Last week, our class went on a seven-day field trip to explore sites in Northern Italy. Our itinerary included a three-day stay in Venice, where we visited the Punta della Dogana – Palazzo Grassi Art Museum. The Punta della Dogana is the triangular area of Venice that separates the Grand Canal and the Giudecca Canal; views of the surrounding canals are always present in the interior on two of the three sides of the triangular-shaped museum. The museum itself is located within Venice’s Dogana del Mar building (constructed in the late 1670s), and the interior went through a renovation in 2008-2009 following the design of the renowned architect Tadao Ando.
The museum contained some fantastic contemporary artworks by a variety of artists. A list of artists in the current exhibition, curated by Caroline Bourgeois and Michael Govan, can be found on the museum’s website.
I have actually seen a few of the displayed works in books and blogs prior to the visit, but seeing them in person in the Ando-designed interior added a lot to the experience. There was a variety of spaces and lighting present in the museum; every space showcased different works in different ways. The colors of the museum’s interior were modest and comforting, and the quietness of the gallery allowed the dialogue between the art & observer to be the most important conversation taking place.
All photographs by Erin Soygenis.
Our stay at the museum was quite short, for our class had quite a lot of places to visit that same day! For me, after seeing so many ancient churches and ruins, seeing such contemporary artworks in a rather newly-renovated museum was quite refreshing. The visit to the museum was absolutely worthwhile, and seeing the architecture and artworks come together so elegantly was both exciting and inspirational.