François Pinault’s $8.9 Million Baselitz Spending Spree at Venice Biennale

As the art world begins to leave Venice following the opening week of this year’s Bienniale, the rumor mill is only just beginning to get moving.

The latest news to make the rounds is that Georg Baselitz’s series of eight new large-scale paintings exhibited at the Arsenale have been bought by the French luxury-goods mogul and mega-collector François Pinault for €8 million ($8.9 million).

Tagesspiegel reported that the series of paintings titled Fällt von der Wand nicht (Doesn’t Fall From the Wall) each depicting a naked, upside-down figure against a black background, deals with Baselitz’s wartime experiences as a young man.

In a show for which curator Okwui Enwezor was heavily lambasted, art critics singled out the Baselitz paintings as some of the strongest works exhibited (see Okwui Enwezor’s 56th Venice Biennale is Morose, Joyless and Ugly).

There are no indications whether or not Pinault plans to hang his newly-acquired works at his eponymous foundation at Palazzo Grassi in Venice.


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