Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo
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Turin native Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudegno has left a mark bigger than her share on the city of Turino. Dubbed “Italy’s Peggy Guggenheim” by W Magazine, everything Patrizia does is art inspired. For more than 25 years, she has been traveling the world for art and building up her multi-thousand piece collection and Torino-based Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaundengo.
Listed in the ArtNews Top 200 Collectors list every year since 2016, Patrizia built her original seat at the family palazzo in Guarene, Piedmont, just three kilometers from Alba: Palazzo Re Rebaudegno. Today, her collection has almost reached 5,000 pieces, consisting of contemporary art pieces, photographs and vintage costume jewelry. Her Torino home is a liveable contemporary museum, complete with an art plunge pool in the basement – which is the highlight of every Artissima, Italy’s annual contemporary art fair.
“There has always been a great collaboration between public institutions and private collectors or institutions in Torino,” says Patrizia. She highlights the 1959 opening of the Galleria d’Arte Moderna, the same year New York’s Guggenheim was initiated. Torino became the birthplace of the arte povera movement just a few years later.
Torino’s role in the art world
Torino may be one of the most well-rounded (and underrated) cities in Italy. It covers all the bases: rich food culture, a diverse art scene, a long history, and strong industry, which has allowed the city to continue growing and refining itself since the second World War.
From its historic cafes to architectural icons (hi, Mole Antonelliana!), Torino’s under-the-radar style always over delivers. The city’s deep relationship with art–contemporary art, in particular–started to take root in the 1960s with the avant-garde arte povera (“poor art”) movement. The era was marked by the repurposing of materials for sculpture, intended to be a juxtaposition to 50s’ fixation on modernist painting across the continent and the American minimalist movement.
A city open-minded toward diversity in art mediums and capable of combining disciplines was bound to attract young artists and collectors alike. Patrizia has capitalized on its legacy and added to the city’s amazing art momentum [which includes Italy’s top contemporary art foundations and galleries) with her foundation’s residency program for young artists and curators, both Italian and international, which was launched in 2006–a relationship which, she says, has been educational for her too.
“This for us has been very important in creating a network, because I really believe that an institution like mine has to work with artists, support them, commission their work,” Patrizia says, “Give them the opportunity to show new works. Not only what already exists–it’s also important training for me.”
What’s next for FSSR
In 2017, Patrizia added a third location to her roster: Madrid. Dubbing it Fondazione Sandretto, she decided that the foundation would be nomadic instead of establishing a brick and mortar setting. Like her Torino setup, Fondazione Sandretto welcomes a resident curator each year for its three-month co-op program as well–running simultaneously, participants in each program have the unique opportunity to meet, cross-pollinating their ideas, deeping cultural appreciation, and creating a community of young curatorial professionals from around the world.
“Every year, we invite young curators that have just finished in the most prestigious schools in the world. First there is an interview, then the jury–they choose three of them,” says Patrizia.
Admitted students travel around Spain’s most culturally significant cities–Madrid, San Sebastian, Santander, Barcelona, and Valencia–meeting artists, visiting galleries, and getting to know museum directors along the way. At the trip’s conclusion, they move on to Italy.
As for plans on the horizon, Patrizia and her husband recently purchased a small island in Venice between Murano and San Giacomo–an island where Napoleon used to keep a military garrison. No more than 12,000 square meters, the peculiar square-shared spot is to be reworked over the next year to fit the couple’s artistic vision: part house, part publicly-accessible gallery.
“We still don’t have electricity, (but) in 2024, there will be a museum,” says Patrizia, “It will be a place for everybody.”