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While visiting the pavilions during the 59th International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia, visitors will not want to miss these top exhibitions at premier and historic galleries and museums in the heart of Venice.
“This is Ukraine: Defending Freedom”
Scuola Grande della Misericordia Cannaregio
The show, curated by Björn Geldhof, testifies to the country’s heart and courage, focusing on friendship and freedom. The first chapter presents works from artists Yevgenia Belorusets, Nikita Kadan, and Lesia Khomeno, working under Russia’s war in Ukraine. The second showcases Ukrainian artists allied with international artists like Marina Abramović, Olafur Eliasson, JR, Damien Hirst, Boris Mikhailov, and Takashi Murakami, united for a critical response to the war.
“Decentral Art Pavilion: Singularity”
Palazzo Giustinian Lolin Dorsoduro
Curated and presented by Florencia S.M. Brück, Javier Krasuk, Diego Lijtmaer, and Simone Furian, the exhibition “Singularity” is currently on view at Palazzo Giustinian Lolin in Venice through June 20. The installation, designed by David Rodríguez Gimeno, with photography curated by Arianna Grava, showcases artists such as Coldie, Aaron Penne, Justin Aversano, and XCOPY, with more than 200 NFT artworks by over 80 cutting-edge artists from around the world. In the majestic Venetian palazzo, art and NFT technology are fused.
“Louise Nevelson: Persistence”
Procuratie Vecchie San Marco
In celebration of the 60th anniversary of Nevelson’s representation of the United States at the Biennale Arte in 1962, the exhibition includes over 60 works by the pioneering artist created between the 1950s and the 1980s. Julia Bryan-Wilson, professor of modern and contemporary art at the University of California, Berkeley, curated the show in the newly renovated, 500-year-old Procuratie Vecchie. There, Nevelson’s large-scale painted wooden sculptures are presented alongside her rarely seen collages and jewelry pieces, revealing her inspirations from cubism and constructivism, as well as the artist’s experimentation with abstraction and assemblage.
“Human Brains: It Begins with an Idea”
Fondazione Prada Santa Croce
Curated by Udo Kittelmann in collaboration with Taryn Simon and with the support of a comprehensive scientific board, the show is the result of an investigative research project motivated by a passion to understand the complexity and history of the human brain. In a vast combination of projections, historical objects, visual art and books, it explores neuroscientific discoveries and progress alongside faults and uncertainties.
Danh Vo, Isamu Noguchi, and Park Seo-Bo
Fondazione Querini Stampalia Campo Santa Maria Formosa
Artist Danh Vo co-curated this exhibition with Chiara Bertola which places his works in rich conversation with Japanese American sculptor Isamu Noguchi and Korean painter Park Seo-Bo. Within the labyrinthine historic mansion, Vo presents his dynamic work with found objects, photography, sculpture, and architectural spaces. By way of light and wall installations, the artist guides viewers while responding to the evolution of the site. Woven with the paper Akari lamps of Noguchi and the abstract paintings of Park, the exhibition transforms the Fondazione Querini Stampalia into a living museum of light and life.
Georg Baselitz: Archinto
Museo di Palazzo Grimani Santa Maria Formosa
The show is curated by Mario Codognato, and presented by Venetian Heritage and Direzione regionale Musei Veneto, in association with Gagosian. On view are 12 canvases made exclusively for the Sala del Portego, hanging on original 18th-century stucco panels that once held portraits of the Grimani family. The artist found inspiration in the spirited city of Venice and its vivid artistic traditions. The title of the exhibition pays homage to Titian’s 1558 portrait of Cardinal Filippo Archinto, giving new life to an artistic master and the resounding theme of human mortality.
Drift: Social Sacrifice
TBA21–Academy's Ocean Space San Marco
Aorist presents CodeX in Venice, a program including the first-ever indoor drone performance by artist DRIFT. “Social Sacrifice,” examining the dynamics exhibited by a school of fish encountering a predator, will highlight the tension between collective action and individual freedom, and how this tension changes in the presence of external threat. The work will render visible the unseen forces which govern our behaviors, our values, and our world, inviting viewers to consider their own influence upon these practices. Artwork is accompanied by a series of NFTs available on the Aorist marketplace.
