PINAULT
COLLECTION
numéro 06
April
September 2016
 
<div style="text-align: right;"> <b>Jean-Jacques<br>Aillagon</b> </div> <br /> <br /> <br /> <br /> <div> <span class="alinea"></span>Ten years ago, on April 29, 2006, Palazzo Grassi opened with the exhibition “Where Are We Going?,” curated by Alison Gingeras. Less than a year earlier, in May 2005, François Pinault acquired this major site in Venetian cultural life, in disuse since Fiat had left the building after several decades with Pontus Hultén, among others, at the helm. Pinault announced in <i>Le Monde </i>on May 10, 2005, that he was abandoning plans to build a contemporary art museum on the Île Seguin in Boulogne Billancourt, a western suburb of Paris. This decision to install his collection in Venice was carefully considered. It was made possible by a constructive dialogue with two successive mayors of Venice: first Paolo Costa, then, from April 2005, Massimo Cacciari. Shortly after Pinault charged architect Tadao Ando with the project of renovating Palazzo Grassi, Cacciari the philosopher-mayor invited him to consider the possibility of acquiring a second site in the city of the Doges: the famous maritime customs house, located at the tip of Dorsoduro. Now in poor condition, the customs building had been empty since ceasing activity several years prior. The tender process, following an invitation to bid, was arduous, the Guggenheim having entered the fray in extremis. Ultimately the municipality of Venice chose to entrust the building to François Pinault. The opening of Punta della Dogana, also renovated by Ando with the watchful assistance of the commissioner of landmark preservation, architect Renata Codello, was celebrated on June 6, 2009 with the exhibition “Mapping the Studio.”<br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>I had the honor and, I can honestly say, the pleasure of contributing to shaping this installation of the Pinault Collection in Venice as director of Palazzo Grassi through June 2007, when I left to direct the Château de Versailles Today I am pleased to witness the ongoing success of this project, now with a third building: the Teatrino, masterfully restored by Ando once again. The three sites have been impeccably directed by Martin Bethenod since 2010. <br><br> <span class="alinea"></span>By setting up in the Italian city, Pinault did not give in to the “temptation of Venice” described by Alain Juppé. Instead, he deliberately chose a paradoxical world city, this gorgeous town that is now home to a relatively small population but whose importance in the art world is immense, by virtue of the large-scale international events it hosts regularly, first and foremost the Biennale Arte, which every two years draws to Venice all artists, collectors, curators, gallerists, critics, and art aficionados. A capital city, then, that exists for art.</div>
 

Pinault Collection

Pinault Collection Magazine - Issue #06

 

Pinault Collection

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