THE GEMMA DE ANGELIS TESTA DONATION
22 April – 17 September 2023
Venice, Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art
In spring 2023, Ca’ Pesaro celebrates the arrival of the Gemma De Angelis Testa donation, the most recent acquisition for the gallery’s collections, and given the extent and quality of the works, the most important since the de Lisi Usigli bequest in 1961.
The result of Gemma De Angelis Testa’s passion for collecting, the donation comprises works by major international contemporary artists. The 105 works augment and complement Ca’ Pesaro’s post-1950 collection of art and demonstrate the enthusiasm of the collector who acquired them over the years and selected them for this exceptional donation to the Venice Municipality.
The collection includes masterpieces by Robert Rauschenberg and Cy Twombly alongside Arte Povera masters Mario Merz, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Pier Paolo Calzolari and Gilberto Zorio.
This tour through art from the latter half of the twentieth century features seminal works by Anselm Kiefer and iconic examples from Gino De Dominicis, Francesco Clemente, Enzo Cucchi and Mario Schifano, as well as sculptures by Tony Cragg and Ettore Spalletti. The female avant-garde is also well represented and includes work by Marina Abramović, Vanessa Beecroft, Candida Höfer, Mariko Mori and Shirin Neshat.
Gemma De Angelis Testa’s collection and preferences began to take shape in the mid-20th century and developed a continuous dialogue with Armando Testa’s art. An important component of the donation comprises seventeen masterpieces by the creative genius himself, among them celebrated works from the 1950s onwards that trace his imaginative universe.
The collection also juxtaposes diverse international artists: photographers Thomas Ruff and Thomas Struth, works by John Currin, Thomas Demand, Anish Kapoor and Marlene Dumas, and paintings by David Salle and Julian Schnabel in a constant reference to creations by Tony Oursler, Gabriel Orozco and Kcho.
The collector’s taste is also expressed in the important presence of Sabrina Mezzaqui, Paola Pivi, Marinella Senatore, while the international dimension of the collection spans time and space with works by Kendell Geers, Yang Fudong, Subodh Gupta, Chantal Joffe, Brad Kahlhamer and Lari Pittman. The works encompass different techniques, cultures and geographies, all central to the contemporary art world: from William Kentridge to Chris Ofili, Adrian Paci to Do-Ho Suh, Chen Zhen to Francesco Vezzoli, Bill Viola, Ai Weiwei and Piotr Uklański to Trisha Baga and Pascale Marthine Tayou, as well as many others.
The donation enriches Venice’s civic heritage, becoming part of the city’s history and the tradition of patronage, which has increased and consolidated its glory over time.
The arrival of the De Angelis Testa donation heralds a new era for Galleria di Ca’ Pesaro; it moulds the collections along new lines that shift the emphasis towards contemporary art.