the VENICE ART BIENNALE IS BACK! 

 

From April 20 to November 24, 2024, the Venice Art Biennale returns to the historic Italian city to present its 60th edition. Once again, the global celebration of creativity and cultural exchange is set to welcome artists, curators, collectors, and art enthusiasts from every corner of the globe.
 

Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, this year’s Biennale explores the theme Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere, spotlighting artists from diverse backgrounds and marginalized groups. Across national pavilions and historic venues, a tapestry of exhibitions will unfold, offering a rich and inclusive artistic experience.

 

In anticipation of the upcoming art exhibition, designboom explores the world of the 2024 Venice Art Biennale. From national pavilions and official collateral events, to must-see shows and installations across Venice, designboom brings you everything you need to know. Discover more below! 

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
illustration by Hara Nika

 

 

STRANIERI OVUNQUE – FOREIGNERS EVERYWHERE

 

The 60th International Art Exhibition, titled Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere, opens to the public from Saturday, April 20 at the Giardini and the Arsenale in Venice. Curated by Adriano Pedrosa and organized by La Biennale di Venezia, the Venice Art Biennale 2024 unites 332 artists and presents two sections: the Nucleo Contemporaneo and the Nucleo Storico. Its main focus is to spotlight artists from diverse backgrounds, giving space and visibility to previously marginalized groups, such as immigrants, expatriates, queer people, and indigenous individuals. 

 

Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere draws on a series of works started in 2004 by the Paris-born and Palermo-based Claire Fontaine collective. The works consist of neon sculptures in different colors that render in a growing number of languages the words ‘Foreigners Everywhere’. The phrase comes, in turn, from the name of a Turin collective that fought racism and xenophobia in Italy in the early 2000s. ‘The expression Stranieri Ovunque has several meanings. First of all, that wherever you go and wherever you are you will always encounter foreigners — they/we are everywhere. Secondly, that no matter where you find yourself, you are always truly, and deep down inside, a foreigner,’ says Adriano Pedrosa.

 

Special attention is given to outdoor projects, both in the Arsenale and the Giardini, where a performance program is being planned with events during the pre-opening and closing weekend of the 60th Exhibition. The pre-opening will occur on April 17, 18, and 19; the awards ceremony and inauguration will be held on April 20, 2024.

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Claire Fontaine
: Foreigners Everywhere (Italian), 2004 – installation view | Cité internationale des arts Paris, Monmartre, Paris, 2004
 | suspended, wall or window mounted neon, framework, electronic transformer and cables | image by and © Studio Claire Fontaine, courtesy the studio & Galleria T293

 

 

THE GOLDEN LIONS LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD

 

The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at the 60th International Art Exhibition have been awarded to Italian-born, Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino and Paris-based, Turkish artist Nil Yalter. The decision was approved by the Biennale’s Board of Directors, chaired by Roberto Cicutto, upon the recommendation of curator Adriano Pedrosa, and the awards ceremony will be held alongside the inauguration of the 60th exhibition on Saturday April 20, 2024, at Ca’ Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale.

 

‘This decision is particularly significant,’ states Adriano Pedrosa. ‘In light of the title and context of the Exhibition, which focuses on artists who have traveled and migrated between North and South, Europe and other countries, or vice versa. In this sense, my choice falls on two extraordinary and pioneering artists, as well as migrants, who in many ways embody the spirit of ‘Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere’: Anna Maria Maiolino (born in Scalea, Italy, 1942; residing in São Paulo, Brazil), who emigrated from Italy to South America, first to Venezuela and then to Brazil, where she currently lives, and Nil Yalter (born in Cairo, Egypt, 1938; residing in Paris, France), a Turk who moved from Cairo to Istanbul and finally to Paris, where she resides.’

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Anna Maria Maiolino by Maycon Lima and Nil Yalter by Oliver Abraham

 

 

NATIONAL PAVILIONS

 

 

russia lends its national pavilion to bolivia

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia

 

According to reports in the Italian news outlet Il Sole 24 Ore, Russia has decided to lend its national pavilion at the Venice Biennale to Bolivia. The green structure in Venice’s Giardini would have otherwise stayed shuttered, as Russia is not participating for the second consecutive year following its invasion of Ukraine in 2022. In its place, the pavilion will host an exhibition featuring 25 artists representing the Plurinational State of Bolivia. The curator of the Bolivian Pavilion is the Minister of Cultures, Decolonization and Depatriarchalization, Esperanza Guevara , appointed a month ago, the commissioner is the deputy minister Juan Carlos Cordero Nina. 

name: ABYA YALA Desde la Patria Grande
commissioner: Juan Carlos Cordero Nina
curator: Paola Pisanelli Nero
exhibitors: Alexandra Bravo, Inés Fontenla, Ronald Moran, Lorgio Vaca, Humberto Vélez and many others Latin American artists
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF SWITZERLAND

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Guerreiro do Divino Amor, Roma Talismano (still), 2023. performers: Ventura Profana, Adriana Carvalho and Amanda Seraphico | image by Guerreiro do Divino Amor and Diego Paulino

 

Guerreiro do Divino Amor’s Super Superior Civilizations presents the latest chapters of the Superfictional World Atlas saga at the Swiss Pavilion in the Venice Biennale. This monumental project, dedicated to experimental architecture, explores the relationship between urban space, ideology, and national identity. Guerreiro’s immersive installation features classical architectural elements, symbolizing Western superiority, and includes two main installations: The Miracle of Helvetia and Roma Talismano.

 

The Miracle of Helvetia is a video allegory portraying Switzerland as a surreal paradise where nature and technology, capitalism and democracy coexist in balance. It leads to Roma Talismano, representing Roman civilization’s moral, political, and cultural superiority through allegorical figures like the Capitoline wolf, embodied by Brazilian artist Ventura Profana.

 

name: Super Superior Civilizations
commissioner: Swiss arts council Pro Helvetia: Sandi Paucic, Rachele Giudici Legittimo
curator: Andrea Bellini
exhibitor: Guerreiro do Divino Amor
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF FINLAND 

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024

 

The Pavilion of Finland (find more here) presents a collaborative exhibition featuring artists Pia Lindman, Vidha Saumya, and Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen, along with curators Yvonne Billimore and Jussi Koitela, and architectural designer Kaisa Sööt. Blurring boundaries between art, architecture, and social commentary, the exhibition invites visitors to explore societal imbalances and reconsider norms. Reimagining the Aalto Pavilion, the artists introduce ‘access architecture,’ focusing on inclusivity and sensory experiences. Inspired by architect Celine Conderelli’s concept of ‘support structures,’ the exhibition’s design facilitates connections between artwork, audiences, and space, guiding visitors through immersive encounters.

 

name: The pleasures we choose
commissioner: Raija Koli, Frame Contemporary Art Finland
curators: Yvonne Billimore & Jussi Koitela
exhibitors: Pia Lindman, Vidha Saumya, Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen
venue: Giardini

 

 

pavilion of hungary 

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy of Márton Nemes

 

Drawing inspiration from techno subcultures, artist Márton Nemes (find more here) presents an immersive, multimedia exhibition titled Techno Zen at the Hungarian Pavilion. His abstract paintings, characterized by explosive rearrangements of the pictorial field, evoke the psychedelic ambiance of contemporary nightclubs. Combining painting and sculpture, Nemes creates hypnotic installations that transport viewers into a fluid, fluorescent color field. The project expands the notion of painting into other media, incorporating industrial technologies and materials to create a multisensory environment. Laser-cut steel, car paint, enamelled steel plate, projection, DMX lights, speakers, and colored fans converge to reinterpret the palette of painting, inviting viewers into a dynamic interplay of light, color, movement, and sound. Structured in three main parts, the exhibition encourages visitors to stand in the center of the pavilion, symbolizing openness and tolerance in an era marked by polarization. The accompanying catalogue, published by the Ludwig Museum—Museum of Contemporary Art Budapest, features contributions from art historians and curators Loránd Hegyi, David Rosenberg, and Anika Meier.

