Q&A with Alison Gingeras

An older male and younger female standing side by side on a canal.
(Image credit: TBC)

Alison Gingeras manages François Pinault’s contemporary art collection and is co-curator (with Francesco Bonami) of ‘Mapping the Studio’, the inaugural exhibition at the contemporary art centre of Punta della Dogana, and the new exhibition at Palazzo Grassi in June 2009.

What was your brief for ‘Mapping the Studio’?

There was no brief exactly. Mr. Pinault gave us full license to do what we wanted to do, while staying true to the nature of the collection, and its character and strengths. It was more a case of ‘Surprise me – and surprise the public’.

Were there specific challenges to curating one exhibition in two spaces?

It wasn’t so much that there were two spaces, more that Punta della Dogana was new and we had to think about how the art would work with such intense architecture. The Palazzo Grassi is more of a conventional white cube space, whereas the work that went into Punta della Dogana had to be very site-specific. There was also Tadao Ando’s architectural intervention to work with, and we had to choose art, especially in the central gallery, that married well with this minimalist contemporary architecture and still stood out.

What can you tell me about the Pinault collection?

Mr. Pinault has put a lot of heart into this exhibition in particular, and he is someone who is truly passionate about the art of now. ‘Mapping the Studio’ presents around a tenth of the collection as a whole.

Do you know anything about the next show(s) that will be hosted at Punta della Dogana/Palazzo Grassi?

Punta della Dogana is now the permanent collection, and after Mapping the Studio ends, Palazzo Grassi will return to its mission of housing temporary exhibitions.

Is Venice set to become a centre of contemporary art?

I think it already is. With the Biennale taking the temperature of what’s new in contemporary art every two years, and spaces like the Vedova Foundation, Palazzo Fortuny and the Fondazione Bevilacqua la Masa all doing exciting things, Venice’s contemporary art scene is thriving.