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– Group Exhibition –

IMAGO MUNDI: Idea – Description – Aim

The Imago Mundi Project

Group Exhibitions around the world

Imago Mundi (Image of the World) is a global cultural project that aspires to foster openness, new horizons and the coexistence of expressive diversity. The expanding collection is up to now comprising of approximately 2000 works of art collected since 2008 by Luciano Benetton: established and emerging artists from various countries over five continents have been engaged on a voluntary basis and without financial reward to create an artwork whose only limitation is a 10x12cm format. The collection, hosted by the Fondazione Benetton, has no commercial aspirations and aspires to unite the diversities of the world in the name of a common artistic experience. It could be paralleled to an open inventory able to demonstrate how varying is the way the world is seen, studied and represented by artists and to pass on to future generations the widest possible mapping of human cultures at the start of the third millennium.

The Imago Mundi collection began with a chance interaction with a South American artist who instead of leaving a business card with Benetton gave him two tiny 10×12 cm paintings. Those first pieces sparked the whole project. Since then the collection is organized and curated by geographical location, with the help of curators and local experts in shaping the selections from each country, the aim is to create an intriguing smorgasbord of artworks, available to the widest possible audiences.

Imago Mundi‘s first presentation was housed at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, as an official collateral event of the 55th Venice Biennale, from 28 August to 27 October 2013.

Through exhibitions, catalogues, a specially designed portal on the web and via collaborations with galleries and museums the collection will travel around the world.

Exhibition Display and Catalogue

The display idea and design belongs to architect Tobia Scarpa and is a welcoming space that aids comprehension of the richness of the exhibit. The structure provides clear visibility of the small canvasses and, thanks to the fact that the stands close like the leaves of a book, transportation and installation is made easy and facilitates the itinerant aims of the collection, destined to travel without frontiers.

Accompanying catalogues are published for each geographical collection, featuring full-colour illustrations of every work (front and back), the artists’ bios and texts by curators and established art critics.

Luciano Benetton

A great traveller and an art lover, Luciano Benetton has firmly united these two passions in the Imago Mundi project, an ongoing collection of over 2000 artworks, created by artists from different countries around the world.

Born in Treviso in 1935, Luciano Benetton created Benetton Group in 1965, alongside his sister Giuliana and brothers Gilberto and Carlo. He is the Chairman of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, created in 1987, as a testimony of the family’s link with the territory, the Veneto region and the area of Treviso, contributing in particular to the civil and cultural growth of the community and undertaking many projects dedicated to natural, artistic and historic heritage.

Useful Links -Korea (Luciano Benetton on the project)

Athens, Februrary 25, 2014
Project Imago Mundi: “Greek Collection” for the Benetton Foundation

We were recently assigned as curators of the project for a “Greek Collection” for the Benetton Foundation. The general idea is to create a corpus of contemporary art by Greek artists on 10 x 12 cm canvases, which will form part of the Foundation’s Imago Mundi programme.

There are complete collections already in the U.S.A., Japan, South Korea, China, India, Australia, Mongolia and Russia; the collections of Austria, Africa, Italy, Cuba, Spain, and Sweden are being developed, among others. The curators involved to date include Peter Noever, Luca Beatrice, Bita Fayyazi, Diego Cortez, Amanullah, Mojadidi, Suneet Chapra.

We joined this project enthusiastically, believing that the representation of Greece in such an effort should demonstrate, through carefully chosen art works, the depth of the Greek artists’ concerns, as well as the practices that they pursue and apply. It should not be a simple conglomeration of material, but a collection that highlights affinities and juxtapositions, and proposes interesting directions and dialogues. Our main concern is for this collection to comprise high-quality pieces representative of all art genres in Greece.

In addition to posing the challenge of establishing a complete representation of today’s momentum in the Greek contemporary art, another advantage of this program is the fact that the Benetton Foundation shows its collections, organizing exhibitions in important museums and exhibition venues around the world. Moreover, an extremely high-standards book is published for each collection.

Natassa Karaggelou
Curator, Benaki Museum

Polyna Kosmadaki
Curator, Benaki Museum

Vanessa Melissourgaki
Curator, Benaki Museum


learn more:

Pill candy – 2014 – Acrylic colours on canvas – 10X12cm
Pill candy – 2014 – Ακρυλικά χρώματα σε καμβά – 10Χ12εκ.
View from the exhibition of the Greek Collection IMAGO MUNDI – BENETTON FOUNDATION at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, at the Giorgio Maggiore island, Venice, Italy (Sept. 1 – Nov. 1, 2015)
Άποψη από την έκθεση της ελληνικής συλλογής IMAGO MUNDI – BENETTON FOUNDATION στο Fondazione Giorgio Cini, στο νησί του Giorgio Maggiore, στη Βενετία, Ιταλία (Σεπτ. 1 – Νοεμ. 1, 2015)
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