Elective Affinities

Berggruen Institute Europe - Casa dei Tre Oci, Venice
Gallerie dell'Accademia
24th March - 23rd June 2024

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curated by Giulio Maniera Elia and Michele Tavola, Gabriel Montua and Veronika Rudorfer
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From 24 March to 23 June 2024 a selection of paintings and drawings from Museum Berggruen in Berlin, which is part of Neue Nationalgalerie, will be on display in Italy for the first time. More than 40 extraordinary works by PicassoMatisseKleeGiacometti and Cézanne will join those by Giorgione, Sebastiano Ricci, Pietro Longhi, Giambattista Tiepolo and Canova at the Gallerie dell’Accademia in Venice.

The exhibition, Elective Affinities, will take place at Gallerie dell’Accademia and Casa dei Tre Oci on the Giudecca. The latter is the new headquarters of the Berggruen Institute Europe, which has recently reopened to the public after a restoration programme.

The exhibition is curated by Giulio Manieri Elia and Michele Tavola, Director and Curator of the Gallerie dell’Accademia of Venice, and Gabriel Montua and Veronika Rudorfer, Head of and Curator of Museum Berggruen in Berlin, one of the most important European state institutes of modern art, named after the Paris-based art dealer and collector Heinz Berggruen (1914-2007). In the year 2000, the Stiftung Preussischer Kulturbesitz (Prussian Cultural Heritage) managed to purchase Heinz Berggruen’s collection for the Nationalgalerie with funding from the German government and the state of Berlin. 

The title of the exhibition, Elective Affinities, was chosen to evoke and underline the potential dialogue that arises from the meeting of these two important collections from similarities in iconography to subject matter. The title is inspired by the famous novel of the same name by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, a writer who spent time in Venice during his travels to Italy. 

At the Gallerie dell’Accademia

16 works from Museum Berggruen will be integrated into Gallerie dell’Accademia’s permanent displays, where visitors are invited to discover two very different collections – some of the greatest Venetian paintings alongside Heinz Berggruen’s collection of modernist masterpieces.

Picasso‘s portrait of Dora Maar with Green Fingernails is shown alongside Giorgione‘s La Vecchia – very different works linked by an intimate relationship with the sitter. Two studies by Picasso for Les Demoiselles d’Avignon are displayed alongside a series of sketches by Tiepolo. Sculptures by Giacometti and Canova will also be in dialogue with each other.

At Casa dei Tre Oci

On display at Casa dei Tre Oci on the Giudecca, are four works on paper from the graphic collection of Gallerie dell’Accademia and 26 from Museum Berggruen, including works on paper by KleePicassoCézanne and Matisse.

This neo-Gothic palace, designed as a home and studio by the artist Mario de Maria and built in 1913, will reopen to the public after major restoration works to become the new headquarters of the Berggruen Institute Europe – a place of study and international discussion, hosting exhibitions, workshops and symposiums.

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