Palazzo Grassi is an edifice in the Venetian Classical style located on the Grand Canal, between the Palazzo Moro Lin and the campo San Samuele, in Venice, Italy. It was designed by Giorgio Massari, and the building was completed between 1748 and 1772.
The latecomer among the palaces on the Grand Canal of Venice, Palazzo Grassi has an academic classical style that is in contrast to the surrounding Byzantine Romanesque and Baroque Venetian palazzi. It has a formal palace façade, constructed in white marble, and lacking the lower mercantile openings typical of many Venetian patrician palaces.
The Grassi family sold the palazzo in 1840, with ownership that followed passing through many different individuals. The Palazzo was purchased by the Fiat Group in 1983, under the late chairman Gianni Agnelli, and it underwent a complete restoration overseen by Count Antonio Foscari Widmann Rezzonico, the current owner of Villa Foscari. The group’s aim was to transform Palazzo Grassi into an exhibition hall for the visual arts. It continues to be used as an art gallery today.
Between 1984 and 1990, Pontus Hultén was in charge of the art museum which also contains a 600-seat outdoor theatre. Since 2006, the palace has been owned by the French entrepreneur François Pinault who exhibits his personal art collection there. It was also where Pinault’s son Francois-Henri met actress Salma Hayek and it served as the location for their wedding vow renewal.
From April 7, to December 31, 2013, Palazzo Grassi presents a personal exhibition of Rudolf Stingel, which brings together over 30 paintings, some displayed for the first time and others created over the last twenty years. The project was conceived specifically for the spaces of Palazzo Grassi and unfolds over the whole exhibition area, over 5.000 square meters. Centered on the relationship between abstract and figurative art, the exhibition displays the constant fluidity between these two polarities, and how they characterize Stingel’s poetics. It is the first time the entire space of Palazzo Grassi is dedicated to a single artist and it is Stingel’s largest ever monographic presentation in Europe.
Punta della Dogana
Punta della Dogana, the former custom house renovated by Tadao Ando, is the other venue for the exhibitions of works from the Pinault Collection. Until December 31, 2014, Punta della Dogana presents the exhibition Prima Materia, curated by Caroline Bourgeois and Michael Govan. It displays almost 80 works created over the last 50 years by approximately 30 artists: Llyn Foulkes, Marlene Dumas, Alighieri Boetti, Roman Opalka, Adel Abdessemed, Thomas Schütte, Loris Gréaud, Lizzie Fitch & Ryan Trecartin, Theaster Gates, and many more.
Teatrino of Palazzo Grassi
San Marco 3260
The Teatrino was initially built as the garden of Palazzo Grassi in 1857, before being turned into an open-air theatre in 1949 and then abbandoned in 1983. In May 2013, after 10 months of renovation works led by Tadao Ando, the Teatrino reopened its doors to the public as an auditorium with a 1.000 square-meter surface, with 225 seats and two foyers. It will now host the program of cultural activities developed by the Pinault Foundation.