Agnes Martin, Blue-Grey Composition, 1962. Pinault Collection. © Agnes Martin Foundation, New York / SIAE, 2023. Photo Marco Cappelletti. © Palazzo Grassi
Apr 2 – Nov 26, 2023
Palazzo Grassi / Punta della Dogana
Venice, Italy

Punta della Dogana presents the thematic exhibition Icônes which proposes a reflection on the theme of the icon and the status of the image in the contemporary world through a selection of more than 80 works, among which masterpieces from the Pinault Collection, site-specific installations ad unseen works by 30 artists of different generations.

The word “icon” has two meanings: its Greek etymology defines it as an “image,” while it is used to designate a certain type of religious painting that characterizes in particular Eastern Christianism. The idea of a model, an emblematic figure is more contemporary. The collective show Icônes aims to reveal the icon as a vehicle of passage to another world or other states of consciousness. It is punctuated by spaces like chapels or places to pause in this era of saturation and trivialization of images, and invokes, between figuration and abstraction, all the dimensions of the image in the contemporary artistic context – paintings, videos, sounds, installations, performances.

Icônes is curated by Emma Lavigne, CEO of the Pinault Collection, and Bruno Racine, Director and CEO of Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana and brings together works by Josef Albers, James Lee Byars, Maurizio Cattelan, Étienne Chambaud, Edith Dekyndt, Sergej Eisenstein, Lucio Fontana, Theaster Gates, David Hammons, Arthur Jafa, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Kimsooja, Joseph Kosuth, Sherrie Levine, Francesco Lo Savio, Agnes Martin, Paulo Nazareth, Camille Norment, Roman Opałka, Lygia Pape, Michel Parmentier, Philippe Parreno, Robert Ryman, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Dayanita Singh, Rudolf Stingel, Andrei Tarkovsky, Lee Ufan, Danh Vo, and Chen Zhen.

Conceived specifically for Punta della Dogana and the Venetian context, marked by its tights with Byzantium, the exhibition pays particular attention to the relationship between the city of Venice and the icon.