Recent Articles
5 Great Pieces To Bid On in the Together In Distance Auction
Investment Pieces
5 Great Pieces To Bid On in the Together In Distance Auction
What to Say About Your New Robert Longo Print
Living With Art
What to Say About Your New Robert Longo Print
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
Investment Pieces
News Of A Very Special Auction Happening Next Week
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for LatchKey Gallery co-founders Natalie Kates and Amanda L. Uribe
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Elmgreen & Dragset 'What We Need to do, As Cultural Workers Today, Is to Find a New Way of Getting Back Our Dignity as Citizens'
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for RESORT Gallery co-founders Seth Adelsberger and Alex Ebstein
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for River Gallery Founder Carl E. Smith
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Davis Editions and Originals Founder Jeff Davis
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Baby Blue Gallery Founder Caleb Beck
10 Questions for Carvalho Park's Jennifer Carvalho
10 x 10 x 10
10 Questions for Carvalho Park co-Founder Jennifer Carvalho
The Making of Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
Close Look
'A Piece of Art That I am Really Proud Of' - Rihanna on Love, Rihanna: Luxury Supreme
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Sterling Ruby 'In America, often the response to negative aspects of the system is to retreat to platitudes about morals and family values. In this way nothing is achieved.'
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall
Meet the Artist
INTERVIEW: Kerry James Marshall 'I never think of artworks as having a quality that’s intended to mobilize people to action. They don’t make people do things. But they do put questions in the mind of a viewer that they may not have entertained before...'
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Meet the Artist
Come On Our Virtual Studio Visit With Maria Jimena Herrera
Jeff Koons on Big Ideas and Gazing Balls
Perspectives
Jeff Koons on Desire, Beauty, the Vastness of the Universe, and the Intimacy of Right Here, Right Now

Newsmaker

Francois Pinault's Venice Takeover

By

Francois Pinault's Venice Takeover

Who is he?

The 76-year-old French businessman’s family holds the number 53 slot on the Forbes list of the world’s billionaires, coming in with a net worth of a cool $15 billion. The self-made Pinault earned his fortune in retail at his holding company PPR (Pinault-Printemps-Redoute), now retitled Kering as of March 2013. The company acquiried many luxury goods labels in high fashion (Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Balenciaga, anyone?) as well as more wide-reaching brands likes Puma and Volcom. Pinault handed over control of the company to his son Francois-Henri Pinault in 2003.

What is his connection to the art world?

Pinault also owns Christie’s. As if that weren’t art-world clout enough, Pinault is a formidable art collector, owning over 2,000 works. He began collecting artists such as Willem de Kooning, Robert Ryman, Richard Serra, and Agnes Martin, to name a few, and now has the work of over 80 artists, including choice pieces by Picasso, Jeff Koons, and Damien Hirst. He presents parts of his collection in museums all over the world.

What is his connection to the art world in Venice?

After abandoning his own plans for a museum, Pinault took a controlling stake in the Palazzo Grassi in 2005 to display his collection. Exhibitions showing selections from his collection included “Where Are We Going?” “Post-Pop,” and “Sequence 1.” In 2007 he also took the helm of the Punta della Dogana to turn it into a center for contemporary art. To coincide with this year’s Venice Biennale, both institutions have new exhibitions: Palazzo Grassi opened a Rudolf Stingel exhibition, curated by the artist, on April 7, while yesterday marked the opening of “Prima Materia” at Puna della Dogana, an ambitious exhibition that incorporates Minimalist and Conceptual artists to define “prime material” in today’s media-driven art environment. Artists in the exhibition range from Alighiero Boetti to Sherrie Levine to Theaster Gates. The exhibition is already getting major buzz, but no rush if you aren’t hitting the Biennale: it will up until December 2014.

Wait, so Francois-Henri Pinault: totally different person, right?

Exactly. Francois-Henri now controls the company his father founded, which has since been renamed Kering. Francois is the art collector; Francois-Henri is the one married to Salma Hayek.

Has he always been a billionaire art-world insider?

Not at all. The tycoon got his start working at sawmill in rural France after dropping out of high school—so he began making his fortune buying lumber companies, naturally. Reportedly, he didn’t set foot in a museum until the early 1970s, well into his adulthood. And now? Pinault often calls art collecting the love of his life.

What was the work of art that changed everything?

Piet Mondrian’s Tableau Losangique II. Pinault bought the work for $8.8 million at Christie’s in 1990—his most expensive art purchase at the time. After that, Pinault has said he then changed his focus to collecting contemporary work.

 

DISCOVER

a treasure trove of fine art from the world's most renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. We offer exclusive works you can't find anywhere else.

LEARN

through exclusive content featuring art news, collecting guides, and interviews with artists, dealers, collectors, curators and influencers.

BUY

authentic artworks from across the globe. Collecting with us means you're helping to sustain creative culture and supporting organizations that are making the world a better place.

CONNECT

with our art advisors for buying advice or to help you find the art that's perfect for you. We have the resources to find works that suit your needs.

INSIDER ACCESS TO THE WORLD'S BEST ART

Artspace offers you authentic, exclusive works from world-renowned artists, galleries, museums and cultural institutions. Collecting with us helps support creative culture while bringing you art news, interviews and access to global art resources.

  • COLLECT FROM 300+ GALLERIES & MUSEUMS