Joseph Kosuth, Self-Defined, 1965. White neon tubing, 3 x 28 x 1 in.

The Beauty of Thinking: A Conversation with Giuseppe Panza

For Count Giuseppe Panza di Biumo, it’s all about pleasure—receiving and sharing spiritual pleasure, the kind that begins in the mind and takes its inspiration from the play of light and the passage of time. Over the last 50 years, the industrialist and real estate investor has amassed one of the world’s premier collections of American and European contemporary art, with an emphasis on Abstract Expressionism, Pop, and Mini­malism, as well as Light and Space and environmental works. Starting in 1956, when he purchased several paintings by Antonio Tàpies, Panza established a pattern of buying not only in depth, but also from an artist’s seminal period. Despite the space limitations of his 18th-century neoclassical residence, located just outside of Milan, he commissioned spectacular permanent installations by Dan Flavin, Robert Irwin, Marian Nordman, and James Turrell. Overlooking the city of Varese, Villa Menafoglio Litta Panza became the perfect foil for works of radical look and meaning…see the entire article in the print version of January/February’s Sculpture magazine.