Spring arrival He brought back the possibility to start traveling again and map new itineraries and trails on the routes of contemporary art.
Reunion with new artworks and old friends—artists, collectors, curators, and galleries—from all over the world has been very emotional for me, like picking up a thread after the fragmented experiences of the past three years or so.
April was the month of Venice, with the opening of the 59th Biennale, put by curator Cecilia Alemani under the poetic title Milk of Dreams. This meticulous and intense exhibition takes us into a surreal space, full of visions, identifying images that connect art to land and transformations. I came across artists on whom I started building my collection 30 years ago: Rosemary Trueckel, Louise Lawler, Barbara Krueger, Katharina Fritsch. Along the way, I immersed myself in time capsules, similar to history Wondercamern– Meet my sweetheart, Carol Rama, in the “Cradle of the Witch” section. From there, I passed from below dead dance, a nearly 150-foot-tall superstructure by Arsenal’s Giulia Sensi, which she helped produce. I’ve found work by a number of artists I’ve been following for years with love and attention: Andra Ursuwa, Jana Euler, Christina Quarles, Margaret Homo, John Crespo, Sandra Mugenga and Louise Bonet. At Giardini, I admired Simon Lee’s prized sculptures in the United States Pavilion. In the French Pavilion, I found myself immersed in the sets of Zineb Sedira’s films. In the British Pavilion, entrusted to Sonia Boyce, I walked through a large multimedia creation, featuring videos, sounds and sculptural objects.
This Biennale in particular was important to me because on April 21 I realized my dream of launching a new location for Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo on San Giacomo Island, a small plot of land in the Venetian Lagoon. for their performance In the tired wateringJota Mombaça has laid the foundation stone for the new venue that I intend to devote to the production of artistic projects, designed to host research and discourses on art, music, film, theater and contemporary culture.
A few weeks later, the Frieze New York was a great opportunity to finally travel abroad, meet friends, visit galleries and museums. Among other things, I visited this year’s Whitney Biennale, “Calm As Preserved.I took the show’s title as an invitation – and a warning. Calm and silence, and at the same time, the sense of mystery and oppression that this colloquial expression carries. The exhibition opens a meditative dimension and questions the current meaning of the word “American”. One of the works that surprised me the most was 06.01.2020 18.39.39 by Alfredo Jaar; day is dayThe installation of a film about the ideas of motherhood, inheritance and subjectivity. Alex da Corte video Roy J Beefwhich tells the story of love, loss and transformation; small island, an interesting monolithic green sculpture by the young Arya Dean; And the beautiful painting guiding light by Harold Ankart. Artists of all generations explore stories and geographies in all their layers and complexities.
Beginning in June, two exhibitions of works from my collection took me to my beloved Spain, to the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo in Seville and Patio Herreriano in Valladolid, with about 60 artists, 30 of them women, on display in each museum. I took the opportunity to order on the Prado to see the new work of Philip Barrino, a film about the last work of Francisco Goya. The film is presented with music composed specifically for Juan Manuel Artero that gives it a ghostly and intimate feel.
Before heading to Kassel, Germany, for Documenta 15, I dedicate a few days to Art Basel, with a careful visit to the stalls of major international fairs, to breathe in the latest trends. Despite the current complexity of the geopolitical scenario, this year’s fair was once again exceptional and successful. As a collector, I look forward to Art Basel all year long and experience it as a really prime time to discover it.
The gallery presents a detailed map of 289 international galleries – an incredible number – giving insight into their work, which is indispensable to the art ecosystem. Basel art is huge, and there is good energy, with lots of paintings on display and great installations.
As always, I visited the Unlimited section of Art Basel on Monday with great pleasure: here, I stayed at Andrea Zittel’s Uniforms from A to Z Provided by Regen Projects; Isa Genzken’s installation was presented by Neugerriemschneider and also shown at Skulptur Projekte Münster in 2007; and Ursuţa Vandal Lost Presented by David Zwirner, an impressive installation that I decided to have for the collection. Later that day, I visited the Liste Gallery with great interest. I missed the chaotic energy of previous editions in the gallery’s former home in an abandoned brewery, but I appreciate the proximity to Messe, where Art Basel is held, and the sinister nature of the layout.
Tuesday morning is the time for the main section of Art Basel. I started on the first floor: Among the highlights are a new abstract work by Tauba Auerbach from Standard (Oslo); The Kraupa-Tuskany Zeidler booth features new works by Ambera Wellman, Clara Hosendlova, and Katja Nowitskova, whose new site-specific sculpture will open in the Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Art Park in the fall; and Daniela Ortiz’s performance in a puppet show about European bureaucracy, courtesy of Laveronica arte contemporanea, in the gallery’s data section.
As always, the city is brimming with great galleries, among which is a visit to the gallery of Michael Armitage, an artist I’ve been collecting and following since 2015, at the Kunsthalle. His gallery occupies the entire ground floor of the Kunsthalle with works created in the last two years, undoubtedly an exhibition not to be missed. Mondrian’s extraordinary solo exhibition at the Fondation Beyeler, which traces the evolution of the artist’s work and celebrates the 150th anniversary of his birth, deserves special mention.
Upon arriving in Castle, I immediately felt that I had entered another world. Recently opened, Documenta 15, curated by the Ruangrupa collective in Jakarta, is a radical exhibition, and platform for experimentation from which I would have expected a reflection on the idea of curating a biennial and large exhibitions. Based on the connection between art and activism, Documenta takes 15 positions, addressing open and sensitive issues, some of which are unresolved and divisive. The heated debate about allegations of anti-Semitism he has raised must be followed closely as it pertains to the relationship between art and politics, art and history, reflecting to some extent the dramatic and conflicting times we live in.
Finally, I arrived in Athens where I visited an exhibition of fine works from the collection of Dimitris Dascalopoulos, and an exhibition dedicated to the work of Carrie Upson at the Dest Foundation that really intrigued me. I arrived at Hydra Island on board the wonderful yacht sinnerDesigned by Jeff Koons for collectors Dakis Guano. Here, in the evocative spaces of the slaughterhouse, surrounded by the sea, I visited ApolloJeff Koons’ latest amazing project. Thanks to Dakis Guano, among friends, collectors, artists and gallery owners, we celebrated the summer solstice in these magical places, before we all meet again on the next occasion.
A version of this article appears in the 2022 issue of ARTnews’ Top 200 Collector’s Edition, under the title “Surreal Reunions”.