All the stars of the Pinault Collection, from Cattelan to Arthur Jafa, on display in Venice

From April 2 to Nov. 26, 2023, the stars of the Pinault Collection go on display at Venice's Punta della Dogana for the exhibition "Icônes," a survey of the role of images in contemporary art.

The stars of the Pinault Collection all together in an exhibition to be held from April 2, 2023 to November 26, 2023 at the collection’s headquarters at the Punta della Dogana in Venice. Curated by Emma Lavigne, general director Pinault Collection, and Bruno Racine, director and managing director of Palazzo Grassi - Punta della Dogana, the exhibition, titled Icônes, focuses precisely on the theme of icons.

The word “icon” has two meanings: its Greek etymology refers to the concepts of “image” and “likeness,” while its use generally refers to religious painting, in more recent times the term has been associated with the idea of model, emblematic figure. Theimage (its ability to represent a presence, between appearance and disappearance, shadow and light, to depict a physical space and to generate an empathetic emotion with visitors) is therefore at the center of this exhibition conceived for the exhibition spaces of Punta della Dogana and the Venetian context specifically, constantly enriched by the endless dialogue between East and West.

The icon, a vector of the passage to another world and other states of consciousness (contemplation, meditation), brings one back to a transcendental reality with the power to actualize the presence of the invisible, creating an aesthetic and spiritual thrill or dazzle. These are the iconostases, devices that hide the worshipers behind a wall of images, like a doorway to the divine world. They are works that generate spaces like so many pauses or places of recollection in the age of image saturation and misappropriation. Living paintings, rituals, and everything that makes the image a space of relationship between human beings and transcends them.

Quoting Marie-José Mondzain, who in her philosophical reflection dedicated to Russian filmmaker Andrei Tarkovsky points out how the author of the film Andrei Rublëv, through his cinematic poetics, “wrests the icon from the Church and associates the adventure of the gaze with the constitution of a new assembly.” The collected works invite through the exploration of the very meaning of image to a sharing of what is visible. Icônes is a thematic exhibition that brings together works from the Pinault Collection made by artists Josef Albers, Maurizio Cattelan, Edith Dekyndt, David Hammons, Arthur Jafa, Donald Judd, On Kawara, James Lee Byars, Sherrie Levine, Agnes Martin, Paulo Nazareth, Camille Norment, Roman Opalka, Lygia Pape, Michel Parmentier, Philippe Parreno, Robert Ryman, Dayanita Singh, Rudolf Stingel, Danh Vo, and Chen Zhen.

Between figuration and abstraction, the exhibition invokes all facets of the image in the artistic context-painting, video, sound, installation, performance-through a selection of emblematic works from the Pinault Collection and previously unseen dialogues between artists particularly dear to it (David Hammons/Agnes Martin; Danh Vo/Rudolf Stingel; Sherrie Levine/On Kawara...). The exhibition aims to represent both the fragility and the power of images and their polysemic character: the works become apparitions, illuminations, revelations, up to transfiguration.

For all information you can visit the Palazzo Grassi - Punta della Dogana website.

Image: Maurizio Cattelan, The Ninth Hour (1999; resin, painted wax, human hair, fabric, clothing, accessories, stones and carpet, dimensions variable; Pinault Collection). Photo: Zeno Zotti

All the stars of the Pinault Collection, from Cattelan to Arthur Jafa, on display in Venice
All the stars of the Pinault Collection, from Cattelan to Arthur Jafa, on display in Venice

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