 

name: Techno Zen
commissioner: Julia Fabényi, Director Ludwig Museum – Museum of Contemporary Art, Budapest
curator: Róna Kopeczky
exhibitor: Márton Nemes
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF SERBIA

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
installation view. | image by Aleksandar Denić, courtesy of the artist

 

The Pavilion of Serbia presents Exposition Coloniale by Aleksandar Denić, Curated by Ksenija Samardžija and commissioned by Jelena Medaković, Director of the Belgrade City Museum. The exhibition explores transient spaces, focusing on temporary residences as symbols of societal anxieties about encountering strangers. Housed in the National Pavilion of Jugoslavia, the exhibition transcends mere aesthetics to reflect on the region’s fragmented identity post-1990s conflicts. Denić, an artist displaced in Germany, intervenes in this discomfort, creating a heterotopic space that blurs physical and emotional boundaries. His installations, devoid of specific times or places, evoke universal patterns and sensations, offering viewers a multi-layered experience that elicits a sense of uncertainty and déjà vu.

 

name: Exposition Coloniale
commissioner: Jelena Medakovic
curator: Ksenija Samadržija
exhibitor: Aleksandar Denić
venue: Giardini

 

 

pavilion of italy

 

Presented with the support of the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity at the Italian Ministry of Culture, Due qui / To Hear is this year’s project for the Italian Pavilion (find more here). Curated by Luca Cerizza (with the assistance of Francesca Verga), it presents work that Massimo Bartolini has created in collaboration with several musicians and writers, employing the cooperative approach that is a hallmark of his practice. Playing on the homophones ‘two here’ (in Italian, due qui) and ‘to hear,’ the title of this project suggests how hearing—or even better, listening—is an action directed towards others. For that matter, meeting and listening, relation and sound, go hand in hand here, as they have throughout the three decades of Massimo Bartolini’s practice. Through sculptures, installations, sound works, and performances, with a range that is characteristic of the artist’s practice, it aims to create a context of experience. Choosing among more than one entrance and possible route, visitors move through three spaces built around different acoustic experiences and meeting points. This path is marked out by an alternation of fullness and emptiness, movement and rest, with installations that respond to the physical characteristics of each space without becoming any form of display.

 

name: Due Qui / To Hear
commissioner: Angelo Piero Cappello, Direttore Generale Creatività Contemporanea, Ministero della Cultura
curator: Luca Cerizza
exhibitor: Massimo Bartolini
venue: Arsenale

 

 

PAVILION OF MALTA

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Matthew Attard, Eye-tracking concept sketch (I WILL FOLLOW THE SHIP), 2023. Eye-tracking drawing, photo, Generative Algorithm. digital image – variable dimensions. © Matthew Attard and Galleria Michela Rizzo

 

Maltese artist Matthew Attard (born in 1987) will be the first solo Maltese artist to represent Malta at the 60th International Art Exhibition. The exhibition, titled I WILL FOLLOW THE SHIP, showcases a newly commissioned artwork that blends cultural heritage with innovative digital technology. Co-Curators Elyse Tonna (born in Malta in 1990) and Sara Dolfi Agostini (born in Italy, raised in the USA in 1983) have curated this exhibition.

 

Presented by the youngest team ever to represent Malta at La Biennale di Venezia, I WILL FOLLOW THE SHIP integrates contemporary drawing, historical allusions, and digital technology, drawing from Attard’s recent exploration of AI and digital technology as a medium for drawing.

 

name: I Will Follow the Ship
commissioner: Arts Council Malta
curators: Sara Dolfi Agostini and Elyse Tonna
exhibitor: Matthew Attard
venue: Arsenale

 

 

Pavilion of Nigeria

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy of Nigeria Imaginary

 

The Nigeria Pavilion will present Nigeria Imaginary (find more here), marking the country’s second time participating in the global event. The group exhibition, curated by Aindrea Emelife, will feature new, commissioned, site-specific works by eight artists—Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Ndidi Dike, Onyeka Igwe, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Abraham Oghobase, Precious Okoyomon, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, and Fatimah Tuggar—in response to the theme and exhibition title. Across mediums and disciplines, the works imagine new possibilities for Nigeria, at times investigating the impact of colonialism, and reimagining a new nation that could have been; together the works create a manifesto for the future. The pavilion’s commissioner is Godwin Obaseki, Governor of Nigeria’s Edo State, on behalf of Nigeria’s Federal Ministry of Art, Culture and the Creative Economy, with the forthcoming Museum of West African Art (MOWAA) serving as its organizer. The exhibition will travel to MOWAA in an expanded form.

 

name: Nigeria Imaginary
commissioner: Godwin Obaseki, Governor Edo State Government
curator: Aindrea Emelife
exhibitors: Tunji Adeniyi-Jones, Ndidi Dike, Onyeka Igwe, Toyin Ojih Odutola, Abraham Oghobase, Precious Okoyomon, Yinka Shonibare CBE RA, Fatimah Tuggar
venue: Palazzo Canal, 3121 Rio Tera Canal, Dorsoduro

 

 

PAVILION OF ROMANIA

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Șerban Savu, True Nature, 2021, ceramic tiles mounted on panel, 50×40 cm, courtesy Galeria Plan B, Berlin

 

The Romanian Pavilion at Biennale Arte 2024 presents an exhibition by artist Șerban Savu, curated by Ciprian Mureșan, exploring the theme of work and leisure. Titled What Work Is, the exhibition reimagines the iconography of labor, drawing from historical realism and Eastern Bloc propaganda art. Instead of directly challenging these narratives, Savu rearranges their tropes to capture moments of pause and indistinction between work and leisure, reflecting broader societal changes or crises.

 

Aligned with the Biennale’s theme of Foreigners Everywhere, Savu’s paintings depict characters caught in a temporal no-man’s-land between two worlds, reflecting on displacement and homesickness associated with migratory work. The exhibition showcases a vast polyptych of Savu’s work over fifteen years, populated by disoriented protagonists and lethargic extras, symbolizing the liminal space between work and rest. In addition, the Pavilion features a large bench displaying architectural models adorned with mosaics, deviating from traditional themes to convey bathos, ambiguity, and confusion. 

 

name: What Work Is
commissioner: Ioana Ciocan
curator: Ciprian Mureșan
exhibitors: Șerban Savu and Atelier Brenda
venue: Giardini and New Gallery of Istituto Romeno di Cultura e Ricerca Umanistica (Palazzo Correr, Campo Santa Fosca, Cannaregio 2214

 

 

HOLY SEE PAVILION

 

Maurizio Cattelan, along with eight more artists, has been invited to create installations for the Holy See Pavilion. The exhibition is set to be installed in an unexpected location, the Women’s Prison of the Island of Giudecca, under the title With my eyes. The title emphasizes the importance of responsibly perceiving and constructing our social, cultural, and spiritual co-existence, especially in an age dominated by digital communication technologies that risk distancing us from reality. In this context, the Pavilion highlights the significance of direct, personal engagement with reality, as opposed to remote and metaphorical views. It draws parallels between religious and artistic experiences, both valuing the total and anti-conformist implications of the observer.

 

name: With my eyes
commissioner: Cardinale José Tolentino de Mendonça, Prefetto del Dicastero per la Cultura e l’Educazion della Santa Sede
curators: Chiara Parisi and Bruno Racine
participants: Maurizio Cattelan, Bintou Dembélé, Simone Fattal, Claire Fontaine, Sônia Gomes, Corita Kent, Marco Perego & Zoe Saldana, Claire Tabouret
venue: Casa di reclusione femminile Venezia, Giudecca – S. Eufemia, 712

 

 

PAVILION OF BRAZIL

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Glicéria Tupinambá, Manto tupinambá [Tupinambá Mantle], 2023 – courtesy of the artist | photo by Glicéria Tupinambá

 

At the 60th Venice Biennale, the Hãhãwpuá Pavilion, known as the Brazilian Pavilion for this edition, presents the exhibition Ka’a Pûera: we are walking birds, curated by Arissana Pataxó, Denilson Baniwa, and Gustavo Caboco Wapichana. The title Ka’a Pûera carries dual meanings, referring to fallow cropland that reveals potential for resurgence and the capoeira bird, camouflaged in dense forests.