Kehinde Wiley: Archaeology of Silence
Fondazione Giorgio Cini San Giorgio Maggiore
The show, curated by Christophe Leribault, features a collection of recent and monumental paintings and sculptures portraying a series of prone Black bodies, using the language of the fallen hero—notably, Holbein’s Dead Christ in the Tomb—to lay bare the brutality of American and global colonial pasts. That, in Wiley’s words, is the archaeology he is unearthing: “The spectre of police violence and state control over the bodies of young Black and Brown people all over the world.” The poses of the vulnerable, borrowed from the annals of Western European art history, also speak to their resilience, functioning as monuments to endurance in the face of savagery, an endurance to the degree of iconography and sainthood.
Mary Weatherford: The Flaying of Marsyas
Museo di Palazzo Grimani San Marco
The exhibition is a suite of new works made in response to Titian’s renowned composition from the 1570s, of the same name. Weatherford’s dark hues and gestural markings evoke the violent energy of the original Renaissance painting, which the artist became fascinated with after first viewing it in 2013. The exhibition has been conceived with the help of the architect and designer Kulapat Yantrasast and features several large-scale flashe-painted canvases, each of which has been outfitted with the artist’s signature neon tube lighting, here paying homage to the natural light that is unique to Venice.
Anish Kappor at The Gallerie dell’Academia
Gallerie dell’Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin Dorsoduro
The dual exhibition, curated by art historian Taco Dibbits, begins at the Gallerie with a seminal body of early pigment sculptures, 1000 Names [1979-1980], and “void” works created with “Kapoor Black,” a nanotechnology substance so dark that it absorbs more than 99.9% of visible light. The motif of an object’s skin as veil between the inner and outer world is further explored with the site-specific Pregnant White Within Me , a giant bulge which distends the gallery and which is accompanied by various sacrilegious acts on the part of Kapoor. This theme continues with the site-specific Mount Moriah at the Gate of the Ghetto , a pendulous, painted mass of silicone protruding from the ceiling of the Palazzo’s entrance hall.
Marlene Dumas: open-end
Palazzo Grassi San Marco
Dumas’s “open-end” is the artist’s first comprehensive solo show in Italy, curated in collaboration with Caroline Bourgeois. It brings together over 100 works from the Pinault Collection, international museums, and private collections, focusing on recent work created with the Venetian exhibition in mind, and broadened by a selection of paintings and drawings created as early as 1984. The title was Dumas’s choosing; it reflects both the openness of her work to ongoing interpretation and the opening of exhibition spaces to the public after lockdowns, while the ongoing pandemic invests “end” with a “fluid and melancholic” meaning. In both respects, Dumas said, “Where the work starts is not where it ends.”
Anselm Kiefer at Palazzo Ducale
Palazzo Ducale San Vincenzo
Titled “Questi scritti, quando verranno bruciati, daranno finalmente un po’ di luce” (roughly translating to “These writings, when burned, will finally cast a little light”), Kiefer’s installation fills the Venetian venue with monumental works responding to the ornate interiors of the historic space—which Kiefer has managed to fashion in a manner that feels as though his newer creations are right at home with their historic counterparts. Utilizing an amalgamation of materials like metal wire, zinc, shoes, fabric, straw, and resin, the artist’s presentation has been named for the words of the late Venetian philosopher Andrea Emo, with whom the artist found parallels in their ideologies.
Claire Tabouret: I am spacious, singing flesh
Palazzo Cavanis Dorsoduro
Curated by Kathryn Weir, the survey looks at the processes of transformation through 25 works dating back to 2004 (though most were made in the last decade). Including paintings, sculptures, videos, and works on paper, viewers are taken on a thoughtful investigation of identity, its subjectivity, and its construction.