Contemporary art in Venice

A 3 hour tour to relish the must see, international contemporary art in town. Your choice of permanent collections or temporary exhibits. From The Peggy Guggenheim collection to the most vanguard Biennale, passing by Prada or Pinault art shows.

Venice is, and it has always been, a thriving centre for contemporary art in Italy and the world at large. A bustling cosmopolitan trading city, it is unsurprising that contemporary art continues to remain a key character in the city’s landscape.

This tour lasts two to three hours and focuses on one of several special settings for contemporary art in the city: Peggy Guggenheim’s residence Palazzo Venier, Punta della Dogana, Palazzo Grassi or the main venues of the Venice Biennale: Giardini and Arsenale. Join us  and discover a new focus on the arts with us!

Venice has long been world famous for its artistic heritage. In 1895, the Biennale of Venice introduced the city into the world of contemporary art, and it continues to do so to this day. It is the oldest most renowned Biennale in the world held in the heart of the floating city every two years and lasts for seven months. During this time, the whole city comes to life in new and unexpected ways as locals and visiting artists and galleries alike get involved in supporting this incredible contemporary art event.

 contemporary art in Venice

In the 1950s the city was enriched by the great contribution of the American art collector Peggy Guggenheim whose house was turned into its own museum, displaying Guggenheim’s impressive collection of contemporary art. Over the years the museum has expanded to include a number of impressive private collections, including the Gianni Mattioli collection, the Nasher Sculpture Garden and from 2012 the remarkable Hannelore & Rudolph Schulhof collection. All additions that have reaffirmed the palazzo’s status as one of the main cultural hubs for contemporary art in the city. 

In 2006 and 2009 Venice opened its doors to the postmodern world even more extensively: a private museum, housed in two magnificent buildings, presented major exhibitions with a focus on contemporary arts based on the personal collection of François Pinault. The triangular shaped Punta della Dogana separates the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal at the entryway to Venice.

As a center for contemporary art, the former Custom House of the city, combined with the Palazzo Grassi, present permanent contemporary art exhibitions. Most of the exhibited artworks are from the collection of François Pinault. Another impressive gallery space is The Prada Foundation for contemporary art, which opened its doors to Venice in 2011. Housed in one of the most majestic 18th century palazzo in town – Ca’ Corner della Regina – the foundation designs an exhibition every year, which remains a highlight of our art calendar. 

The truth is, contemporary art lives just as vibrantly in this ancient city as the historical art which surrounds it. There is always another artistic talent waiting to be uncovered.

Highlights: Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Punta della Dogana, Palazzo Grassi, La Biennale (Giardini and Arsenale), Vatican Chapels.

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