Venice 2022 – On the occasion of the opening of La Biennale di Venezia, the world’s most important art event, the Italian city intertwines art, design and architecture. Of course, our practical guide to Venice art season begins with the Biennale Arte and continues with 12 must-see installations, pavilions and exhibitions in town beyond the Arsenale and Giardini.
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La Biennale di Venezia – The Milk of Dreams
Curated by Cecilia Alemanni, the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia takes its title, The Milk of Dreams, from a book by Leonora Carrington who, according to Salvador Dali, was the most important female Surrealist artist. “The Milk of Dreams takes Leonora Carrington’s otherworldly creatures, along with other figures of transformation, as companions on an imaginary journey through the metamorphoses of bodies and definitions of the human.”
The exhibition explores the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses, the relationship between individuals and technologies, and the connection between bodies and the Earth. Across the Arsenale and at the Central Pavilion at Giardini, The Milk of Dreams features the artwork of 213 artists from 58 countries. For the first time in over 127 years, the Biennale includes a large majority of female and non-binary artists. The exhibition design is conceived by Formafantasma. The studio worked more closely on the set-up of 5 historical sections around which the curatorial concepts gravitate around.
80 national pavilions at Arsenale, Giardini and across the city tune with the main exhibition. Cameroon, Namibia, Nepal, Oman, Uganda, Kazakhstan, Kirghizistan and Uzbekistan participate for the first time. The Russian pavilion will remain close while the Ukrainian features artworks rescued from shelling [Read more about it].
The Michelangelo Foundation presents the state of the art of fine craftsmanship with the second edition of the Homo Faber Event throughout the spaces of the Fondazione Giorgio Cini on the San Giorgio Island and the streets of Venice. 15 immersive exhibitions focus on craft’s role in floral design, luxury goods, interior design, homeware, paper, fashion, theatre and much more. Imagined by an international team of curators, architects and designers – including Sebastian Herkner, Rossana Orlandi, Sara Myerscough Gallery and more – each exhibition involves the visitor in a story of materials, techniques and skills.
With a focus on Japan, several exhibitions explore the exquisite craftsmanship, customs and culture of its master artisans. At the same time, the country’s influence on Europe is threaded throughout the event. Beyond the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, visitors to the Homo Faber Event can also explore artisanal workshops throughout Venice through self-guided, tailored itineraries as part of Homo Faber in Città.
Wed-Mon 10am-7pm. Piazza San Marco 119 [Map].
After an extensive five-year restoration carried out by David Chipperfield Architects Milan, the iconic building of the Procuratie Vecchie in Saint Mark’s Square opens up again to the city after 500 years. Defined by its ordered of arches and loggias, the 16th-century building’s facade has remained untouched. The biggest changes can be seen on the third floor, which is now home to The Human Safety Net, an initiative that seeks to help disadvantaged people across the globe.
The studio transformed the third floor into workspaces, exhibition spaces, event spaces, and an auditorium. Here, Italian artist Edoardo Tresoldi created an ethereal column made in wire mesh that dialogues with the surrounding architecture. Visit the design exhibition A World of Potential. mercoledì al lunedì dalle 10 alle 19 . Interiors by Migliore+Servetto.
Anselm Kiefer at Palazzo Ducale
Until November 26, h. 9am-6pm. Palazzo Ducale, St. Mark square 1 [Map].
These writings, when burned, will finally cast a little light is the title of the installation by German artist and sculptor Anselm Kiefer. A series of paintings produced specially for the Palazzo Ducale in 2020 and 2021 are arranged in the space and magnificent setting of the Sala dello Scrutinio, engaging closely with the thirty-three monumental paintings on the ceiling with the heroic values expressed by the palace’s entire decorative scheme.
Lucio Fontana and Antony Gormley at Negozio Olivetti
April 20-November 27, Tue-Sun 10am-6.30pm. Free. Negozio Olivetti, Piazza San Marco 101 [Map].
The historic Negozio Olivetti, designed by architect Carlo Scarpa and commissioned by Italian industrialist Adriano Olivetti in 1957, hosts the landmark exhibition Lucio Fontana / Antony Gormley. The iconic artists’ drawings, workbooks, models and sculptures dialogue with the mid-century interiors on the northern edge of Piazza San Marco.
