VENICE, Collateral Exhibitions, June 8

Robert Morris at the Prada Foundation, Venice

In addition to the Giardini, Arsenale and the National pavilions, collateral exhibitions are featured in palazzos, museums and alternative spaces all over Venice. I spent the day seeing as many as possible.

Walter De Maria at the Prada Foundation, Venice

The Prada Foundation is presenting one of the most important exhibitions of the Biennale. Titled “When Attitude Becomes Form, Bern 1969/Venice 2013”, the Foundation has recreated the exhibition curated in 1969 by Harald Szeeman at the Kunsthalle Bern. The original exhibition was ground breaking in its’ day and has become mythic over time. Its’ reconstruction offers significant opportunity to rethink the dialogue and concepts that surrounded the original show. The extraordinary rigor is well retained in this reincarnation.

Jacob Hashimoto at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice

My next stop was the Fondazione Querini Stampalia which featured the work of the highly regarded Chinese artist, Qiu Zhijie and the American artist, Jacob Hashmimoto. Both artists had fantastic installations that always make the trek to this location worthwhile. Qiu Zhijie addressed objects from the permanent collection of the Fondazione contrasting East and West. Hashimoto’s site-specific piece was characteristically exuberant as he creates his own eco-system.

Tapies installation at the Museo Fortuny, Venice

The Museo Fortuny is always a must-see for me. The current exhibition presents Spanish master, Antoni Tapies (1923-2012). Key paintings, not previously shown, as well as a select group of objects and artifacts from the artist’s own collection are stellar. In concert are other artists such as Picasso, Pollock, Motherwell, Kounellis and Kazuo Shiraga who have paid tribute to Tapies. Each floor of the Fortuny is installed with the highest aesthetic sensibility; I am forever enthralled in the space.

Richard Mosse, “The Enclave” (detail), Pavilion of Ireland, Venice

With so much to see and my departure tomorrow, I was on overdrive. Various other visits included the National pavilions of Ireland, Azerbaijan, Ukraine, Palestine, Angola and the Pinchuk Foundation’s Future Generation Art Prize.

Zhong Biao, “The Universe of Unreality”, Chiesa di S. Maria della Visitazione

A lovely surprise was finding Zhong Biao’s installation, “The Universe of Unreality” in the Chiesa di S. Maria della Visitazione. His piece is another example of the universal knowledge theme. Individual paintings deal with issues such as the Hong Kong handover, the Gwangju Democratic Movement, the financial crisis, ecological breakdowns, water contamination, etc. Yet the paintings are flying in the church, reminiscent of the Renaissance Masters and all that is spiritual and uplifting.


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