02.04.23 — 26.11.23
Punta della Dogana


David Hammons, Black Mohair Spirit, 1971
Close David Hammons, Black Mohair Spirit, 1971 Pinault Collection © David Hammons

From April 2 to November 26, 2023, Punta della Dogana presents the thematic exhibition "Icônes" which revolves around works from the Pinault Collection.

The word “icon” has two meanings: its Greek etymology defines it as an “image” or “likeness”, while it is used to designate a religious painting. The idea of a model, an emblematic figure is more contemporary. The status of the image—its capacity to embody a presence, between appearance and disappearance, shadow and light, to represent a space, to spark emotion, and to become one with the viewers—is at the core of this exhibition, conceived specifically for the Punta della Dogana and the Venetian context, with its rich, uninterrupted dialogue between East and West.

The icon—a vehicle of passage to another world, other states of consciousness (contemplation, meditation)—refers us to a transcendent reality, having the power to materialize the presence of the invisible, creating emotion or an aesthetic and spiritual bedazzlement. They are the iconostases—the devices that conceal the religious officiants behind a wall of images which acts as a door to the divine. They are works that generate space, like so many clearings or chapels in this era of saturation and appropriation of images. They are tableaux vivants, rites, everything that makes the image a relational space between humans and what is beyond them. Marie-José Mondzain, in her philosophical reflection on the filmmaker Tarkovsky and the icon-image, emphasises how much the author of Andrei Rublev, through his cinematographic poetics, “tears the icon away from the Church and associates the adventure of the gaze with the constitution of a new assembly.” The collected works invite us to share the visible through the exploration of the status of the image.

A thematic exhibition with works from the Pinault Collection by Josef Albers, James Lee Byars, Maurizio Cattelan, Étienne Chambaud, Edith Dekyndt, Lucio Fontana, Theaster Gates, David Hammons, 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, Lee Ufan, Danh Vo, and Chen Zhen.

Between figuration and abstraction, this exhibition invokes all the dimensions of the image in the artistic context—paintings, videos, sounds, installations, performances—through a selection of emblematic works from the Pinault Collection, and new dialogues between artists who are particularly important for the Collection (David Hammons/Agnes Martin; Danh Vo/Rudolf Stingel; Sherrie Levine/On Kawara...). The exhibition considers both the fragility and the power of images, their polysemic character: all the works become apparitions, illuminations, revelations; they are transfigurations, in every respect.

On the first day of opening, admission is free for residents of the città metropolitana of Venice and for students enrolled in Venetian universities, upon presentation of valid proof.

The exhibition is open from 10 am to 7 pm, last admission at 6 pm. 

Curator: Emma Lavigne, CEO of Pinault Collection, with Bruno Racine, CEO and Director, Palazzo Grassi — Punta della Dogana

Palazzo Grassi is open every day, except on Tuesday, from 10 am to 7 pm.
Punta della Dogana reopens its doors to the public on Sunday April 2, 2023.

One admission ticket to visit the exhibitions at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana:
Full price: €15
Reduced price: €12

Free admission for Members Pinault Collection and visitors under 20

Free admission for residents and students in Venice: on Wednesday, on the first and last day of the exhibition

Guided tours are available for groups and schools.


Every day, from 11 am to 1 pm and from 4 pm to 6 pm, a team of museum interpreters interact with the visitors and comment specific aspects of the ongoing exhibitions. This service is free.