Anish Kapoor in Venice
Gallerie dell’Accademia welcome Anish Kapoor. The extraordinary exhibition includes retrospective elements alongside newer bodies of work, presenting key moments in the British-Indian artist’s career. On show are ground-breaking new works created using carbon nanotechnology, as well as recent paintings and sculptures. The exhibition continues at Palazzo Manfrin, chosen by Kapoor as the seat of his artistic foundation, whose restoration project was entrusted to the architect Giulia Foscari and the Gallerie, representing the most important collection of Venetian art in the world.
Studio DRIFT’s drone performance
Studio DRIFT stages its first-ever indoor aerial drone performance titled Social Sacrifice. Inspired by a bank of fishes reacting to a predator, the artwork reflects our dilemma when facing an external threat: collective action of individual freedom? The installation was co-commissioned by Aorist and TBA21-Academy’s Ocean Space, a Venice-based cultural center for catalysing ocean literacy, research, and advocacy through the arts.
Nilufar Gallery in Venice
April 21-June 30 – Giovanni Nicelli airport, via Renato Morandi 9 [Map].
Nilufar Gallery lands in the prestigious world of Venice Lido Island as a result of a new collaboration with the Giovanni Nicelli private airport. The gallery’s founder Nina Yashar has been invited to curate an exhibition in the hall of the exquisite 1920s building. Here is a selection of historical design pieces dialogues with contemporary works by avant-garde artists. Concurrently, a second exhibition curated by ArtHub at the “Spazio Esso“, the airport’s former fuel distributor, is dedicated to the European debut of the ceramic artist Sin Ying Cassandra Ho.
Surrealism and Magic at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
April 9-September 26, Wed to Mon h. 10 am-6 pm. Palazzo Venier dei Leoni 701, Dorsoduro [Map] – Tickets.
German painter Max Ernst said that “magic is the means of approaching the unknown by other ways than those of science or religion.” From here the Peggy Guggenheim Collection teamed up with the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany, to present Surrealism and Magic: Enchanted Modernity, an exhibition curated by Gražina Subelytė exploring for the first time the intrigue and fascination of Surrealist artists for the occult and supernatural. On show Giorgio De Chirico’s architectural paintings, magical canvas by Max Ernst and pieces by Leonora Carrington, René Magritte, Remedios Varo and Salvador Dali.
Trees Grow from the Sky
April 23-November 27, 10am-4pm. Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione [Map].
Inspired by trees’ bark and Renaissance architecture, Czech artist and sculptor Rony Plesl presents Trees Grow from the Sky, a site-specific installation unveiling four large-scale glass sculptures in the Chiesa di Santa Maria della Visitazione in the Dorsoduro district with views of the Giudecca Canal. They are developed using unprecedented and unique glass casting technology, allowing the creation of grand glass sculptures without any limitations.
Fontana Arte. House of Glass
April 4-July 31, h. 10am-19pm. Le Stanze del Vetro, island of San Giorgio Maggiore [Map].
Le Stanze del Vetro presents FontanaArte. House of Glass. Curated by Christian Larsen, the retrospective exhibition critically examines the legendary Milanese manufacturer of glass furnishings through the production periods of its four great artistic directors: Gio Ponti, Pietro Chiesa, Max Ingrand and Gae Aulenti. Designed by architect Massimiliano Locatelli, the exhibition culminates in a suite furnished in the FontanaArte style to evoke a dwelling made of glass interiors.
The Hanji House by Stefano Boeri
April 23-November 27. Free. Palazzo Contarini Polignac, Dorsoduro 874 [Map].
Inspired by origami and tangram, Stefano Boeri Architetti designed the Hanji House, a pavilion in front of Palazzo Contarini Polignac introducing the exhibition of Times Reimagined by Kwang Young Chun. The Korean artist is known for his Aggregations, composite works made of paper packets dyed with tea and natural pigments.
Museo Fortuny reopens
Two years after the ‘Acqua Granda’ flooding seriously damaged the Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei, Mariano Fortuny’s house museum reopens its doors to the public, following essential conservation work on the ground floor and the refurbishment of the upper floors. Paintings, clothes and fabrics, lighting and stage designs, and everything associated with the artistic and productive paths that evolved in the palace are again on display for Venetians and visitors to admire. The museum will also continue to host temporary exhibitions, with a particular emphasis on the contemporary.