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Dior in Venice

5 Best Venice Events with Dior, The Met, Burberry, and More

These five events launched this year’s international cultural exhibition by honoring artists first and foremost.

With the opening week of Venice Biennale behind us, we have curated a list of the city’s most memorable events that launched this year’s international cultural exhibition, including Dior’s Naumachia Ball, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s cocktail reception with Jeffrey Gibson, and more.

TCollection and Malevich.io Launch Groundbreaking Exhibition “I’m Not Afraid of Ghosts”

TCollection and Malevich.io Image courtesy of TCollection and Malevich.io.

Venice welcomed the unveiling of a remarkable new exhibition titled “I’m Not Afraid of Ghosts,” hosted by TCollection in collaboration with Malevich.io. This inaugural event took place at Palazzo Tiepolo Passi on April 16. The exhibit features a diverse array of works from 33 contemporary artists who explored themes of bodily expression, liberation, and historical continuity. Notable artists such as Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, Jenny Holzer, and Issy Wood highlighted the collection’s focus on contemporary narratives and female perspectives. Curated by Svetlana Marich and Sarah McCrory, this event marks a significant debut for the TCollection, founded by entrepreneur and art enthusiast Tatiana Fileva. The exhibition, open until September 22, 2024, invites visitors to engage deeply with the ongoing conversation between historical art forms and current social challenges.

The opening event was a lively affair, complete with cocktails, traditional Venetian chiccheti, and a lineup of musical performances. The evening included compositions by Oliver Leith and performances by Isabella Summers of Florence & The Machine, along with DJ sets from Danny L. Harle, TDJ, and Torus.

Unit London Celebrates Radical Black Imagination with “In Praise of Black Errantry”

Unit London Courtesy of Unit London.

Unit introduced “In Praise of Black Errantry,” an exhibition inspired by the ideas of Martinique-born French philosopher Édouard Glissant. Held at the historic Palazzo Pisani S. Marina, the exhibition explored errantry — a concept Glissant described as a form of freedom, resistance, and spiritual wandering beyond the confines of national borders or exile. Curated by Indie A. Choudhury of The Courtauld Institute of Art, London, with assistant curator Kelsey Corbett from Unit, the show featured works by 19 Afro-diasporic artists including newly commissioned pieces by notable figures like Stacey Gillian Abe and Winston Branch, alongside established artists such as Jean-Michel Basquiat and Hank Willis Thomas. The exhibition also boasts a site-specific sound installation by Trevor Mathison. This exhibition raised critical questions about how wandering, improvisation, and disobedience have influenced artistic innovation within the Black diaspora.

Dior Champions Venetian Heritage with Charity Ball

Dior Courtesy of Dior.

The House of Dior hosted the Naumachia Ball on April 20 at Venice’s historic Arsenale Vecchio, continuing its collaboration with the Venetian Heritage Foundation. Following the acclaimed Tiepolo Ball in 2019 and the Opera Ball in 2022, this year’s theme, “Naumachia,” draws on the grand tradition of staging mock sea battles, a spectacle dating back to the Roman Empire and popular at European courts in the 17th and 18th centuries. Proceeds from the gala will support significant restoration efforts, including the Arsenale’s Porta Magna and the refurbishment of the Ca’ d’Oro museum, an emblematic landmark of Venice known as the “House of Gold.” This event is a tribute to the enduring relationship between France and Italy, celebrating their shared heritage of beauty and community spirit.

The Met Hosts a Distinguished Cocktail Reception with Jeffrey Gibson

The Met Jeffrey Gibson. Courtesy of The Met.

The Met hosted a special cocktail reception at The St. Regis Venice on April 16 to honor renowned contemporary artist Jeffrey Gibson, who will be debuting four figurative sculptures in The Met’s Fifth Avenue façade niches in September 2025. At the reception, guests were graced with opening remarks and a conversation with the artist about his multifaceted practice. Gibson’s new works for The Met’s niches will reflect his highly developed iconography, merging his Indigenous heritage with a vibrant visual language that incorporates abstraction, patterning, materiality, and textual elements. This approach is part of his broader artistic journey, which has been characterized by a fusion of cultural and aesthetic influences drawn from his upbringing in the United States, Germany, and Korea.

Burberry Celebrates British Creativity with John Akomfrah

Burberry Celebrates British Contemporary Art During the Opening Week of La Biennale di Venezia VENICE, ITALY – APRIL 18: John Akomfrah speaks during a talk by Talk Art and John Akomfrah, supported by Burberry, during the opening week of the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, on April 18, 2024 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry)

Burberry celebrated British creativity during the opening week of La Biennale. As the headline sponsor for the second consecutive year, Burberry supported the British Pavilion, which featured the exhibition “Listening All Night to the Rain” by John Akomfrah, presented by the British Council. The festivities included two major events. First, at an intimate discussion at the British Pavilion, John Akomfrah, joined by curator Tarini Malik and Shane Akeroyd, engaged with Talk Art founders Russell Tovey and Robert Diament. They explored Akomfrah’s artistic journey and discussed his latest work. This conversation is set to be featured in an upcoming episode of the Talk Art podcast. Additionally, Burberry hosted an evening at the iconic Harry’s Bar, where Chief Creative Officer Daniel Lee and John Akomfrah celebrated with guests including Alvaro Barrington, Honey Dijon, and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, among others. The event featured Bellini cocktails and music by Benji B.

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