Dom Pérignon, the best-known champagne brand in the world, and the Fondazione dei Musei Civici di Venezia (Venice Civic Museums Foundation) have signed a partnership agreement which will see “The Power of Creation” brought to the city, a project to restore two exhibition halls at Ca’ Pesaro, the grandiose Venetian building that houses the International Gallery of Modern Art.
Once the work is complete, the halls on the second floor of Ca’ Pesaro, which have been closed for some time and are currently used for storage, will host a series of exhibitions by young artists and works from the museum’s archives.
Ca’ Pesaro, a masterpiece of Venetian Baroque civil architecture, was built in the second half of the 17th century at the request of the aristocratic and very wealthy Pesaro family. It was designed by the leading architect of the era, Baldassare Longhena, who also created the Chiesa della Salute and Ca’ Rezzonico.
The building was completed in 1710 thanks to Gian Antonio Gaspari, who largely respected the original design.
Lavish and imposing, but at the same time structurally harmonious and coherent, the interior of the building was continually enhanced with elegant ornamental decorations, including during the long years of its construction. Of these, some frescos and oil paintings on the ceilings have survived, created by artists like Bambini, Pittoni, Crosato, Trevisani and Brusaferro.
After the Pesaro family, the residence passed to the Gradenigo family, and then to the Armenian Mechitarist Fathers. It was finally purchased by the Bevilacqua family, and Ca’ Pesaro came under the ownership of Duchess Felicita Bevilacqua La Masa. It was she who earmarked the palace for modern art, bequeathing it to the Municipality of Venice in 1899 for this purpose. The Municipality made it the permanent home of the International Gallery of Modern Art, which was launched in 1897 to mark the second Venice Biennale, and opened to the public in 1902.
Between 1908 and 1924, in accordance with the conditions of the bequest, Ca’ Pesaro housed the historic Bevilacqua La Masa exhibitions. These, in stark contrast to the Venice Biennale, supported a generation of young artists, including Boccioni, Casorati, Gino Rossi and Arturo Martini, who were not given space at the Biennale.
Recently, following a radical restoration project at the museum, completed in 2002, Hall 10, so called because it is the tenth hall reached by visitors on the first floor, was assigned to small exhibitions on specific themes, reserved to little-known aspects of the permanent collection or to exhibitions from local artists, featuring contemporary, rediscovered and unusual items.
Following the restyling of the exhibition layout at the museum, completed last year by Gabriella Belli to Daniela Ferretti’s design, new spaces, more in tune with the ‘spirit’ of Hall 10, were identified – two rooms on the second floor of the palace.
Having been closed to the public for some time and used for storage, a refurbishment project will give the halls a new lease of life, so they can once again be used to house exhibitions by young artists. This is a collaborative project with Dom Pérignon, and the halls will be named after the company.
The agreement between Dom Pérignon and Ca’ Pesaro – Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia therefore represents a coming together of two worlds that both have complete faith in the power of creation.
“The Power of Creation” is founded on this basis, and is a renovation project that sits perfectly with Dom Pérignon’s fundamental guiding principles: reinventing oneself every time without ever losing one’s heritage, coherently juxtaposing opposing ideas, embracing paradox, and quintessential creativity.
“The Power of Creation” represents a tangible creative connection between the ancient, through the restoration of the building’s halls, and the modern, through the organisation of exhibitions by young artists within the newly renovated space.
The opening of the new “Dom Pérignon Space” at Ca’ Pesaro will be celebrated with the exhibition “PARADOXES: A SERIES OF UNFORESEEABLE ENCOUNTERS BETWEEN CLASSIC AND CONTEMPORARY ART. Lesenes by Giulio Aristide Sartorio and a sound installation by Alberto Tadiello”, open to the public from October 17 , 2014. The exhibition is accompanied by a photo exhibition that retraces the main steps of the Ca’Pesaro layout expansion.