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Mark Rothko (1903-1970), Untitled (Gray, Gray on Red), 1968. Acrilico su carta montata su pannello/Acrylic on paper mounted on panel, 65x50 cm. Collezione privata, Italia

VENICE.- The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia and the Vervoordt Foundation present In-finitum, an exhibition in Palazzo Fortuny on “the infinite in the finite,” the indefinite, and the unfinished. The exhibition runs through November 15 2009. With In-finitum, the trilogy which started with Artempo: Where Time Becomes Art (Venice, 2007) and continued with Academia: Qui es-tu? (Paris, 2008) comes full circle. Once again set in Palazzo Fortuny, In-finitum will show nearly 300 works of art, ranging from archaeological objects and old master paintings, to modern and contemporary works and installations, several of which have been created explicitly for this exhibition.

“[upon entering the Noguchi studio] A tranquillity, a powerful harmony and silence came over us. In his studio …Noguchi had created a unique landscape, and within its limitations he had succeeded in creating a limitless space. Many of his stone sculptures had been left unfinished, some stones seemed to have barely been touched; there, both the work of nature and the work of man are frozen in some indefinite state. … This is where the idea for In-finitum was born. The infinite appearing in the unfinished” (Axel Vervoordt in conversation with Tatsuro Miki).

In-finitum is a promenade, a journey, stretched out over the four floors of the Palazzo Fortuny, which engages the mind and the soul in an unobtrusive way. The exhibition is layered in such a manner that moments of introspection and possibly self-confrontation are alternated with a strong sense of belonging and adherence. Facing the unfinished and the infinite, the overarching awareness is one of serenity and peace. This notion comes to full completion when one climbs the stairs to the attic and reaches the end of the route. Here, gradually, the Sanctuary of Silence pavilion comes into sight and one is embraced by an undisturbed 360° view on Venice, rendering the space into one of the most sacred ones in the city. This arrival at “the still point of the turning world,” (T.S. Eliot) offers deliverance and redemption, a sense of being at ease with and within the world. But the end also contains a new beginning, for it is the exact same route, followed in the inverse way, which will lead one back to the entrance. In-finitum ad infinitum. “In my beginning is my end” (T.S. Eliot).

As ‘the infinite’ is ungraspable, one reaches for metaphors and signifiers. Hence In-finitum is created around a set of themes and concepts which evoke a sense of the infinite. These include the Cosmic; the Unfinished Work of Art; the Infinite Perspective; the Space-in-Between, MA; the Black Room; the Monochrome; and the Void, KU. The selected works represent the entire world and all of time; major masters and anonymous creators; paintings, sculpture, installations, objects for daily use and objets trouvés; the intellectually challenging and the emotionally touching. Although their diversity is immense, they share an awe-inspiring yet abstruse pulsation, and the crystal-clear message that there is more, so much more, than meets the eye.

The mysterious and mythical spaces of Palazzo Fortuny constitute a natural habitat for this exhibition. Not only was it home to Artempo – symbolizing the connectedness of both exhibitions – its structure and atmosphere, still so strongly inspired by Fortuny’s investigative, creative and genial spirit, perfectly suit the quest for the unknown and unknowable which runs through In-finitum. Palazzo Fortuny is, indeed, “…the labyrinth. For the unexpected views that it offers and for the unconscious fears that it evokes in its most hidden recesses; for the poetry that it stirs and for the magmatic universe of things that it holds in check and sets free…” (Giandomenico Romanelli).

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Giorgio de Chirico (1888-1978), Piazza d’Italia, 1955/60. Olio su tela/ Oil on canvas. Galleria d’Arte Maggiore, GAM, Bologna

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Giovanni Anselmo (°1934) “Verso l’infinito”, 1969. Incision on iron, 16 x 21 x 39 cm. Courtesy Tucci Russo Studio per l’Arte Contemporanea. Photo Paolo Mussat Sartor

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Eugène Delacroix (1798-1963) “Study of a Greek Jacket”, 1822. 50 x 61 cm. Oil on canvas. Courtesy J-Fr. Heim Gallery, Paris

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Marlène Dumas (°1953) “Skaam”, 40 x 49,5 cm. Courtesy of Zeno X, Antwerp

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Michael Borremans (°1963) “The Ghost II”, 2008. Oil on canvas. 60 x 70 cm. Courtesy of Zeno X, Antwerp

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Renato Nicolodi (°1980) “Hortorum 0I”, 2007; concrete sculpture, 226 x 231 cm. Courtesy of the artist. Photo: by the artist. Will be exhibited on the campo, in front of the Palazzo Fortuny.

