François Pinault has channeled his passion for contemporary into assembling one of the most important collections in the world today: it now includes more than three thousand works from the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. His approach is fed by his commitment to sharing his passion for art with as broad an audience as possible, and to accompanying artists as they explore new territories. Since 2006, François Pinault has oriented his cultural project along three axes: presenting ambitious exhibitions in Venice; lending works in his collection to museums across the world; and supporting and encouraging up-and-coming artists and art historians.
His museums are housed in two exceptional buildings in Venice: Palazzo Grassi, acquired in 2005 and inaugurated in 2006, and Punta della Dogana, opened in 2009. These sites were renovated and rehabilitated for their new purpose by the Japanese architect Tadao Ando, a Pritzker Prize laureate. Works in the Pinault Collection are displayed in these two sites, in thematic exhibitions; artists are regularly commissioned to create new works, often in situ. The Teatrino, also designed by Tadao and opened in 2013, welcomes a rich cultural and educational program, organized in collaboration with institutions and universities in Venice and abroad.
Works in the Collection are regularly presented in exhibitions across the world. They have been displayed in Paris, Moscow, Monaco, Seoul, Lille, Dinard, Dunkirk, Essen, and, in June 2017, in Stockholm, at the Fotografiska Museet. Solicited by public and private institutions, the Pinault Collection is proud to loan its works to international exhibitions.
The Pinault Collection is also deeply invested in supporting the work of contemporary artists, on the one hand, and on the other of historians of modern and contemporary art. In partnership with the city of Lille and the Hauts-de-France region, François Pinault founded a residency program in the former mining town. Housed in a former rectory, adapted to its new purpose by the architects of the firm NeM/Niney & Marca Architectes, it was inaugurated in December 2015. The selection of artists-in-residency is made jointly by the staff of the Collection Pinault, the DRAC and FRAC Hauts-de- France, Le Fresnoy – Studio National des Arts Contemporains, and the Louvre- Lens. After welcoming the American Melissa Budin and Aaron S. Davidson in 2016, the Belgian artist Edith Dekyndt will take over the residency through August 2017. She will be followed by the Brazilian Lucas Arruda in September 2017, then by the French-Moroccan Hicham Berrada from September 2018.
In 2014 François Pinault founded the Pierre Daix Prize, in homage to his friend, the art historian Pierre Daix. It is awarded each year to an exceptional study of modern or contemporary art. In 2016, the prize was given to Maurice Fréchuret for his essay Effacer: Paradoxe d’un geste artistique, published by the presses du réel.