Whoa boy, it’s looking like it’s going to be an interesting spring in Venice next year. The Centre Pompidou’s chief curator, Christine Macel, who’s curating the Biennale, has titled her show “Viva Arte Viva,” and now there is news that billionaire François Pinault will show the death-obsessed Damien Hirst at his two exhibitions space in the city, the Palazzo Grassi and the Punta della Dogana.
Pinault is a very, very devoted Hirst fan, even buying some of those bleak oil paintings that the artist made at the end of the last decade by hand in a garden shed near his residence in Devon, England.
Curated by Elena Geuna, the show is being billed as a new project “ten years in the making,” and opens to the public Sunday, April 9, about a month before the Biennale begins. A news release notes that this is the fifth in a series of monographic exhibitions by Pinault in Venice, following shows of works by Urs Fischer, Rudolf Stingel, Martial Raysse, and Sigmar Polke. Maybe one day they’ll do a show of an artist who is a woman!
In any sense, this is yet another sign that the Hirst comeback campaign, which has included the opening of his private museum in London last October and his return to the Gagosian Gallery stable earlier this year, is in full swing.