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Joseph Kosuth in Icons

From April 2 to November 26, 2023, Punta della Dogana presents the thematic exhibition "Icônes" which revolves around works from the Pinault Collection.

The word “icon” has two meanings: its Greek etymology defines it as an “image” or “likeness”, while it is used to designate a religious painting. The idea of ​​a model, an emblematic figure is more contemporary. The status of the image—its capacity to embody a presence, between appearance and disappearance, shadow and light, to represent a space, to spark emotion, and to become one with the viewers—is at the core of this exhibition, conceived specifically for the Punta della Dogana and the Venetian context, with its rich, uninterrupted dialogue between East and West.

The icon—a vehicle of passage to another world, other states of consciousness (contemplation, meditation)—refers us to a transcendent reality, having the power to materialize the presence of the invisible, creating emotion or an aesthetic and spiritual bedazzlement. They are the iconostases—the devices that conceal the religious officiants behind a wall of images which acts as a door to the divine. They are works that generate space, like so many clearings or chapels in this era of saturation and appropriation of images. They are tableaux vivants, rites, everything that makes the image a relational space between humans and what is beyond them. Marie-José Mondzain, in her philosophical reflection on the filmmaker Tarkovsky and the icon-image, emphasizes how much the author of Andrei Rublev, through his cinematographic poems by him, “tears the icon away from the Church and associates the adventure of the gaze with the constitution of a new assembly.” The collected works invite us to share the visible through the exploration of the status of the image.

A thematic exhibition with works from the Pinault Collection by Josef Albers, James Lee Byars, Maurizio Cattelan, Étienne Chambaud, Edith Dekyndt, Sergej Eisenstein, Lucio Fontana, Theaster Gates, David Hammons, Arthur Jafa, Donald Judd, On Kawara, Kimsooja, Joseph Kosuth, Sherrie Levine, Francesco Lo Savio, Agnes Martin, Paulo Nazareth, Camille Norment, Roman Opałka, Lygia Pape, Michel Parmentier, Philippe Parreno, Robert Ryman, Dineo Seshee Bopape, Dayanita Singh, Rudolf Stingel, Andrej Tarkovskij, Lee Ufan, Danh Vo and Chen Zhen.