania

Instituto Figueiredo Ferraz

Abstract painting and concept art in Brazil’s interior – São Paulo

Conversation Pieces

KUNSTSAELE Berlin – Berlin, Germany

Magazzino Italian Art

Contemporary Italian Art on the Hudson River – New York

Slow Learning

de la Cruz Collection – Miami, United States of America

Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa

A venue for contemporary African art – Cape Town

The Elliott Eyes Collection

Engaging With the Collectors – Sydney

Foundation Francès

A French roadtrip reaching the radical reflections of artist Kader Attia

The Sublime Hyacinth Collection

Czech Art Meets Czech Design – Prague, Czech Republic

Marciano Art Foundation

Contemporary art at the Masonic temple – Los Angeles

Time Stamps

Julia Stoschek Collection – Berlin, Germany

Generative Grammars

Servais Family Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Chasing the Future

dslcollection – Paris, France

Charged Atmospheres

Transformer Station – Cleveland, United States of America

Places in, and out of, Time

Adrastus Collection – Arévalo, Spain

Eloquent Silences

The Givon Art Forum – Tel Aviv, Israel

Counting to Ten

Ten Cubed – Melbourne, Australia

Dispersing Narratives

The Wedge Collection – Toronto, Canada

Dialogues in Nature

Chatsworth – Bakewell, Great Britain

Present Pasts

The Feuerle Collection – Berlin, Germany

Space for the Future

The Vanhaerents Art Collection – Brussels, Belgium

Colección Contemporánea

A Global Collection from a Seasoned Art Collector In Mexico City

Adrastus Collection

A Collection That Shows the Diversity of Art in the Age of Globalization – Arevalo, Spain

Masters and Romantics

Collection Lambert – Avignon, France

Fondazione Rolla

A Collection of Modern and Contemporary Photography in Ticino

Finnish Rhapsody

Didrichsen Art Museum – Helsinki, Finland

Cranford Collection

One of Europe’s Most Important Collections with Renowned Contemporaries in Regent’s Park – London

Broad Minded

Artist Tomasz Kobialka on The Broad – Los Angeles, USA

Jean-Paul Najar Foundation

European-American Post-Minimalist Art in a Bauhaus-inspired building – Dubai

Treasure Hunt

The Wanås Foundation/Wanås Konst – Knislinge, Sweden

AMC Collezione Coppola

A Curious Collector Acquiring Art to Broaden his Understanding of the World

A Home for Light and Color

MALBA – Museo de Arte Latinoamericano de Buenos Aires

Newport Street Gallery

Damien Hirst’s ‘Murderme’ Collection finds a permanent home – London

Franks Suss Collection

A Duo Investing in Artists and Not Cashing In – Hong Kong, London and Sydney

Mallin Collection & Buckhorn Sculpture Park

A Magic Sculpture Garden in Westchester County – Pound Ridge, New York

Shine On

Wurlitzer – Berlin-Pied-à-Terre Collection – Berlin, Germany

Houghton Hall – King's Lynn

Lavish 18th Century interiors juxtaposed with contemporary outdoor sculpture

Venet Foundation

An Artist’s Take on Collecting in the South of France

G2 Kunsthalle

Large-scale paintings of the New Leipzig School in dialogue

The Immaculate Collection

Igal Ahouvi Art Collection – Tel Aviv, Israel

dslcollection

The best of Chinese contemporary art, available 24/7/365

Thoma Foundation

Two intimate art spaces in Chicago and Santa Fe encourage dialogue between work and viewer

Lyon Housemuseum

Located near Melbourne, Australia, collector Corbett Lyon designed the Housemuseum to share it with the public

Follow The Yellow Brick Road

Inhotim – Instituto de Arte Contemporânea e Jardim Botânico

Portraiture Confronting a Land’s Traumatic Past

The Walther Collection – Project Space New York – New York City

Conceptual Authenticity

Sammlung Barbara und Axel Haubrok - haubrok projects - Berlin, Germany

A Self-taught Collector

Vass Collection - Veszprém, Hungary

Roots in Rotterdam

Concordia Collection - Rotterdam, Netherlands

Louvre goes Lens – and Pinault follows

How France’s most established museum and collector are redeveloping forgotten places

History Reinvented

Insights into the influential collection of Martin Parr

A Collection Which Never Sleeps

David Roberts Art Foundation – Great Britain, London

Get Lucky

David Walsh and his MONA

An Eye into a Secret World

SIP Shpilman Institute for Photography – Tel Aviv, Israel

Gifts for Philadelphia

Private collectors with a generous heart

A New Home for Miami’s Art Scene

On the opening of the Jorge M. Pérez Museum

Eric and Jean Cass Collection

A private collection goes public

Bernardo Paz’s Transformative Museum

A closer look at Inhotim in Brazil

The Open Road to Jupiter

Robert & Nicky Wilson - Jupiter Artland

Collecting with an Impact

Dakis Joannou - Deste Foundation for Contemporary Art

Menil Collection Makeover

Starting with the parking lot

White Rabbit Collection

Chinese Contemporary Art – Australia, Sydney