Palazzo Grassi

Palazzo Grassi information

Venice , Italy
Campo San Samuele 3231
box office 199 13 91 39
Telephone 2
+390 41 523 16 80
Getting there
Ferry: San Samuele
More information
adult/reduced/child €15/10/free, 72hr ticket incl Punta della Dogana €20/15/free
Opening hours
10am-7pm Wed-Mon
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Grand Canal gondola riders gasp at first glimpse of massive sculptures by contemporary artists like Thomas Houseago docked in front of Giorgio Masari’s 1749 neoclassical palace. French billionaire François Pinault's provocative art collection overflows Palazzo Grassi, supplying Venice with sensation and scandal aplenty between Biennales – but Tadao Ando's creatively repurposed interior architecture steals the show.

Clever curation and shameless art-star namedropping are the hallmarks of rotating Palazzo Grassi exhibits, showcasing Takashi Murakami’s smiling Superflat daisies, Raymond Pettibon’s poetically captioned cartoons (‘I curse the happy for whom the unhappy is only a spectacle’) and Barbara Kruger’s provocative maxims (‘We are astonishingly lifelike’).

Postmodern architect Gae Aulenti peeled back twee rococo decor to highlight Masari’s muscular classicism in 1985–86, and minimalist master Ando added stage-set drama in 2003–05 with ethereal backlit scrims and strategic spotlighting. Ando's design directs attention to contemporary art, without detracting from baroque ceiling frescoes. Don’t miss the cafe overlooking the Grand Canal, with interiors redesigned by contemporary artists with each new show.