Peggy Guggenheim Collection under restoration until 19 February 2012, but many masterpieces are still on view


Peggy Guggenheim Collection under restoration until 19 February 2012, but many masterpieces are still on view

Until 19 February 2012 the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is carrying out extensive restoration work in Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, home of Peggy Guggenheim's museum on the Grand Canal of Venice. The climate control system, which governs optimal levels of temperature and humidity in the exhibition galleries, and which dates back to the early 1980s, will be replaced. Aermec, the well known Veneto company specializing in air-conditioning systems, has donated state-of-the-art plant.
The renovation also concerns the gallery lighting system, which will be updated with new energy-efficient technology. Meanwhile, the Nasher Sculpture Garden will be transformed with a landscape of trees, shrubs and flowers according to a project by New York architects Nelson Byrd Woltz, under the supervision of Architect Isotta Cortese, and with the support of Mati Vivaio, Pistoia. This 'restyling' of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni will be directed by Venetian architect Giacomo di Thiene.

During this period, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection remains open to the public, with the exceptions of 20 February and, as usual, Tuesdays, despite the temporary closure of Palazzo Venier dei Leoni and the Nasher Sculpture Garden. Until February 19, reduced ticket charges will apply: 8 euro, and 5 euro for discounted entry.

100 masterpieces of modern art are on view in the galleries usually dedicated to temporary exhibitions. As suggested by the title "The Avant-garde. From Picasso to Pollock", the museum chronicles the Avant-gardes that left an indelible mark on the history of art in the 20th century, from Picasso to Pollock, traversing cornerstones of Modernism such as Cubism, Dada, Futurism (with the works of the Gianni Mattioli Collection), the Pittura Metafisica of Giorgio de Chirico, European abstraction (Kandinsky and Mondrian), Surrealism (Ernst, Miró, Dalí, Magritte and others), American Abstract Expressionism, as well as artists such as Brancusi, Bacon, and Giacometti.

On 22 February, the collections of Peggy Guggenheim and Gianni Mattioli will return to the renovated rooms of the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni and its barchessa.

Philip Rylands, director of the Venetian museum, commented: "After more than twenty-five years, this is necessary maintenance and upgrading of the museum, and is intentionally carried out in the briefest possible time in Venice's low tourist season."

From 29 February onwards, the museum will be 'back to normal' and until 6 May, the temporary exhibition galleries will host European Art 1949-1979, a selection of rarely seen post-war art from the permanent collections, chronicling Peggy's 'Venetian' years, during which she continued to add to her collection. Paintings of the CoBrA group will be exhibited alongside those by Italian artists active from the late 1940s, including Peggy Guggenheim¹s circle of friends (Bacci, Pizzinato, Santomaso, Tancredi and Vedova). Great exponents of British art after World War II‹Bacon, Moore, Nicholson and Sutherland‹are included, together with their Italian counterparts, such as Mirko, Nivola, Accardi, Bonalumi, Lazzari, and Rotella. The exhibition concludes with a tribute to American artist Marion Richardson Taylor who died in 2010. This will be her first solo exhibition, with paintings donated by the artist to the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation in New York.

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