Profile : Punta della Dogana

Venice

The Punta della Dogana is an extraordinary building that sits on the corner of the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal in Venice. Originally the customs house of the city in the 15th century, it now houses the collection of Francois Pinault. 

In 2006 the city of Venice launched a contest for the creation of a centre for contemporary art at Punta della Dogana. Palazzo Grassi, under the direction of Jean-Jacques Aillagon, was a candidate in competition with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. Palazzo Grassi won a partnership with the building for 33 years. Acclaimed Japanese architect Tadao Ando was selected  to design the space and after two years of restoration the new space opened in 2009 with the debut exhibition “Mapping the Studio: Artists from the François Pinault Collection”.  

When I was living in Venice in 2010 doing an internship at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection this museum was my favourite to visit on days off. It invokes an immediate sense of calm upon entering, created by the cool polished concrete, clean lines, and low window openings to the soft green water of the canal outside. 

Punta della Dogana from above 

Punta della Dogana from above 

Interior. 

Interior. 

Installation view  

Installation view  

Installation view of the most current exhibition 'Prima Materia' which ended December 2013.  This neon work by Italian artist Mario Merz was created betweem 1982 and 1989. The english translation is 'If the form disappears, its root will be eternal'. 

Installation view of the most current exhibition 'Prima Materia' which ended December 2013. 

This neon work by Italian artist Mario Merz was created betweem 1982 and 1989. The english translation is 'If the form disappears, its root will be eternal'. 

Roni Horn, Well and Truly, 2009-2010. Solid cast glass with as-cast surfaces on all sides, 10 parts each 45.5 x91.5 cm. 

This work was part of an exhibition 'In Praise of Doubt' in 2011. 

The lowness of this room and the semicircular windows reflect both the light of the sky and its reflection on the water of the sea.  The round forms change colour during the day in perfect harmony with these external elements. 

Maurizio Cattelan. All, 2008. 9 sculptures, white Carrara marble “P”. Install view at 'In Praise of Doubt' 2011. 

Maurizio Cattelan. All, 2008. 9 sculptures, white Carrara marble “P”. Install view at 'In Praise of Doubt' 2011. 

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1989. Plywood, each 50 x 100 x 50 cm. Courtesy Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart. © ART © Judd Foundation, by SIAE 2011 © Palazzo Grassi. Install view, 'In Praise of Doubt' 2011. 

Donald Judd, Untitled, 1989. Plywood, each 50 x 100 x 50 cm. Courtesy Froehlich Collection, Stuttgart. © ART © Judd Foundation, by SIAE 2011 © Palazzo Grassi. Install view, 'In Praise of Doubt' 2011. 

Korean artist Lee Ufan's work "Relatum (formerly Phenomena and Perception B ) 1968/1969/2012. Install view at ''Prima Materia'. 

Zeng Fanzhi, This Land so rich in Beauty no.1'  2010

Zeng Fanzhi, This Land so rich in Beauty no.1'  2010

Sturtevant, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, AMERICA AMERICA, 2004. Light bulbs, rubber light sockets and cords, dimensions variable. Install view 'In Praise of Doubt' 2011. 

Sturtevant, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, AMERICA AMERICA, 2004. Light bulbs, rubber light sockets and cords, dimensions variable. Install view 'In Praise of Doubt' 2011. 

Kishio Suga, 'Gap of the Entrance to the Space', 1979/2012. Install view 'Prima Materia' 2013. 

Kishio Suga, 'Gap of the Entrance to the Space', 1979/2012. Install view 'Prima Materia' 2013. 

For more information visit the museum's website here 

Read about François Pinault here