The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The collection contains works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Georges Braque, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte and Peggy Guggenheim’s first husband Max Ernst. Guggenheim amassed most of this impressive collection in the very early stages of World War 2. As the Nazis were laying siege to Paris, she had the works spirited to New York hidden among her things. After the war, she returned to Europe where she opened a gallery and museum, first in Paris and then in Venice. Her collection is now one of Venice’s top tourist attractions.
The official Art Biennale spreads across the entire city of Venice and seeing everything is quite the undertaking; the main spaces of the Giardani and the Arsenale alone take hours to cover. However, there are many country pavilions and large scale installations to be seen elsewhere. In addition to the Biennale, Damien Hirst’s fantastical Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is currently on show at the Palazzo Grassi, and there are many impressive, permanent collections, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, that are essential viewing.
Continue reading “Venice: Beyond the main Biennale”
I was in Venice recently to check out the 2017 Art Biennale exhibition. The low and heavy clouds gave the city a fog that was both otherworldly and romantic. Even when cold and grey, Venice has an allure; a faded elegance that gives the city a slightly unreal quality. Like it is a beautifully art-directed film set. It’s the perfect setting to be inspired by art.