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Intuition at the Palazzo Fortuny

Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti present Intuition, their sixth and final exhibition in their joint curatorship series at the Venetian institution

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Text by Rab Messina

How has intuition shaped art through history, around the globe? That was the key question behind the aptly titled Intuition, the sixth and final output in a series of jointly curated exhibitions by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti at Venice’s Palazzo Fortuny.

Co-curated by Dario Dalla Lana, Davide Daninos and Anne-Sophie Dusselier, the selection brings together historic, modern and contemporary works that speak of meditation, creative power and inspiration. Intuition was set to coincide with the celebration of the 2017 Venice Art Biennale, but it feels like its own event: an embarrassment of riches inside the large and exquisite Palazzo Fortuny, the extensive list of artists includes Anish Kapoor, Ann Veronica Jansens, Joseph Beuys, Man Ray and Max Ernst.

These works, solely connected by the feeling that guided its creators to act in certain ways without fully understanding why, take many forms. There’s the Neolithic menhirs that line the first room at the Palazzo and the Basquiat piece that joins them, or an interactive installation by Marina Abramovic and works by the likes of Lucio Fontana, Marcel Duchamp and Paul Klee.

Kapoor’s alabaster-like piece on the ground floor speaks of stillness and power, while above the dessins communiqués of André Breton and Co, placed next to what once was Mariano Fortuny’s lavish atelier, celebrate an artist’s willingness to put ink to paper without knowing the outcome.

The exhibition also invites its audience to rethink their position on matter and materials. For example, while on the ground floor humble terracotta is unexpectedly presented as a sensual wooden-like amorphous exercise by the hand of Leoncillo, on the top floor an installation by Kimsooja encourages visitors to mould balls of clay while surrounded by a sound performance.

As a visitor, one almost needs one’s own intuition to decide where, amongst the many gems, to look first.

Intuition is open until November 26, 2017

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The five curators. From left to right: Daniela Ferretti, Anne-Sophie Dusselier, Davide Daninos, Axel Vervoordt, Dario Dalla Lana Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Menhirs-Steles and Basquiat. Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Kurt Ralske and Ann Veronica Janssens Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Anish Kapoor White Dark VIII,2000 Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Marina Abramovic in situ installation 'Standing structures for human use' from the series 'Transitory Objects for human use', 2017 Courtesy of the artist and Axel Vervoordt Gallery Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Salone Fortuny overview of first floor, Palazzo Fortuny Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
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Kimsooja. Archive of Mind, 2017 Intuition © Jean-Pierre Gabriel
Screen Shot 2017-11-21 at 10.35.18
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