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Venice is not just about the pavilions; it is also host to many exhibitions that coincide with the art biennale. This year, the Musei Civici Foundation has three beautiful exhibitions, showing quality historic-scientific research and a wonderful selection of the artists: these are not-to-be-missed. The Punta della Dogana is showing artist Danh Vo (who is also the Danish pavilion featured artist) and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection deserves a mention for its in-depth research work on the Pollock brothers. These five shows are must-sees:
“New objectivity. Modern German art in the Weimar Republic 1919–1933,” the Correr Museum
May 1–August 30
San Marco Square, Venice
Nazis called it “Degenerate Art,” as it went against Hitler’s ideals. Many artworks were destroyed but others survived to narrate, with a brutal realism, the war and its tragic consequences. The exhibition comprises 140 artworks, consisting of paintings, photos, drawings, and engravings by almost 40 artists. Some of them are lesser known, while others are considered the masters of German art, such as Otto Dix, Grosz, and Schad.
“Cy Twombly: Paradise,” at Ca’ Pesaro–The International Gallery of Modern Art
May 6–September 13
Santa Croce, Venice
The artist, who passed away in Rome in 2003, can still make us dream with this Italian retrospective. Large, colored canvas and fantasy themes make the exhibition a daydream. The strong point of Twombly’s art is his expressive power and this exhibitions shows how Twombly overtook Abstract Expressionism to go beyond Warhol and Liechtenstein’s Pop and Rauschenberg and Johns’ New Dada.
“Danh Vo: Slip Of The Tongue,” at Punta della Dogana
April 12–December 31
We could call this exhibition: “The Great Trap.” Danh Vo’s goal is to generate paradoxes in order to take the visitor off the scent both with his own work and by curating others. Among the exhibited artists are Nairy Baghramian, Constantin Brancusi, Marcel Broodthaers, Fischli & Weiss, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Piero Manzoni, Nancy Spero, and Martin Wong.
“Henri Rousseau: Archaic Candour,” at Palazzo Ducale
March 6–July 5
San Marco Square, Venice
Henri Rousseau doesn’t need any presentation, already famous for his wild atmospheres, jungles, and magical landscapes. Offering more than 100 artworks, this show also includes the works of Cézanne, Gauguin, Redon, Seurat, Morandi, Carrà, Frida Kahlo, Diego Rivera, Kandinskij, and Picasso, together.
“Jackson Pollock: Mural,” at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
April 23–November 16
Jackson Pollock comes to the lagoon as a protagonist with this huge, six meter-long mural. The artwork, commissioned by Peggy Guggenheim, is the main attraction of the museum during these Venice biennale months, alongside a show of Charles, Pollock’s younger brother.