 

Under the curatorship of Adriano Pedrosa, the Pavilion highlights indigenous peoples and their art, particularly focusing on the coastal inhabitants’ resistance against marginalization and dispossession. The exhibition prompts contemplation on themes of resistance, shared humanity, memory, and nature. Glicéria Tupinambá, previously announced artist, works with the Tupinambá Community of Serra do Padeiro and Olivença, in Bahia, to create her works. The Pavilion also features works by artists Olinda Tupinambá and Ziel Karapotó.

 

‘The show brings together the Tupinambá Community and artists coming from the coastal peoples – the first to be transformed into foreigners in their own Hãhãw (ancestral territory) – in order to express a different perspective on the vast territory where more than three hundred indigenous peoples live (Hãhãwpuá). The Hãhãwpuá Pavilion tells a story of indigenous resistance in Brazil, the strength of the body present in the retaking of territory and adaptation to climatic emergencies,’ say the curators.

 

name: Ka’a Pûera: we are walking birds
commissioner: Andrea Pinheiro, Fundação Bienal de São Paulo
curators: Arissana Pataxó, Denilson Baniwa, Gustavo Caboco Wapichana
exhibitors: Glicéria Tupinambá with the Tupinambá Community of Serra do Padeiro and Olivença, in Bahia, Olinda Tupinambá and Ziel Karapotó
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF Türkiye

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
a sketch for Hollow and Broken: A State of the World, 2023 | image courtesy of the artist and BüroSarıgedik

 

Hollow and Broken: A State of the World is a new installation by Gülsün Karamustafa, a prominent Turkish artist, to be showcased at the Türkiye Pavilion. Karamustafa’s installation features interconnected sculptural pieces crafted from found materials, prompting viewers to contemplate the current global condition, reminiscent of the profound turmoil and existential threats facing humanity. 

 

‘What I am dealing with’ Karamustafa says, ‘is the state of a world hollowed out to the core by wars, earthquakes, migration and nuclear peril unleashed at every turn, threatening humankind while nature is ceaselessly scathed and the environment made sick. I attempt to physically and emotionally summon into existence this phenomenon: the emptiness, the hollowness, the brokenness produced by the devastation that has become commonplace, whose pace becomes ever more impossible to keep up with, by the unimaginable grief that keeps on striking again and again at relentless intervals, by empty values, identity struggles and brittle human relationships.’

 

name: Hollow and Broken: A State of the World
commissioner: Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts (İKSV)
exhibitor: Gülsün Karamustafa
venue: Arsenale

 

 

PAVILION OF BELGIUM

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Petticoat Government #7, 2023, Stylo et crayon sur papier, 28 x 38 cm, Courtesy Petticoat Government (Denicolai & Provoost, Antoinette Jattiot, Nord, Spec uloos) & LMNO, Brussels

 

The Wallonia-Brussels Federation and Wallonia-Brussels International have selected the collective Denicolai & Provoost, Antoinette Jattiot, Nord, and Spec uloos to represent Belgium at the 60th edition of the 2024 Venice Biennale.

 

This collective, comprising individuals skilled in art, curation, architecture, typography, and cartography, challenges conventional exhibition formats through collaborative and horizontal approaches, utilizing successive chapters and fictional elements. Their theme for the Biennale revolves around the physical and symbolic crossing of boundaries, drawing on their extensive collaborative experiences and critical roles within and beyond the art sphere. They explore how collective, popular, and alternative organizations share and interact with the wider world.

 

For the 2024 Venice Biennale, the members of Petticoat Government present a multidisciplinary scenario inspired by existing folkloric giants from various communities in Belgium, France, and Spain. Their performative journeys, beginning with a passage through the Resia Pass on March 9, 2024, and concluding in Charleroi and Dunkirk in 2025, inject a playful disruption into reality. Their work explores the interplay between human and non-human elements, landscape and architecture, and the crossing of borders.

 

name: Petticoat Government
commissioner: Wallonia-Brussels Federation
exhibitors: Denicolai & Provoost, Antoinette Jattiot, Nord and Speculoos
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF IRELAND

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Eimear Walshe, ROMANTIC IRELAND (still), 2023 | photo by Faolán Carey

 

Culture Ireland presents ROMANTIC IRELAND, an exhibition by Eimear Walshe curated by Sara Greavu and Project Arts Centre for the Irish Pavilion at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Walshe’s interdisciplinary work explores 19th-century land contestation in Ireland through video, sculpture, and sound. The exhibition features a features a multi-channel video installation and an operatic soundtrack within an immersive sculpture. The video, set on an unfinished earth build, portrays dramatic encounters between character archetypes spanning centuries, within an abstracted ruin undergoing simultaneous construction and demolition. The opera soundtrack, composed by Amanda Feery with a libretto by Walshe, narrates the scene of an eviction.

Set against the backdrop of Ireland’s housing crisis, the installation serves as a site of possibility, conflict, care, and ruin, juxtaposing historic moments to highlight power dynamics, labor, conflict, and pleasure, and exploring intertwined histories of sexuality, property, and the state.

 

name: Romantic Ireland
commissioner: Culture Ireland
curators: Sara Greavu with Project Arts Centre
exhibitor: Eimear Walshe
venue: Arsenale

 

 

Pavilion of Australia

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Archie Moore, Fredrick Noel Clevens and Valerie Jean Moore in kith and kin, 2024. Found photograph, Australia Pavilion, Venice Biennale 2024. Graphic design work Žiga Testen and Stuart Geddes. Courtesy the Artist and The Commercial. © the artist

 

As part of the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, Archie Moore will present his showcase titled kith and kin in the Australia Pavilion. Curated by Ellie Buttrose, the exhibition promises a profound exploration of personal and universal narratives. Through his artwork, Moore will delve into Australia’s 254-year history, contextualized within the extensive backdrop of his Aboriginal family heritage, spanning over 65,000 years and incorporating Kamilaroi, Bigambul, British, and Scottish lineage.

 

‘kith and kin is a holographic map of relations which connects life and death, people and places, circular and linear time, everywhere and everywhen to a site for quiet reflection and remembrance,’ shares Archie Moore

 

name: kith and kin
commissioner: Creative Australia
curator: Ellie Buttrose
exhibitor: Archie Moore
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF CHILE

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Valeria Montti Colque, Piedra Volcano, digital collage printed on watercolor paper, 2024 | image courtesy of the artist

 

The Chilean Pavilion presents Cosmonación, an exhibition by Valeria Montti Colque, that invites reflection on themes of nationhood, exile, migration, and diaspora. The project explores the complex process of ‘territorializing life’ within diverse cultural identities, drawing from the concept of Cosmonation coined by anthropologist Michel S. Laguerre. This term describes diasporic communities maintaining ties to their ancestral lands across geographically distant territories. Montti Colque, the first Chilean artist not born in Chile to participate in the pavilion, creates a cosmonational space featuring Mamita Montaña (Mother Mountain) as the centerpiece. This installation, over five meters high, comprises collages, watercolors, drawings, textiles, ceramics, and photographs, symbolizing a shelter for exiled and post-exile individuals.

 

The Chilean Pavilion also presents new works by Montti Colque, including ceramic figures representing deities or mythological beings, a textile piece, and a two-channel video projection. These artworks immerse visitors in a landscape, symbolizing cultural encounters and growth beyond ancestral homes.

 

name: Cosmonación
commissioner: Florencia Loewenthal
curator: Andrea Pacheco González
exhibitor: Valeria Montti Colque
venue: Magazzino n. 42, Marina Militare, Arsenale di Venezia, Fondamenta Case Nuove 2738/C

 

 

PAVILION OF ETHIOPIA

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Tesfaye Urgessa | image via @tesfayeurgessa

 

Ethiopia is set to make its inaugural appearance at the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2024, with contemporary artist Tesfaye Urgessa chosen to represent the country. Renowned author and broadcaster Lemn Sissay OBE FRSL has been appointed as the curator for this historic occasion.

