|The Punta della Dogana (Photo/ANSA.IT)|
(ANSA) - Venice, September 26 - The Francois Pinault Foundation in Venice is gearing up for the launch of its autumn arts initiative, with over 70 events at its three contemporary-art meccas spanning the Grand Canal - Palazzo Grassi, Punta della Dogana, and the newly restored Teatrino performance space. Running from October to the end of the year, the program includes seminars and workshops with some of the biggest names in 21st-century visual art, such as Alexander Nagel, Georges Didi-Huberman, Philippe-Alain Michaud, Yves Aupetitallot, Jef Cornelis, Lee Ufan, Theaster Gates, Wael Shawky, Francesco Bonami and Hervé Tullet. Such events have become celebrated affairs since Francois Pinault, owner of such brands as Converse, Gucci, Balenciaga and Stella McCartney, made a splash in the lagoon with the purchase of Palazzo Grassi in 2006, followed by the acquisition and restoration of the landmark Punta della Dogana in 2008, both of which house his personal art collection as well as featuring major exhibitions.
At the Teatrino, the state-of-the-art theater adjacent to Palazzo Grassi that was refurbished earlier this year by renowned Japanese architect Tadao Ando, the foundation is hosting numerous cycles of films, conferences and talks. In one, called 'Archives', a series of screenings is conceived as an archive of documentary films dedicated to the most significant exhibitions of contemporary art from the sixties to the present.
In another, called 'Projections', video art by artists from the Pinault Collection will be screened. One of the most keenly anticipated series, 'Conversations', features talks with artists currently showing work at the Punta della Dogana in the exhibit 'Prima Materia', with Korean painter and sculptor Lee Ufan starting things off November 7, followed by American installation artist Theaster Gates on December 12. "It all stems from the deep conviction that art involves much more than a beautiful container of works," said Bethenod Martin, director of Palazzo Grassi.
"The series allows visitors to follow and engage the artists by listening to their living voice; to build and maintain an open dialogue with all players in the art world". Organizers say the calendar of events also aims to further strengthen the foundation's links with the city of Venice through collaborating with other institutions.
One example is the series 'L'Opera parla' (The Work Speaks), organized along with the three Venetian universities - University Ca 'Foscari, IUAV and the Academy of Fine Arts. Now in its fifth year, the series of academic talks takes place every Wednesday afternoon at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana. "The commitment we have taken as an institution is to build diverse programming and high quality, to engage the best possible experiences with relevant international figures, and to ensure it's as free as possible," said Martin.