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Thomas Ruff (°1958) “Sterne, 11h 54m, -20°”, 1989. C-print. 258 x 186 cm. Collection Axel Vervoordt

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Jef Verheyen (1932-1984) “Urbino”, 1978. 177 x 110 cm. Oil on canvas. Collection Vervoordt Foundation

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Bill Viola (°1951) “Bodies of light”, 2006. 102 x 122 cm. Video installation. Courtesy Bill Viola Studio

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Giorgio Morandi (1890-1964) Still-Life, 1958. Olio su tela/ Oil on canvas, 25x30 cm. Galleria d’Arte Maggiore, GAM, Bologna

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Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Head, 1909. Argilla/ Clay, 15x12,5x14 cm. Collezione Marina Picasso. Per gentile concessione della Galleria Jan Krugier, Ginevra

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Fabrizio Plessi (°1940) Fusion, 2008. Video, 40x30x10 cm. Collezione dell’artista

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Duane Michals (°1932) The Human Condition, 1969. Serie di fotografie/Series of photographs, ognuna/each 10x12,7 cm © Duane Michals/ Per gentile concessione di Pace/MacGill Gallery, New York

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Primo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ First floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Paul Cézanne (1839-1906) Winter Landscape, 1885-1895. Olio su tela/ Oil on canvas, 58x72,5 cm. Noortman Master Paintings, Maastricht

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Mezzanino - foto dell'allestimento/ Mezzanine - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Gotthard Graubner (°1930) Atem, 2005. Tecnica mista su tela/ Mixed media on canvas, 200x150 cm. Collection of the artist 

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Antonio Canova (1757-1822) Bozzetto per il monumento a Tiziano/ Project for the Mausoleum of Titian, c. 1791. Terracotta e legno/ Earthenware and wood. Venezia, Museo Correr

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Piano terra - foto dell'allestimento/ Ground floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Primo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ First floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Secondo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Second floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Berlinde Bruyckere (°Gent 1964) Infinitum, 2004-2009. Tecnica mista/Mixed media. Installazione fatta per la mostra, dimensioni varie. Per gentile concessione dell’artista. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Piano terra - foto dell'allestimento/ Ground floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Hiroshi Sugimoto (°1948) North Pacific Ocean, Ohkurosaki, 2002. Gelatina su stampa fotografica all’argento/Gelatin silver print, 119x149 cm © Hiroshi Sugimoto, Per gentile concessione di Galleria Fraenkel, San Francisco

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George Romney (1734-1802) Unfinished portrait of Lady Hamilton, c. 1785-86; olio su tela/ oil on canvas, 47x33 cm. Courtesy Whitfield Fine Art; London

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Secondo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Second floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Secondo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Second floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Mario Schifano (1934-1998) Ai Pittori di insigne, 1964. Smalto e grafite su tela/Enamel and graphite on canvas, 200x120 cm. Per gentile concessione di Sperone Westwater, New York

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Robert Ryman (°1930) Untitled. Olio su tela/oil on canvas, 56x56 cm. Fondazione Guy and Myriam Ullens, Svizzera

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Shiro Yoshihara (1905-1972) Untitled, 1965. Olio su tela/oil on canvas, 91x115,5 cm. Collezione privata

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Primo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ First floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Lucio Fontana (1899-1968) Concetto Spaziale,1959. Idropittura e olio su tela/ Waterpaint and oil on canvas, 50x65 cm. Collezione Axel Vervoordt

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Alexander Calder (1898-1976) Debout, 1972. Metallo/ Metal, 200x100 cm. Collezione Maeght, Parigi. Photo Galerie Maeght, Parigi

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Facciata del Palazzo su Campo San Beneto. Venezia, Palazzo Fortuny

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Secondo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Second floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Ingresso del Museo. Venezia, Palazzo Fortuny

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Gonzales Coques (1614-1684) Il giovane messaggero/ Portrait of a man receiving or posting a letter in an interior, 1640. olio su tela/ Oil on canvas, 56x44 cm. Private Collection, Belgium

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Secondo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Second floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo nella sua biblioteca di Palazzo Pesaro-Orfei, oggi Palazzo Fortuny (1940 ca)

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Terzo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Third floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Particolare della facciata di Palazzo Fortuny su Campo San Beneto

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Terzo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Third floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Ad Reinhardt (1913-1967) “Abstract Painting”, 1956-1960. olio su tela/ Oil on canvas, 274,5x101,5 cm. Collection Axel Vervoordt

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Secondo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Second floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel 

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Terzo piano - foto dell'allestimento/ Third floor - Photo of the exhibition layout. Foto/Photo: Jean-Pierre Gabriel

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Gunther Uecker, White Phantom, 1995. Olio e chiodi su tela su pannello di legno/ Nails and acrylic on canvas, on wood, 285x285 cm. Collection Axel Vervoordt. Photo Congo Blue

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Ettore Spalletti, Scatola di colore, 1991. Impasto di colore su alabastro/Impasto of colour of Alabaster, 30x30x30 cm. Courtesy Studio La Città, Verona 

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