Size Matters: Imago Mundi’s Collection of Small, Great Art

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Imago Mundi is the contemporary art collection composed of thousands of works commissioned and collected by Luciano Benetton on his travels around the world, involving established and emerging artists from many different countries on a voluntary basis and with no financial reward. Each of these artists has created an artwork whose only constraint is the 10x12cm format.

Tommy Watson, Australia, Untitled, Acrylic on linen, 2012

The collection, under the auspices of the Fondazione Benetton Studi Ricerche, has no commercial aspirations, but aims instead to unite the diversities of our world in the name of a common artistic experience, to ‘catalogue’ the works and inspirations very differently from the approach usually seen in museums, be it trend or market-driven.

Dharmendra Rathore, India, Untitled, Acrylic on canvas, 2012

Imago Mundi is a democratic, collective and global project that looks to new horizons – to personalities, countries, emerging languages and different cultures – in the name of openness, coming together and the coexistence of expressive diversities. Its social ambition is to promote a knowledge and awareness of art and, through this art, of the world.

Mohau Modisakeng, South Africa, Untitled, Mixed media on canvas

The thousands of 10x12cm paintings that make up the collection form a map that crosses the continents and presents very different countries: from a tormented Afghanistan to post-Mandela South Africa, from a Cuba opening itself to reform to cultured Iceland, from Romania, the laboratory of Europe, to China on its way to becoming the world’s leading economic power. And then the surprising Azerbaijan, the infinite Mongolia, refined Japan and the vibrant India in full artistic and social bloom.

Ásdís Spanó, Iceland, Senza titolo, Acrylic on canvas, 2013

Over the next few years, the numerous collections will be taken on a tour without frontiers to present them to the widest possible number of people, through exhibitions, catalogues and a dedicated web platform, in collaboration with private institutions, international organizations and public museums.

Dan Kim, South Korea, Sixteen Cats and Seo Nuri (ed.1/16), Photograph attached on canvas, 2013

Promotion of the project and of the artists involved continues online at the Imago Mundi web platform which – in the founding spirit of the Luciano Benetton Collection: to catalogue, share, pass down to future generations the thousands of 10x12cm artworks – enables all the Imago Mundi collections to be viewed online in digital quality, as well providing as a variety of other information about the artists involved in the different countries and news of available catalogues and exhibitions around the world.In particular, Imago Mundi has participated in two important international events: the Venice Biennale in 2013 and Dak’Art Off in 2014, in the context of the XI edition of the Biennial of Contemporary African Art in Dakar.

Upcoming Exhibitions

Atsushi Suwa, Japan, Head of a Woman, Watercolor, chalk paint and pencil on cotton cloth laid on panel, 2013

The Art of Humanity in Treviso, Italy

9 July – 3 August
Eleven collections of 10x12cm paintings from 10 different countries in the world. 2,000 works by contemporary artists: an encyclopaedia of global art, a great atlas of the world and humanity.
Casa dei Carraresi, Via Palestro 33 / 38, Treviso, Italy

Roberto Fabelo, Cuba, Romantic rhinoceros, Mixed media on canvas, 2013

Autumn Exhibition at the Museo Carlo Bilotti in Rome, Italy

19 November – 11 January 2015
Organised at the Museo Carlo Bilotti in Villa Borghese, this exhibition will present over 15 collections – all from Africa – in the context of a series of initiatives promoted by the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs that will feed into the global ItalyAfrica conference of 2015.
Museo Carlo Bilotti, Viale Fiorello la Guardia, 6, Rome, Italy
Based on materials provided by Luciano Benetton Collection.

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