Museo Fortuny

Fortuny Museum

Layout and collections

The Giuseppe and Giovanna Panza di Biumo’s donation

Among the most important figures within the international collectors since the 1950s, Giuseppe Panza di Biumo (1923-2010) was, together with his wife Rosa Giovanna, a real talent scout for young artists. As he himself defined, in the autobiographical book written in 2006, the choices made over the years often went against the trend: «You win with great delay. […] Probably when I will no longer be here to discuss these things, art today neglected by critics, institutions, collectors, who are looking for up-to-date things, will have a different appreciation; it doesn’t matter if I’m not there, today it is enough for me to know that I am making the best choices that my conscience makes possible. Even then I made difficult choices, rejected by all, or almost all». (G. Panza, Memories of a collector, Jaca Book, Milan 2006).

In 2014 Ca’ Pesaro hosted the exhibition Giuseppe Panza di Biumo. American Dialogues, curated by Gabriella Belli and Elisabetta Barisoni, with the historical masterpieces acquired by the collector over the years. Following the exhibition, in 2015 the Panza family has decided to donate an important group of works to the City of Venice for the Fondazione Musei Civici and in particular for the Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna. The Giuseppe and Giovanna Panza di Biumo donation includes works by Julia Mangold, Richard Nonas, Stuart Arends, Lawrence Carroll, Gregory Mahoney, Jonathan Seliger, Phil Sims and David Simpson.
Two monumental works by Lawrence Carroll (Melbourne, 1954-2019) are exhibited here. Close to the masters of the French Informel and to the research of Robert Rauschenberg in the 1950s, Carroll also has a shows a close proximity to the work of Giorgio Morandi. As Giuseppe Panza wrote: «Its goal is to share the life of man and humanity, and its sufferings. The individual lost in the crowd of the metropolis».

Together with the precious works of Stuart Arends (Richmond 1950), the creations of two masters of color from the California School are also shown here: David Simpson (Pasadena 1928) and Phil Sims (Richmond 1940), two artists really loved by Giuseppe Panza for their treatment of the surface and the skillful use of colors. For Simpson, in particular, metallic colors mixed with a mineral that reflects light always offer a different vision: «It is the recovery of the memory of a remote and primordial event. It is the charm of this art that recalls in color and light an episode of cosmic life that gives us the possibility of existing».

The lively works by Gregory Mahoney (Los Angeles, 1955) are also included in the exhibition. The artist lives in the desert and his favorite place is the Death Valley, on the border with Nevada. Panza appreciated his love for nature, mother and origin of all things: «The content of Gregory Mahoney’s work is the contemplation of the universe. It is impossible to represent the universe, it is possible to discover it in some fragment that makes its existence present to us. […] Mahoney is a poet of nature, of nature that precedes life, which seems eternal».



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