France finally gets to see Pinault’s art in new exhibition

The owner of Christie's to show works from his personal collection for the first time

François Pinault, the French billionaire owner of Christie’s, will show works from his modern and contemporary art collection for the first time in France since he abandoned plans to build his own gallery in Paris in 2005 and opted instead to show his art at the Palazzo Grassi in Venice. “Passage du Temps” at the Tri Postal exhibition centre in Lille (16 October-1 January 2008) will include 97 pieces organised in six thematic sections by artists such as Adel Abdessemed, Gilbert & George, Bruce Nauman, Cindy Sherman (right, Untitled # 420, 2004), Ed Ruscha and Dan Flavin. The show has been curated by Caroline Bourgeois, artistic director of the Plateau/FRAC Ile-de-France contemporary art collection, who advised Mr Pinault on building his video art collection from 1998 to 2001. Ms Bourgeois told The Art Newspaper: “Palazzo Grassi is not suitable for these works as the rooms there are too small.” The businessman has leases on two prime properties in Venice; he owns an 80% share in the Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal and has said he will spend around $110m transforming the dilapidated Customs House in Venice into a second museum by 2009 to show work from his extensive holdings.