An Art Patron’s Mission to Share Her Selection With the Earth

Stella McDaniel

This article is aspect of our exclusive report on the Artwork for Tomorrow meeting in the Italian towns of Florence and Solomeo.

FLORENCE, Italy — Stroll into Palazzo Strozzi, a 16th-century palace in the coronary heart of Florence, and now, amid the classical columns and arched home windows in the courtyard, you will uncover a rocket quite a few tales tall. The rocket, “GONOGO,” by the Polish artist Goshka Macuga, is the most sizable operate — but not the only spotlight-grabber — in an exhibition that celebrates a collector attempting to rally awareness to the art and artists of these days.

“Contemporary art,” Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo claimed, “is the finest instrument we have to render our earth a little bit extra comprehensible.” That conviction has pushed her to grow to be a single of Europe’s most well known collectors, as nicely as a patron of residing artists and an evangelist of present-day artwork.

The Palazzo Strozzi demonstrate, “Achieving for the Stars,” which runs through June 18, celebrates the 30th anniversary of her collection. This week, Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo is also presenting her vision of how collectors can bolster society in a panel at the “Art for Tomorrow” conference listed here in Florence, arranged by the Democracy & Lifestyle Foundation, with The New York Situations.

“Today’s patrons have a responsibility to society to engage the community with art,” Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo claimed. “Art is not just for decorating our homes. For those people of us that can manage to acquire and commission artwork, we have to have to share it with the globe.”

The Palazzo Strozzi exhibition lays out additional than 70 choices from Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s 1,500-work selection as testaments to her flavor, which has often been a bellwether of modern day art movements. It’s apt, then, that the display feels like a tour of the latest artwork historical past, complete with every little thing from early will work by the Younger British Artists Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas and the button-pushing humor of Maurizio Cattelan, to figurative painting’s resurgence in will work by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye and Michael Armitage.

There have been few institutions in Italy focused to up to date artwork when Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo became a collector some 30 years back, but she has sought to transform that, trying to get to give artwork for all about the many years.

Now, artwork collections are commonly viewed as investments or status symbols, with artworks typically ending up displayed in private homes or stashed in absolutely free-port storage, never ever to be seen all over again by the general public. In recent years, though, a handful of collectors have followed Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s guide and shared their collections, opening areas these types of as the Fondazione Prada and the Pinault Collection to the general public. These establishments broaden entry to modern day art and assist form the art canon of right now — just as museums like the Uffizi and the Guggenheim did in eras earlier.

If artwork is crucial to broaden our knowledge of our instances and ourselves, then amassing a assortment may be viewed as an endeavor that comes with enormous chance, and perhaps accountability. “A collector which is likely to rely currently,” said Arturo Galansino, director standard of the Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi and curator of the exhibition, “needs to go away the ivory tower and create these sorts of collaborations for the increased great of society.”

“Not anyone can buy art, but absolutely everyone can go to a museum and see artwork,” Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo stated in an job interview just after a supper to rejoice the show’s opening, describing her life’s perform. “I’ve been so privileged to get to know artists and dialogue with them, and I desired to give a little something again to the artists and to other folks.”

Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s formula — a nonprofit basis with the intention of presenting contemporary artwork to the community, a exceptional strategy to shopping for art, and a determination to funding the generation of new artworks — has built her a decisive player in the art world and a benevolent‌ favored among the artists.

“The artists are like my young children,” she claimed. “I want to enable them make their professions and construct networks, to get their voices read and their get the job done viewed.” When she commenced amassing in the early ’90s, the youthful talents were her contemporaries, but now, the artists are the friends of her true young children. “Some of the artists even contact me mamma,” she explained. She smiled brightly at this.

Just as female artists are underrepresented in the art world, so are feminine art collectors. “It’s seriously attractive for me to be here and locate a lady working the clearly show,” reported Ambera Wellmann, a Canadian painter whose solo exhibition is now on watch at Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s Turin, Italy, basis. “There are a slew of collectors out there who gather artists based mostly on well-known impression and popularity, but Patrizia has her possess taste and has been gathering women considering the fact that before it was well known to do so,” Ms. Wellmann said, citing early buys of Cindy Sherman and Catherine Opie.

Born to an industrialist relatives from Turin, Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo studied company and economics but identified a passion for art all through a journey to London and the studio of Anish Kapoor. She introduced household new artwork and a new vocation, setting up the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo in 1995. Quickly after, she and her partner, Agostino, a renewable-strength mogul of aristocratic lineage, reworked a family members palazzo into a museum space in Guarene.

Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo opened an extension of the basis in Turin with sprawling exhibition galleries. Her Madrid foundation functions on a distinct model, internet hosting itinerant shows all-around the Spanish capital these kinds of as a single, at existing, in the library of Ateneo de Madrid, featuring the forest landscapes of the Brazilian painter Lucas Arruda. The collector has built it her mission to exhibit generally youthful artists, and her institutions welcome 1000’s of learners every year.

In 2018, the pair obtained an complete island in Venice — San Giacomo in Paludo, an deserted armed service station it is now beneath development as an outpost of the foundation.

“With Patrizia, you know your operate is heading to be seen, that it’s not likely to be stagnant,” stated Ms. Macuga, the Polish artist driving “GONOGO.” Her rocket, soon after its mission at Palazzo Strozzi, will make its dwelling on San Giacomo as a sentinel visible to passing boats. The piece, like the artist’s monumental woven tapestry for the 2009 Venice Biennale, was manufactured with Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo’s sponsorship.

This kind of functions would be prohibitively pricey and difficult to fabricate without the need of a supporter like Ms. Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, who has underwritten creations by artists these types of as Alicja Kwade, Doug Aitken, Josh Kline, Rachel Rose and other folks.

“There aren’t a ton of private collectors who want to do this sort of work,” Ms. Macuga said. Potential buyers these times are regularly consumed by “investing and trying to make a lot more cash than they already have, but this is the essential amount of collecting,” the artist included. “It’s an additional matter to get artwork to the genuine planet in which you place the perform to perform — to teach and encourage people today.”

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