Concept

To coincide with the 2017 Venice Art Biennale, the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia will present their sixth, and final, exhibition: Intuition.  Curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti, Director of the Palazzo Fortuny, and co-curated by Dario Dalla Lana, Davide Daninos and Anne-Sophie Dusselier, the exhibition will explore how intuition has, in some form, shaped art across geographies, cultures and generations. It will bring together historic, modern and contemporary works related to the concept of intuition, dreams, telepathy, paranormal fantasy, meditation, creative power, hypnosis and inspiration.

Intuition will be the last in a highly acclaimed series at the Palazzo Fortuny co-curated by Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti, which include Artempo (2007), In-finitum (2009), TRA (2011), Tàpies. Lo Sguardo dell’artista (2013) and most recently, Proportio (2015).

Intuition is the ability to acquire knowledge without proof, evidence, or conscious reasoning: a feeling that guides a person to act in a certain way without fully understanding why.

Some of the earliest works on display in the exhibition will reveal the role of intuition in encouraging artists to connect the two worlds, first attempts by man to create an immediate link between the sky and the earth: from the erection of totems to shamanism and mystical ecstasy; and from religious iconography describing illuminations (Annunciation, Visitation, Pentecost…), to classical works capturing the divine revelation of dreams.

Modern works by Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Hilma af Klint and more will highlight the intuitive experience and feeling that drives the creative process, and led to the rise of abstract art. The importance of the spatial and temporal research undertaken by the Gutai, Cobra, Zero, Spazialismo and Fluxus groups will be illustrated with works by Kazuo Shiraga, Pierre Alechinsky, Günther Uecker, Lucio Fontana, Mario Deluigi and Joseph Beuys.

The Surrealists interest in the unconscious will also be an important focus of the exhibition. Their fascination with dreams, automatic writing and drawing, collective creations and the state of alteration of the ego will be represented with the ‘dessins communiqués’ and ‘cadavres exquis’ of André Breton, André Masson, Paul Eluard, Remedios Varo, Victor Brauner amongst others, along with the experiments of camera-less photography of Raoul Ubac and Man Ray, and the works on paper by Henry Michaux, Oscar Dominguez and Joan Miró.

This legacy will be reflected in a number of works by contemporary artists such as Robert Morris, William Anastasi, Isa Genzken, Renato Leotta and Susan Morris who, since the 1960s, have revived, developed and modernised the Surrealists’ interest with automatism, leading to new formal and technical results. Other contemporary works by artists including Marina Abramović, Chung Chang-Sup, Ann Veronica Janssens and Anish Kapoor, are inspired by striking subjective experiences or states of mind, and the artists’ concern and preoccupation with the viewer.

During the opening days visitors will be invited to explore and experience the paranormal fantasy of artists through four performances related to dreams, telepathy, and hypnosis – of the mind and body –by young artists Marcos Lutyens, Yasmine Hugonnet, Angel Vergara and Matteo Nasini.

Intuition aims to provoke questions about the origins of creation, and is intended to be viewed as a ‘work in progress’, with leading contemporary artists creating a dialogue with the historic works and with the unique character of Mariano and Henriette Fortuny’s former home. Kimsooja, Alberto Garutti, Kurt Ralske, Bruna Esposito and Nicola Martini will all create site-specific installations as part of the exhibition – a direct, and intuitive, response to the spaces of Palazzo Fortuny.