 

The inaugural exhibition titled Prejudice and Belonging at the first Ethiopia Pavilion encapsulates Urgessa’s thirteen-year temporary stay in Germany, where he pursued studies and honed his craft. ‘People tend to think I am painting victims in my canvases but it’s completely different,’ Urgessa explains. ‘The figures hold all kinds of emotions, fragility
as well as confidence. It is the figure presented without any judgement. It is saying this is who I am, this is what I am.’

Underscored by his personal experience of migration, Urgessa’s artistic practice becomes a powerful means of expressing the complexities inherent in displacement and cultural identity.

 

name: Prejudice and belonging
commissioner: Amb. Demitu Hambisa Bonsa
curator: Lemn Sissay OBE FRSL
exhibitor: Tesfaye Urgessa
venue: Palazzo Bollani, Castello 3647

 

 

PAVILION OF ESTONIA

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Edith Karlson. Hora lupi. Works in progress | photo: Anu Vahtra/Estonian Centre for Contemporary Art

 

Edith Karlson’s exhibition Hora lupi (hour of the wolf) will be showcased at the Estonian Pavilion during the 60th International Art Exhibition. Hosted at the Chiesa di Santa Maria delle Penitenti, the exhibition delves into primal human instincts, questioning the possibility of redemption in an imperfect world. Collaborating with dramaturge Eero Epner, Karlson utilizes the untouched interior of the 18th-century church in Cannaregio to symbolize the human condition – marked by sadness and incompleteness, yet hopeful for redemption.

 

The exhibition features clay and concrete sculptures reflecting the inevitability of human suffering and the ongoing struggle of existence. The show explores a mythical time of transformation and darkness, depicted through a series of hand-crafted clay self-portraits representing contemporary faces. Karlson’s anthropomorphic sculptures, inspired by folklore and mythology, further explore the animalistic nature of humanity, depicting a blend of brutality, poetry, absurdity, and melancholy. 

 

name: Hora lupi (hour of the wolf)

commissioner: Maria Arusoo
exhibitor: Edith Karlson
venue: Chiesa delle Penitenti, Fondamenta Cannaregio 890

 

 

Pavilion of Germany

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
the artists of the German contribution: Ersan Mondtag, Yael Bartana, Jan St. Werner, Robert Lippok, Michael Akstaller, and Nicole L’Huillier | image via @deutscherpavillon

 

Under the title Thresholds, the German Pavilion narrates history and the future from various artistic positions. The artistic contribution to the Pavilion approaches thresholds, steps, and boundaries through three scenarios. In the first scenario, Yael Bartana enters the threshold of a present perceived as catastrophic – a world on the brink of total destruction. In search of a way out, she imagines possibilities of future survival through a multifaceted work poised between dystopia and utopia. In the second scenario, Ersan Mondtag develops a space that contrasts the monumental character of the pavilion with a fragmentary, seemingly minor narrative. By creating a theatrical cosmos of representation and remembrance, Mondtag sets rigid national historiographical constructs in motion. The third scenario builds a bridge to another location outside the giardini: the island of La Certosa. Artists Michael Akstaller, Nicole L’Huillier, Robert Lippok and Jan St. Werner jointly create a resonant space in a natural setting on La Certosa. Their work contrasts the monumentality of the German Pavilion while emphasizing the idea of passage through a threshold space.

 

name: Thresholds
commissioner: Ellen Strittmatter, Head of Art Department, ifa
curator: Çağla Ilk
exhibitors: Yael Bartana, Ersan Mondtag
venue: Giardini
second venue: At La Certosa island, Michael Akstaller, Nicole L’Huillier, Robert Lippok and Jan St. Werner will create ‘a resonance chamber in nature’

 

 

pavilion of hong kong

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Trevor Yeung. Pond of Never Enough (detail), 2024. Fish tanks, stainless-steel racks, fish pond, aquarium equipment, and canal water. 340 x 284 × 210 cm. Commissioned by M+, 2024, © Trevor Yeung. Photo: © South Ho, commissioned by M+, 2024

 

For Hong Kong’s participation in the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC) co-present a solo presentation by Trevor Yeung (b. 1988), curated by Olivia Chow (Assistant Curator, Visual Arts, M+). Yeung’s new site-specific presentation takes inspiration from his personal experiences and observations as well as his preoccupation with aquatic ecosystems. Reflecting on the current climate crisis and the complex systems that structure our lives, the exhibition will explore the emotional disconnects and power dynamics that characterise contemporary society. This exhibition marks the sixth collaboration between M+ and HKADC for Hong Kong’s presence in Venice, and will travel to Hong Kong in an adapted exhibition at M+ in 2025.

 

name: Trevor Yeung: Courtyard of Attachments, Hong Kong in Venice
commissioner: M+ and the Hong Kong Arts Development Council (HKADC)
curator: Olivia Chow (Assistant Curator, Visual Arts, M+)
exhibitor: Trevor Yeung
venue: Campo della Tana, Castello 2126, 30122, Venice

 

PAVILION OF DENMARK

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy Inuuteq Storch

 

The Danish Pavilion presents Rise of the Sunken Sun, a photography exhibition by Greenlandic artist Inuuteq Storch and curated by Lousie Wolthers. This marks the first time that the Danish Pavilion has showcased a major exhibition by an artist from Greenland, as well as its first presentation dedicated to photography. Aligned with Venice Biennale’s curatorial theme Foreigners Everywhere, Storch’s Rise of the Sunken Sun delves into the concept of engaging in a decolonial process, emphasizing the pursuit of visibility with a sensitive awareness of the complexities within national, cultural, and personal identities.

 

In the artist’s own words, the essence of his project is ‘to tell the Greenlanders’ visual history, not seen through the visitors’ eyes, but through the Greenlanders’ own.’ Storch has subtly mounted a transparent sign on top of the pavilion’s DANMARK sign (displayed by the entrance of the pavilion), bearing the words, ‘Kalaallit Nunaat’, which translates to ‘Greenland’ and literally means ‘land of the people’ in Greenlandic. This subtle act skillfully articulates the intertwined bonds between the two countries, underscoring Storch’s commitment to showcase and celebrate Greenland through a visual narrative of daily life.

 

name: Rise of the Sunken Sun
commissioner: Danish Arts Foundation
curator: Louise Wolthers
exhibitor: Inuuteq Storch
venue: Giardini

 

 

Pavilion of Czech and Slovak Republic

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Floating Arboretum – drawings by Oto Hudec | imagee courtesy of Gandy Gallery

 

 

The Czech and Slovak Republic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale introduces Oto Hudec: Floating Arboretum, a project centered on the preservation of endangered trees. Oto Hudec engages with an archive of narratives portraying a unified effort by a community of activists to halt deforestation and the destruction of trees. He advocates for the rescue of these trees and others endangered globally, envisioning an arboretum as a symbolic sanctuary for trees imperiled by human expansion and extractivism. The project offers a speculative glimpse into a dystopian future where trees are safeguarded in a fictional arboretum. 

 

name: Floating Arboretum
commissioner: Monika Krčmárik
curator: Lýdia Pribyšová
exhibitor: Oto Hudec
venue: Giardini

 

 

Pavilion of the United States

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Jeffrey Gibson | photo by Brian Barlow courtesy of Portland Art Museum

 

Artist Jeffrey Gibson will represent the United States Pavilion at the 60th edition of the Venice Art Biennale. Celebrated for an artistic practice that combines American, indigenous, and queer histories with influences from music and pop culture, Gibson creates a dynamic visual language that reflects the inherent diversity and hybridity of American culture. His work, characterized by vibrant colors, intricate patterns, and textual elements, prompts contemplation on identity, empathy, and the pursuit of democracy and freedom. The exhibition, titled ‘the space in which to place me’, will be open from April 20 to November 24, 2024, marking Gibson’s significant debut outside the U.S. The showcase at the U.S. Pavilion will feature new and recent works encompassing sculptures, paintings, multimedia pieces, and a site-specific installation in the pavilion’s courtyard. The exhibition’s title is inspired by a poem by Oglala Lakota poet Layli Long Soldier, titled Ȟe Sápa.

 

name: the space in which to place me
commissioners: Kathleen Ash-Milby, Louis Grachos, Abigail Winograd
curators: Kathleen Ash-Milby and Abigail Winograd
exhibitor: Jeffrey Gibson
venue: Giardini

 

 

PAVILION OF SAUDI ARABIA

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
artist Manal AlDowayan, Venice, 2023 | photo credit @venicedocumentationproject courtesy of the artist and the Visual Arts Commission

 

The National Pavilion of Saudi Arabia at the Biennale Arte is set to unveil Shifting Sands: A Battle Song, a multimedia installation crafted by Saudi artist Manal AlDowayan, drawing inspiration from the evolving status of women in Saudi Arabia. In preparation for this endeavor, AlDowayan, known for her participatory approach, conducted three events in Al Khobar, Jeddah, and Riyadh in January, engaging 1,000 women spanning various age groups. These gatherings featured group singing sessions facilitated by Ileana Yasmin, a vocal coach affiliated with the Music Commission under the Ministry of Culture in Riyadh. Participants delved into discussions on visibility and invisibility within the global media landscape, alongside expressing their perceptions of one another through writing and illustration.

 

‘For this artwork, I have returned to my community of women and asked the questions: what is the history that needs to be written through this work? What is the marker of transformation that needs to be examined?’ – says AlDowayan. ‘Shifting Sands: A Battle Song is a call for solidarity in the context of the global representation of women in and from Saudi Arabia, and a rally to take ownership of our identity as we navigate both the physical space we inhabit and the narratives that have historically defined us.’

 

name: Shifting Sands: A Battle Song
commissioner: Visual Arts Commission, Ministry of Culture
curators: Jessica Cerasi, Maya El Khalil
exhibitor: Manal AlDowayan
venue: Arsenale, Sale d’Armi

 

 

PAVILION OF CYPRUS

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy of The Deputy Ministry of Culture – Department of Modern and Contemporary Culture of Cyprus

 

In the 60th Venice Biennale of Art, Cyprus will be represented by a group consisting of the artist duo LLC (Peter Eramian, Emiddio Vasquez), the artist collective Endrosia (Alexandros Xenophontos, Andreas Andronikou, Doris Mari Demetriadou, Irini Khenkin, Marina Ashioti, Niki Charalambous, Kyriaki Rafaelia Tsiridou), and the artist Haig Aivazian. The group’s proposal is entitled On a wildflower-lined gravel track off a quiet thoroughfare.

 

commissioner: Louli Michaelidou
curators/exhibitors: FOREVER INFORMED: Peter Eramian (LLC – Lower Levant Company), Emiddio Vasquez (LLC – Lower Levant Company), Andreas Andronikou (Endrosia), Marina Ashioti (Endrosia), Niki Charalambous (Endrosia), Doris Mari Demetriadou (Endrosia), Irini Khenkin (Endrosia), Rafailia Tsiridou (Endrosia), Alexandros Xenophontos (Endrosia), Haig Aivazian
venue: Associazione Culturale Spiazzi, Castello 3865

 

 

PAVILION OF PORTUGAL

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Mónica de Miranda © Courtesy of Jahmek Contemporary Art, Vânia Gala © Rui Sergio Afonso, Sónia Vaz Borges © Argenis Apolinario

 

Artist-curators Mónica de Miranda, Sónia Vaz Borges, and Vânia Gala will represent Portugal at the 60th Venice Biennale with their project Greenhouse. The Pavilion, located in Palazzo Franchetti, will feature a Creole garden and challenge rigid ideas of identity, culture, nation, and belonging. The exploration of intersections between ecology, art, and politics will be a central theme.

 

This project aligns with the 50th anniversary of the Carnation Revolution, which marked the end of the Portuguese dictatorship, and the centenary of Amílcar Cabral’s birth, a key revolutionary in promoting independence in Portuguese colonies in Africa. The Portuguese Official Representation for this project is commissioned by the Directorate-General for the Arts.

 

name: Greenhouse
commissioner: Américo Rodrigues, Direção-Geral das Artes
curators/exhibitors: Mónica de Miranda, Sónia Vaz Borges, Vânia Gala
venue: Palazzo Franchetti, San Marco 2842

 

 

pavilion of Lithuania

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Pakui Hardware, Inflammation | image courtesy of the artists

 

The Pavilion of Lithuania unveils its exhibition, Inflammation, which is the outcome of a collaborative effort between three pairs: Pakui Hardware, comprising artists Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelguda; curators Valentinas Klimašauskas and João Laia; and architects responsible for the architectural design of the Pavilion, Ona Lozuraitytė-Išorė and Petras Išora-Lozuraitis.

 

Set within the Sant’Antonin church, marking its inaugural hosting of a pavilion, the exhibition showcases contemporary figurative paintings by the late Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė alongside a site-specific installation featuring aluminum and glass sculptures by Pakui Hardware. These sculptures evoke an enlarged nervous system, with areas of pulsating inflammation, resonating with Rožanskaitė’s depictions of bodies afflicted by unnamed diseases, sterile operating rooms, medical consultation spaces, visceral assemblies, and machinery. By drawing on the artistic visions of two generations of Lithuanian artists working in varied contexts, Inflammation delves into shared themes of medicine and landscapes—be they natural, industrial, or cosmic. The presentation effectively communicates the interconnectedness between bodies and environments during times of crisis.

 

name: Inflammation
commissioner: Arūnas Gelūnas
curator: Valentinas Klimašauskas, João Laia
exhibitors: Pakui Hardware (Neringa Černiauskaitė and Ugnius Gelgua) and Marija Teresė Rožanskaitė
venue: Chiesa di Sant’Antonin, Salizada S. Antonin, 3477

 

 

PAVILION OF SINGAPORE 

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
artist Robert Zhao Renhui with curator Haeju Kim, 2023 | image courtesy of the artist

 

Singaporean artist Robert Zhao Renhui and curator Haeju Kim are the representatives for Singapore. For the Singapore Pavilion, Zhao turns his gaze towards secondary forests amid Singapore’s urban environment, working with Kim to provide a vision for a more ecologically minded future.

 

name: Seeing Forest
commissioner: LOW Eng Teong, Chief Executive Officer, National Arts Council, Singapore
curator: Haeju KIM
exhibitor: Robert Zhao Renhui
venue: Arsenale

 

 

PAVILION OF BENIN

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
artist Chloé Quenum | image © Tadzio

 

The Republic of Benin is set to make its inaugural appearance at the 60th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia. Titled Everything Precious Is Fragile, the exhibition delves into Benin’s rich history, exploring themes such as the slave trade, the Amazon motif, spirituality, and the Vodun religion. Additionally, it ventures into contemporary realms with the Gèlèdé philosophy, emphasizing rematriation—an approach advocating not just the return of objects but also the restoration of Beninese philosophy and ideals from before the colonial era, particularly through a feminist interpretation of restitution. Curated by Azu Nwagbogu and his team, which includes curator Yassine Lassissi and scenographer Franck Houndégla, the exhibition features four artists: Chloé Quenum, Moufouli Bello, Ishola Akpo, and Romuald Hazoumè.

 

name: Everything Precious Is Fragile
commissioner: José Pliya
curator: Azu Henry Nwagbogu
exhibitors: Chloé Quenum, Moufouli Bello, Ishola Akpo, Romuald Hazoumè
venue: Arsenale

 

 

Pavilion of Japan

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Yuko Mohri, I/O, 2011–2023 | the 14th Gwangju Biennale installation view | courtesy the artist, project fulfill art space, Taipei, Mother’s Tankstation Limited, Dublin/London and Yutaka Kikutake gallery, Tokyo | commissioned by the Gwangju Biennale | photo courtesy KUGE YASUHIDE / 久家靖秀

 

Kanagawa-born installation artist Yuko Mohri has been selected to represent Japan and Sook-Kyung Lee has been appointed to curate her exhibition at the 60th International Art Exhibition. Her exhibition at the Japanese pavilion will be themed around crisis as the catalyst for human creativity.

 

name: Compose
Commissioner: The Japan Foundation
Curator: Sook-Kyung Lee
Exhibitor: Yuko Mohri
Venue: Giardini

 

 

collateral events

 

Ewa Juszkiewicz: Locks With Leaves And Swelling Buds

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (after François Gérard), 2023| oil on canvas, 100 x 80 cm, 39 1/2 x 31 1/2 in © Ewa Juszkiewicz, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech

 

Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso (find more here), with the support of Almine Rech Gallery (find more here), presents the solo exhibition Ewa Juszkiewicz: Locks With Leaves And Swelling Buds. Curated by Guillermo Solana, this exhibition will present new paintings from Ewa Juskiewicz’s series of concealed portraits (find more here), alongside emblematic works that have entered prestigious public and private collections.

 

what: Ewa Juszkiewicz: Locks With Leaves And Swelling Buds
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Palazzo Cavanis, Fondamenta delle Zattere

 

 

Ydessa Hendeles: Grand Hotel

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Ydessa Hendeles, Grand Hotel (detail), 2022. family-album photograph, ‘Sommer 1946,’ gelatin silver print, with hand-written annotation in ink on recto, original print: 5.9 x 8.9 cm. © Ydessa Hendeles, courtesy of the artist.

 

The Art Museum at the University of Toronto (find more here) introduces Ydessa Hendeles: Grand Hotel. Curated by Wayne Baerwaldt, working in collaboration with Project Producer Barbara Edwards, the site-responsive exhibition is mounted in the prestigious Spazio Berlendis adjacent to the Fondamente Nove in the district of Cannaregio. In Grand Hotel, Ydessa Hendeles (find more here) explores the critical themes of cultural identity, displacement, intergenerational trauma and loss linking the past to the present.

 

what: Ydessa Hendeles: Grand Hotel
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Spazio Berlendis

 

 

Robert Indiana: The Sweet Mystery

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Robert Indiana, The Melville Triptych, 1962

 

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (find more here) presents Robert Indiana: The Sweet Mystery. On view in the historic and central Procuratie Vecchie, recently restored by Pritzker-prize winning architect David Chipperfield. Developed with The Robert Indiana Legacy Initiative (find more here), this exhibition offers a revelatory perspective on Indiana’s work, focusing on the central themes of spirituality, identity and the human condition that are key to understanding his creative evolution. Artworks on view span six decades of Indiana’s career and include significant early works, some of which have rarely been publicly displayed.

what: Robert Indiana: The Sweet Mystery
when: 17 – 24 April 2024
where: Procuratie Vecchie, P.za San Marco 105

 

 

Fondation Louis Vuitton – Je Est Un Autre

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy Fondation Louis Vuitton

 

The Fondation Louis Vuitton (find more here) presents Je Est Un Autre, an exhibition by French artist Ernest Pignon-Ernest, specifically tailored for the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia. This exhibition is a highlight of the Fondation Louis Vuitton’s Hors-les-murs program, which extends across Espaces Louis Vuitton in Tokyo, Munich, Venice, Beijing, Seoul, and Osaka, embodying the foundation’s dedication to bringing global artistic endeavors to diverse audiences. Opening on April 19 at the Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, the exhibition delves into the artist’s lifelong exploration of ‘the foreigner,’ a theme central to Pignon-Ernest’s artistic journey.

 

what: Je Est Un Autre
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Espace Louis Vuitton, Calle del Ridotto 1353

 

 

Lee Bae: La Maison de la Lune Brûlée

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024

 

The Wilmotte Foundation hosts an exhibition titled Lee Bae – La Maison de la Lune Brûlée. Curated by Valentina Buzzi, the show presents South Korean artist Lee Bae’s homage and exploration of a century-old ritual known as Moonhouse Burning or daljip taeugideeply rooted in the land of morning calm. Held annually on the first full moon of the year, this ritual, which coincides with the 15th day of the lunar calendar’s first month, brings the entire community together to engage in a unique and symbolic celebration of cyclical cosmology. The Collateral Event serves as a captivating and participatory experience that intertwines folklore knowledge and heritage with contemporary art. At its core, the exhibition delves into the profound connection between humans and the natural world, exploring themes of renewal, circularity, and the harmonious rhythms of nature, going beyond the nature/culture dichotomy of modern times to rethink our interconnectedness.

 

what: Lee Bae – La Maison de la Lune Brûlée
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Wilmotte Foundation, Corte Nuova, Fondamenta dell’Abbazia 3560

 

 

The Spirits of Maritime Crossing

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Video still. Courtesy by the artists. © Bangkok Art Biennale Foundation

 

The Bangkok Art Biennale (BAB) Foundation (find more here) presents The Spirits of Maritime Crossing, bringing together 15 artists from the Global South from countries such as Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Myanmar and Singapore in a new exhibition taking place at Palazzo Smith Mangilli Valmarana. The show provides a preview exhibition to international audiences ahead of Bangkok’s own biennale which takes place from 24 October 2024 – 25 February 2025.

The Spirits of Maritime Crossing explores themes of diaspora, displacement, and colonialism through the lens of ocean and sea travel. The exhibition also draws parallels between the geographies and histories of Venice and Bangkok with the latter being known as the ‘Venice of the East’ due to the city still maintaining a network of canals (khlongs) where people live, work and travel on a daily basis. Spanning performance, painting, film and sculpture, the exhibition features works by Marina Abramovic (who previously mentored renowned performer Melati Suryodarmo), Khvay Samnang, Jakkai Siributr, Moe Satt and Priyageetha Dia as well as other artists from South East Asia.

 

what: The Spirits of Maritime Crossing
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Palazzo Smith Mangilli Valmarana

 

 

Berlinde De Bruyckere: City of Refuge III

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Berlinde De Bruyckere, Arcangelo II (San Giorgio), 2023–2024 (work in progress), 2024 © Berlinde De Bruyckere. Photo: Mirjam Devriendt

 

 

Opening on April 20, 2024, an exhibition showcasing new creations by Belgian artist Berlinde De Bruyckere has been specially tailored for the revered settings of the Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore (find more here). Situated on the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore in Venice. Titled City of Refuge III, the exhibition is a collaborative endeavor with the Benedicti Claustra Onlus, the non-profit arm of the Benedictine Community, led by Carmelo A. Grasso, who, alongside Ory Dessau and Peter Buggenhout, comprises the curatorial team.

 

Exploring the interplay between transcendence and tangible existence, City of Refuge III revolves around three distinct groups of De Bruyckere’s works, meticulously crafted to resonate with the church’s grand architectural features, purpose, symbolism, and historical significance. The showcase will feature an array of Arcangeli sculptures installed in the nave and side aisles, a monumental installation occupying the church’s Sacristy, and sculptural wall-vitrine pieces adorning the hallway of the Monastery’s Gallery. Borrowing its name from a song by Nick Cave, City of Refuge III marks the third installment in a series of exhibitions by the artist, delving into the concept of art as a sanctuary and refuge, a theme further accentuated by the venue’s profound spiritual ambiance.

 

what: City of Refuge III
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Abbazia di San Giorgio Maggiore

 

 

Jim Dine – DOG ON THE FORGE

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Jim Dine, Clouds over Paris | image courtesy of the artist

 

American painter, sculptor, and poet Jim Dine (find more here) is set to take over the Palazzo Rocca Contarini Corfù with an exhibition curated by Gerhard Steidl, Founding Director of Kunsthaus Göttingen. Dubbed Dog on the Forge, the exhibition presents 32 new works from the artist, including paintings, drawings, bronze, and wood sculptures, as well as an impressive outdoor installation of large-scale bronze sculptures, conceived specifically for the Biennale Arte 2024. Never-before-exhibited paintings and sculptures are arranged in dialogue with each other and with artworks spanning from the ’80s through today.

what: Dog on the Forge
when: 20 April – 21 July 2024
where: Palazzo Rocca Contarini Corfù

 

 

around venice

 

 

palazzo grassi presents ensemble by julie mehretu

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Julie Mehretu​, TRANSpaintings, 2023-2024, courtesy of the artist and White Cube. installation view, ‘Julie Mehretu. Ensemble’, 2024, Palazzo Grassi, Venezia. ph. Marco Cappelletti © Palazzo Grassi, Pinault Collection

 

From March 17th, 2024, to January 6th, 2025, Palazzo Grassi (find more here) in Venice hosts Ensemble, Julie Mehretu’s largest European exhibition to date. Curated by Caroline Bourgeois, the Pinault Collection’s Chief Curator, in collaboration with Julie Mehretu herself (find more here), the exhibit showcases over fifty pieces spanning 25 years, encompassing paintings and prints, including her latest works from 2021-2024. Spanning two floors, the show features 17 pieces from the Pinault Collection alongside loans from global museums and private collectors.

 

Interspersed throughout the exhibition are pieces by Mehretu’s closest artist friends, with whom she shares a profound connection cultivated over the years through collaboration and exchange. The exhibition, designed around visual resonance, offers a non-linear exploration of Mehretu’s oeuvre. designboom had the privilege of experiencing the exhibition firsthand, delving into Mehretu’s artistic journey to understand how it came into being and is constantly renewed.

 

what: Ensemble
when: 17 March 2024 – 6 January 2025
where: Palazzo Grassi, Campo San Samuele

 

 

Pierre Huyghe’s LIMINAL exhibition at Punta della Dogana

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Still from Pierre Huyghe, Camata, 2024 – ongoing. Robotics driven by machine learning; self-directed film, edited in real time by artificial intelligence; sound; sensors © Pierre Huyghe / ADAGP, Paris (2024) Courtesy the Artist and Galerie Chantal Crousel, Marian Goodman Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Esther Schipper and Taro Nasu

 

From 17 March until 24 November 024, Pierre Huyghe, in collaboration with curator Anne Stenne, present the Liminal exhibition at Punta della Dogana. The show features new creations alongside works from the past decade, mainly from the Pinault Collection (find more here). The exhibition is a transitory state inhabited by human and non-human creatures and becomes the site of formation of subjectivities that are constantly learning, changing, and hybridizing. Their memories are expanding with information captured from events, both perceptible and imperceptible, that permeate the exhibition. For Pierre Huyghe, the exhibition is an unpredictable ritual, where new possibilities are generated and coexist, without hierarchy or determinism. With Liminal, he invites us to follow other realities, to become strangers to ourselves, from a perspective other than human—inhuman. This exhibition is supported by Bottega Veneta. 

 

what: Liminal 
when: 17 March – 24 November 2024
where: Punta della Dogana, Dorsoduro 2

 

 

shane guffogg presents At the Still Point of the Turning World – Strangers of Time

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Shane Guffogg, Neither Flesh Nor Fleshless 1 | image courtesy of the artist

 

American artist Shane Guffogg (find more here) unveils his latest exhibition, At the Still Point of the Turning World – Strangers of Time, in Venice, coinciding with the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2024. Featuring 21 mesmerizing paintings, this showcase promises an immersive experience, blending vibrant hues, introspection, and cutting-edge technology. Guffogg’s ongoing exploration of T.S. Eliot’s Four Quartets poetry intertwines with artificial intelligence, offering visitors a reimagined encounter with art that transcends traditional boundaries. Housed within the historic Scala Contarini del Bovolo, a 15th-century Venetian palazzo distinguished by its grand spiral staircase, the exhibition merges the influence of Old Masters with contemporary innovation, providing a captivating platform for Guffogg’s work.

 

what: At the Still Point of the Turning World – Strangers of Time
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Scala Contarini del Bovolo

 

 

personal structures by The European Cultural Centre

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, Ten Years VI, 2023 | image © Sandra Cattaneo Adorno

 

 

The ECC, European Cultural Centre (find more here) presents the seventh edition of the biennial contemporary art exhibition Personal Structures (find more here) in Venice. A wide selection of artworks from internationally renowned and emerging artists, photographers, and sculptors as well as worldwide academic institutions are featured. Taking place at Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora, and Marinaressa Gardens, this exhibition is intended to encourage dialogue, cultural exchange, and idea-sharing among its participants, exploring the themes of Time, Space, and Existence from a variety of perspectives. 

 

what: Personal Structures – Beyond Boundaries
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora, and Marinaressa Gardens

 

 

Perfect Storm joins PERSONAL STRUCTURES

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Atlanteans Thunderstorm | image courtesy of BC Gallery

 

In their collaborative project titled PERFECT STORM, artists Katrin Fridriks (find more here) and Jan Kaláb (find more here) have achieved a fusion of their unique artistic styles, resulting in captivating artworks characterized by vibrant movement and color. Through a process of exchanging paintings between their studios in the south of France and Prague, they have collaborated closely, enhancing and refining each other’s contributions to create a seamless partnership. The electric collaboration presented by Swiss gallery, BC Gallery (find more here), joins the group show, Personal Structures – Beyond Boundaries, hosted by ECC, European Cultural Centre (find more here).

 

what: PERFECT STORM – Personal Structures – Beyond Boundaries
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024 
where: Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora and Marinaressa Gardens

 

 

Klaus Littmann presents Arena for a Tree

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy of Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger

 

The Arena for a Tree installation by Klaus Littmann (find more here) debuts in Venice during the opening of the 60th International Art Exhibition. Positioned against the historical Arsenale Nord, this temporary installation serves as a sanctuary for a single focal point: a tree. Arena for a Tree traverses as a traveling art piece, emphasizing themes of nature, sustainability, and climate change. Venice marks its final destination, notably incorporating water as a significant environmental element for the first time. By showcasing living trees in iconic urban settings, the artwork prompts public contemplation on the pivotal role of trees in the global ecosystem and the imperative to preserve them.

 

Developed in partnership with Kulturstiftung Basel H. Geiger (find more here) and with backing from ECC Italy, Arena for a Tree promises a distinctive and immersive encounter blending art, architecture, and environmental consciousness.

 

what: Arena for a Tree
when: 16 April – 31 July 2024
where: Arsenale Nord

WILLIAM KENTRIDGE – SELF-PORTRAIT AS A COFFEE-POT

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image courtesy of William Kentridge

 

Artist William Kentridge (find more here) teams up with curator Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev for an exhibition at the Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation (find more here). Together, they unveil Kentridge’s latest creation, SELF-PORTRAIT AS A COFFEE-POT, a nine-episode video series. Originally conceived for online viewing, these thirty-minute episodes delve into embodiment and the phenomenological essence of the digital era while contemplating the inner workings of an artist’s mind and studio practices today. Filmed amidst the COVID-19 pandemic in Kentridge’s Johannesburg studio and finalized in 2023, the exhibition offers an immersive experience, echoing the intimate confines of the artist’s creative sanctuary. Kentridge describes his studio as both a closed space mirroring the pandemic lockdowns and an expanded realm of thought and inspiration, where every drawing, photo, and artifact on the walls embodies ideas. The physical exhibition space mirrors the scale of Kentridge’s studio, blurring the lines between private introspection and collaborative engagement, reminiscent of both solitary artistic reflection and the uninhibited joy of childhood play.

 

what: SELF-PORTRAIT AS A COFFEE-POT

when: 17 April – 24 November 2024
where: Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation, 1430a, Riva dei Sette Martiri, Castello

 

 

The Arch within the Arc by Rick Lowe at Museo di Palazzo Grimani

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024

 

Museo di Palazzo Grimani, together with the Veneto Regional Directorate for Museums, present The Arch within the Arc, an exhibition of new paintings by Rick Lowe (find more here). Inspired by the historic architecture of the Palazzo—a rare example of Tuscan-Roman Renaissance architecture in Venice, where classical and contemporary art are uniquely united—and the urban dynamics of Venice, this body of work emerged from Lowe’s consideration of the arch in architecture. Composed with acrylic paint and paper collage on canvas, the vibrant works on view balance geometric motifs and improvisational techniques. Lowe was inspired by the Palazzo Grimani’s Tribuna and its other celebrated spaces, which prompted him to reflect on the visual influence of ancient and premodern architecture. ‘I started to consider the arc,’ he notes, ‘which is relevant to the arch as well as the existence of all things in time. Everything has a life cycle, and within every cycle is an arc.’

 

what: The Arch within the Arc
when: 17 April – 24 November 2024
where: Museo di Palazzo Grimani

 

 

TBA21–Academy presents Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania at Ocean Space

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta, The Body of Wainuiātea, 2024 | image by Giacomo Cosua

 

TBA21–Academy (find more here) debuts Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania at Ocean Space (find more here) in Venice, showcasing exclusive works by Indigenous Pacific artists Latai Taumoepeau (find more here) and Elisapeta Hinemoa Heta. Curated by Taloi Havini, this  exhibition builds on a prior collaboration and highlights the urgent environmental and social issues facing Pacific communities due to climate change. Havini’s curatorial approach emphasizes ancestral traditions and responses to colonization, aiming to counteract exploitation through various artistic mediums including oratory, song, and performance. Taumoepeau’s Deep Communion and Heta’s The Body of Wainuiātea are central pieces, symbolizing a call and response rooted in Oceanic heritage. Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania amplifies the voices of Pacific Islanders, spanning across vast territories from Taiwan to Australia, in a poignant statement against ongoing exploitation and environmental degradation.

 

what: Re-Stor(y)ing Oceania at Ocean Space
when: 23 March – 13 October 2024
where: Ocean Space, Campo S. Lorenzo 5069

 

 

Claire, Grass and Water by Alex Katz at Fondazione Giorgio Cini

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Alex Katz Ocean 9, 2022 Oil on linen 274.3 x 365.8 cm (108 x 144 in) | image courtesy of Thaddaeus Ropac

 

The Fondazione Giorgio Cini (find more here) presents Claire, Grass and Water, an exhibition of new works by American artist Alex Katz. Following the artist’s recent landmark retrospective at the Guggenheim New York, the exhibition is conceived as a site-specific intervention and spans three major groupings of never-before-seen works made between 2021 and 2022 that represent three key facets of Katz’s practice, the boundaries of which continue to expand seven decades into his career. Large-scale close-up depictions of inky-hued oceans, and of grassland in tones of greens and yellows, are followed by a group of paintings based on outfits by mid-century American fashion designer Claire McCardell.

 

what: Claire, Grass and Water
when: 16 April – 29 September 2024
where: Fondazione Giorgio Cini 

 

 

Meteomorphosis and Laguna Antropica at Lo Studiogallery 

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
image via @lostudio_nadjaromain

 

During the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, the Lo Studiogallery (find more here) makes its debut in Venice. Founded by Nadja Romain (find more here), the gallery officially opens its doors on 17th April 2024, with two solo shows: Meteomorphosis by Italian artist Irene Cattaneo and Laguna Antropica by Bloko 748, the artist duo made up of Antonio Davanzo and Victor Miklos Andersen.

 

what: Meteomorphosis and Laguna Antropica
when: 17 April – 29 November 2024
where: Dorsoduro 938

 

 

ESTRANGED FROM NATURE – Ioan Sbârciu

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
loan Sbârciu, Transylvanian Lights I, 2016. (c)Isabelle Arthuis

 

Zuecca Projects (find more here) and the European ArtEast Foundation (find more here) present Estranged from Nature, a solo exhibition by Ioan Sbârciu, one of the most important figures of the Romanian contemporary art scene. Amsterdam-based international curator Maria Rus Bojan curates the exhibition together with Alessandro Possati, Director of Zuecca Projects. Conceived as an adjacent response to the theme Foreigners Everywhere of the 60th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia 2024, this presentation focuses on Ioan Sbârciu’s visionary artistic creation and his large pictorial spaces that address issues of estrangement, loss and resilience.

 

what: Estranged from Nature
when: 16 April – 14 July 2024
where: Squero Castello, Salizada Streta 368

 

 

major willem de kooning and italy

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Willem de Kooning, Villa Borghese, 1960, oil on canvas, 203.2 x 177.8 cm, Guggenheim Museum Bilbao © 2024 The Willem de Kooning Foundation, SIAE

 

Willem de Kooning, one of the most groundbreaking and influential artists of the 20th century, is the subject of a major exhibition at the Gallerie dell’Accademia (find more here) coinciding with the 60th international Venice Biennale. Willem de Kooning and Italy is the largest exhibition of the artist’s work ever presented in Italy with around 75 works ranging from the late 1950s to the 1980s. It is the first to explore de Kooning’s time spent in Italy in 1959 and 1969 and the profound impact it had on his work. Curated by Gary Garrels and Mario Codognato, the exhibition establishes the influence of Italy on de Kooning’s subsequent work in America, which has never before been thoroughly researched.

 

what: Willem de Kooning and Italy
when: 17 April – 15 September 2024
where: Gallerie dell’Accademia di Venezia, Calle della Carità 1050

 

 

Are We The Aliens_ Arne Quinze x Swizz Beatz

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
render of ‘Impact Glass’, 2024. courtesy of Dave Bruel

 

Coinciding with the 60th edition of La Biennale di Venezia, Belgian contemporary artist Arne Quinze presents Are We The Aliens_, showcasing large-scale site-specific installations set within an ethereal acoustic environment. Collaborating with globally acclaimed music producer Swizz Beatz, this immersive exhibition will be on display from April 20 to November 24, 2024. It marks the inaugural contemporary showcase within the historic 16th-century church, San Francesco della Vigna, designed by the influential Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio in Campo San Francesco. Co-curated by Hervé Mikaeloff, an independent art consultant and advisor of the Louis Vuitton Foundation, along with art consultant and international art agent Reiner Opoku, and supported by the Ludwig Museum, Germany, Are We The Aliens_ delves into humanity’s disconnect from the natural world. It conceptualizes an immersive journey into the hidden aesthetics of our planet, featuring the artist’s debut large-scale sculptures in glass and ceramic, alongside bronze and aluminum pieces, oil paintings, and an AI video installation.

 

what: Are We The Aliens_
when: 20 April – 24 November 2024
where: San Francesco della Vigna, Calle S. Francesco

 

 

qatar museums

designboom's ultimate guide to the venice art biennale 2024
Ramata-Toulaye Sy, Banel & Adama, 2023. Film Still. Courtesy © LA CHAUVE-SOURIS – TAKE SHELTER

 

Qatar Museum (find more here) presents Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices, a journey in moving images through contemporary experiences of community life and memory, transnational crossings, and exile. On view at ACP–Palazzo Franchetti, the exhibition unfolds over ten galleries, each dedicated to themes such as deserts (cradles of civilization and places of rebirth), ruins (relics of culture), borders (demarcations between allowed and forbidden places) and exile. Included will be excerpts from works by over 40 filmmakers from Algeria, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Lebanon, Lesotho, Morocco, Palestine, Qatar, Sudan, Mauritania, Syria, Senegal, Yemen, and more than a dozen other countries, as well as video works by artists Wael Shawky, Lida Abdul, Hassan Khan, and Sofia Al Maria.

 

what: Your Ghosts Are Mine, Expanded Cinemas, Amplified Voices
when: 19 April – 24 November 2024
where: ACP–Palazzo Franchetti, San Marco 2847

 

Zeng Fanzhi: Near and Far/Now and Then

 

The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (find more here) presents Zeng Fanzhi: Near and Far/Now and Then, an exhibition featuring new works by renowned artist Zeng Fanzhi. With an installation designed by architect Tadao Ando, the exhibition will be mounted in the historic Scuola Grande della Misericordia. The exhibition is co-curated by Michael Govan, LACMA CEO and Wallis Annenberg Director, and Stephen Little, Florence and Harry Sloan Curator of Chinese Art and Department Head, Chinese, Korean, and South and Southeast Asian Art.

 

what: Zeng Fanzhi: Near and Far/Now and Then
when: 17 April – 30 September 2024
where: Scuola Grande della Misericordia