The 54th Venice Biennale & International Art Exhibition Opens June 4th

artwork: Tintoretto - "The Last Supper", 1590-1594 - Oil on canvas - 365 x 568 cm, Basilica di San Giorgio Maggiore, Venice. One of 3 works by Tintoretto chosen for the 2011 Venice Biennale.

Venice.- The 54th International Art Exhibition, with the title of “ILLUMInazioni (ILLUMInations)”, directed by Bice Curiger and organized by la Biennale di Venezia under the presidency of Paolo Baratta, will be opening on Friday, June 3rd, and will be accessible to the public from Saturday, June 4th to November 27th in the Giardini and the Arsenale. The preview will take place on June 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Bice Curiger is an art historian, critic and curator of international exhibitions. Her curatorial activity at Kunsthaus Zurich parallels her important work in the publishing sector. In 1984, she cofounded the prestigious art magazine “Parkett”, of which she is editor-in-chief. She has been publishing director of London Tate Gallery magazine “Tate etc” since 2004.

The exhibition “ILLUMInazioni” will be laid out in the Central Pavilion in the Giardini and in the Arsenale, forming a single itinerary, featuring 82 artists from all over the world, including 32 young artists born after 1975, as well as 32 women artists. The director asked four participating artists to create “parapavilions”, architectural and sculptural structures erected in the Giardini and the Arsenale to house the works of other artists. As usual, the Exhibition will be paralleled by 89 National Participations, a record for the Art Biennale, housed in the historical Pavilions in the Giardini, in the Arsenale, as well as in other locations around the city. The Padiglione Italia in the Arsenale, organized by the Ministry for the Cultural Heritage and Activities together with PaBAAC – General Direction for landscape, fine arts, architecture and contemporary art, will be curated by Vittorio Sgarbi.

Adrián Villar Rojas - "Mi Familia Muerta", 2009 - Installation. © the artist. Rojas is one of the artists who will represent Argentina at the Biennale

The countries that will be participating for the first time will be Andorra, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Haiti. Other countries will be participating after a long period of absence: India (1982), Congo (1968), Iraq (1990), Zimbabwe (1990), South Africa (1995), Costa Rica (1993, afterwards with IILA), Cuba (1995, afterwards with IILA). More than 40 Collateral Events will be arranged by international organizations and institutions, which will set up their exhibitions and initiatives in various locations around the city on the occasion of the Biennale.

Biennale Sessions is a programme addressed at institutions, operating in the field of research and education in the domain of arts or similar. The objective is to promote the Exhibition visit among groups of at least 50 students and teachers, who will be given support to organize their trip and stay. They will also be given the possibility to organize seminars in venues we offer them free of charge. We have contacted more than 2,000 international institutions so far, who have been invited to take part in the programme. Meetings on Art stands for a number of meetings and seminars with artists, curators, philosophers and theologians scheduled in the month of June and early in autumn. As Paolo Baratta explains, the purpose of both these projects is to “confirm the role played by la Biennale di Venezia as an institution open to knowledge and to the spirit of research”.

artwork: Sigalit Landau - "The Country", 2001 - Installation. Image courtesy of the Alon Segev Gallery, © the artist. - Landau will represent the Israel at the 54th International Art Exhibition - Biennale

Educational activity is also planned for 2011, addressing individuals as well as groups of students belonging to schools (regardless of any level and kind), universities and academies of fine arts, professionals, companies, experts, art lovers and families alike. Such initiatives, guided by selected operators trained by la Biennale di Venezia, aim at actively involving participants, and are divided into Guided visits and Lab Activities. The 54th Exhibition opening and award ceremony will be taking place on Friday, June 3rd in the Giardini, with the presentation of the official awards by the International Jury. Visit the biennale’s website at  …