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Venice Biennale 2017

La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world, set about to help promote contemporary art.

Founded in 1895, and taking place every two years, this year marks the 57th International Art Exhibition curated between the Giardini and the Arsenale – a showcase of national pavilions and a city wide extravaganza of art shows. It is a window on the world of contemporary art in a sublime setting.

Titled “Viva Arte Viva”, this year’s exhibition runs from May to the end of November, curated by Christine Macel. In a statement explaining the choice of title, Macel writes, “In a world full of conflicts and jolts, in which humanism is being seriously jeopardised, art is the most precious part of the human being.”

Whilst there may always be too much to see in a weekend, the Venice Biennale will always be an essential bi-annual pilgrimage for me. I am fortunate enough to be involved with Modern Art Oxford – the ground-breaking but often unsung contemporary art museum – and was very privileged this year to travel with the Director, Paul Hobson. Experiencing these shows with him is an unfolding education, and here you will find a brief round up of my favourite work from our trip.


1/ Ciprian Mureşan’s beautiful and layered drawings at the Giardini.

2/ Mark Bradford’s “Tomorrow is Another Day” in the USA Pavilion.

3/ Maria Lau’s embroidered geographies at the Arsenale.

4/ Franz Erhard Walther wall hangings at the Arsenale.

5/ Hao Liang’s "Eight Views of Xiaoxiang" at the Arsenale.

6/ “Philip Guston and The Poets” at the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

7/ Axel Vervoordt’s “Intuition” at the Palazzo Fortuny.

8/ Rita Kernn-Larsen’s “Dipinti surrealisti” at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

9/ Mark Tobey’s “Threading Light” at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

10/ Ettore Sottsass’ “The Glass” at Le Stanze del Vetro.

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