The spectacle of Art

Venice is art. It may itself be defined as a work of art, a perfect combination, in its entirety, between the action of nature and human activity, within its natural range of excellence. Different styles from different periods, which have passed through two millennia of history, blend here in one of the most extraordinary performances by man.

Therefore, this city becomes the perfect setting to stage art in all its definitions, therefore, the Biennale and all the major institutions in town stage the many facets of art here today, from the classic to the contemporary.

The art spectacle is thus complete.

Starting from May, Venice turns into the absolute capital of art in Italy, in Europe, perhaps in the world, with the official opening of the Art Biennale, or rather, the International Art Exhibition, as it was named over a hundred years ago.


This is not the place to present “the grand exhibition” – we will do it with the next issue, once its doors open – but instead let’s see what the main features of this great Venetian event are, which will invade the city with exhibitions, installations, performances, events of all kinds and types, from the month of May until practically the whole month of November.


The starting point for what could be described as the “International Art Festival of Venice”, will be the sparkling Biennale “preview”, which will host thousands of “professionals”, including artists, journalists, museum directors and exhibition curators between May 9 to 12, in its vast venues located between the Giardini at Castello and the Arsenale – but also in many palaces in town which represent national pavilions or host the collateral exhibitions…

These same days will see a flourishing of exhibitions launched by institutions, galleries, art associations and museums. Then, the Biennale gates will open to the public from Saturday 13th, with the awarding and inauguration ceremonies in the morning.

Among countless offers there will be those by MUVE – Venice City Museums, launching Muve contemporary on this occasion, a rich showcase related to the languages of contemporary art, and those promoted by the Giorgio Cini Foundation, the Prada Foundation, Ca’ Foscari University, the Veneto Institute of Sciences, Letters and Arts, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the Fondaco dei Tedeschi…


Not only, for those arriving in Venice for the May Labour Day holiday can rely on an already top-level exhibit scenario with a series of special exhibitions, listed here: the one dedicated to American abstract art painter Mark Tobey, set up in the spaces at the Venetian temple of modern art, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection; the one on Damien Hirst, the British artist famous for his provocations (and for the exorbitant prices of his artworks), which will be occupying both the Pinault Foundation spaces (at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana) for the first time with his impressive exhibition; the one on the equally stunning artist, but this time from the Sixteenth century, Hieronymus Bosch, at the Ducal Palace. And furthermore, the one on refined French drawings from the Prat Collection visible at the Correr Museum; on Renaissance carpets and paintings, entitled Most Serene Wefts, at the Giorgio Franchetti gallery; the ones dedicated to two masters of photography, the Brazilian Vik Muniz and the American David Lachapelle, respectively hosted at Palazzo Cini and at the Casa dei Tre Oci, on the Giudecca.


On the same topic, we are ending this brief presentation with a short exchange of views with one of the protagonists of the Venetian art world in the past forty years, prof. Philip Rylands, the director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice.