Palazzo Grassi, Venice

Palazzo Grassi, Campo San Samuele, 3231
30124 Venice

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press release

Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana – Pinault Collection presents Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable until Sunday, December 3, 2017.

Exhibition curated by Elena Geuna
at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Venice

It is the first major solo exhibition dedicated to Damien Hirst in Italy since the 2004 retrospective at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples (The Agony and Ecstasy) and is curated by Elena Geuna, curator of the monographic shows dedicated to Rudolf Stingel (2013) and Sigmar Polke (2016) presented at Palazzo Grassi.

Damien Hirst’s most ambitious and complex project to date, Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable has been almost ten years in the making. Exceptional in scale and scope, the exhibition tells the story of the ancient wreck of a vast ship, the "Unbelievable" (Apistos in the original Koine Greek), and presents what was discovered of its precious cargo: the impressive collection of Aulus Calidius Amotan—a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II—which was destined for a temple dedicated to the sun.

The exhibition is displayed across 5,000 square meters of museum space and marks the first time that Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, the two Venetian venues of the Pinault Collection, are both dedicated to a single artist.

The exhibition highlights the longstanding relationship shared by the artist and the Pinault Collection. A key artist for the Collection, Damien Hirst’s work has previously been exhibited at Palazzo Grassi, where it featured in the museum’s 2006 inaugural exhibition Where Are We Going?. This group exhibition derived its title from the British artist’s steel and glass skeleton cabinet, Where Are We Going? Where Do We Come From? Is There a Reason? (2000-2004). Damien Hirst also featured in A Post-Pop selection in 2007. With Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable, the Pinault Collection accompanies the British artist in making a dream come true by opening both Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, allowing the artworks to establish a dialogue between the two exhibitions spaces.