Curated by Daniela Ferretti and Axel Vervoordt
Co-curated by Dario Dalla Lana, Davide Daninos and Anne-Sophie Dusselier
Organised by the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation
Palazzo Fortuny, San Marco, 3780, Venezia
Vaporetto: Sant’Angelo (line 1), San Samuele (line 2)
13 May > 26 November 2017
To coincide with the 2017 Venice Art Biennale, Axel Vervoordt and Daniela Ferretti will present Intuition
at the Palazzo Fortuny. This 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.
Organised by the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation and the Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia,
Intuition will be the sixth, and final, in a highly acclaimed series of exhibitions at the Palazzo Fortuny,
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 men 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 experiments
in camera-less photography by Raoul Ubac and Man Ray, and works on paper by Henry Michaux,
Oscar Dominguez and Joan Miró.
The Surrealist’s 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 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
the unique character of the Palazzo Fortuny. Kimsooja, Alberto Garutti, Kurt Ralske, Maurizio
Donzelli, Berlinde De Bruyckere, Gilles Delmas and Nicola Martini will all create site-specific
installations as part of the exhibition - a direct, and intuitive, response to the spaces within.
Daniela Ferretti, Director of the Palazzo Fortuny, said: ‘It has been twelve years since I met Axel
Vervoordt; it was a day in August and the beginning of our intense collaboration. Together, we started
an exploration of the arts and, more generally, of the concepts of thought and reflection. It was
intended as a continuous questioning of the universal themes that each historical period interprets
through new prisms. We have dived into the same projects, often following different paths and
approaches, but, in the end, always converging in a shared vision. To me, INTUITION is therefore the
synthesis of a long journey, the end of a research cycle, which opens new perspectives.’
Axel Vervoordt, Chairman of the Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation, said ‘Together with Director Daniela
Ferretti, we have made a series of remarkable exhibitions in Palazzo Fortuny exploring the transversal
links between philosophy, science, music, history, creative heritage and art. Much like Artempo,
Infinitum, Tra and Proportio, Intuition is another concept that has fascinated me all my life, and which
we wanted to study more scientifically. Intuition is a sense that comes out of total freedom, being one
with cosmic energy. It is the Beginning and the End. This is a poignant theme for our final exhibition at
the Palazzo Fortuny.’