Guide to the 2019 Venice Biennale

by Natasha Wolff | May 22, 2019 11:30 am

The 58th Venice Biennale[1] has arrived. Kicking off the VIP opening on May 8, this year’s biennale, curated by Ralph Rugoff, is titled “May You Live in Interesting Times,” and runs through November 24. Over 90 countries presented a selection of their best contemporary artists this year at the Giardini and the Arsenale, and with satellite shows at museums and pop-up galleries across this magical Italian city. Below, find DuJour’s guide to some of this year’s best exhibits.

Poland’s Pavilion at The Giardini

Poland presents Roman Stanczak’s “Flight” where the artist cut a private jet in half and turned it inside out by reconstructing it. The work speaks to Poland’s inherent conflicts with capitalism and the ultra-wealthy.

Roman Stanczak’s “Flight” (photo by Eva Fedderly)

Roman Stanczak’s “Flight” (photo by Eva Fedderly)

France’s Pavilion at the Giardini

Laure Prouvost’s film looks at the idea of national identities in a screening space shaped to resemble and octopus belly. The film’s characters make their way from Paris to Venice and into the pavilion itself.

The Dutch Pavilion at the Giardini

Visual artists Remy Jungerman and Iris Kensmil present their joint exhibition, “The Measurement of Presence,” which explores fresh perspectives on the concept of national identity. Jungerman references the Dutch 20th century art movement, De Stijl, while incorporating African influences. Kensmil’s portraits are of Black women artists, writers, and activists.

Christian Marclay at the Arsenale

A video installation by Christian Marclay, “48 War Movies,” overlays 48 war films and plays them on continuous loop for a dramatic, violent, and disturbing effect.

Soham Gupta at the Arsenale

At the entranceway of the Arsenale, 28-year-old photographer Soham Gupta shows us a series of photographs of Kolkata’s poorest people in his impactful series aptly named, “Angst.”

Carpenter’s Workshop at the Ca’ d’Oro Palazzo

Taking over a palace on the Grand Canal, Carpenter’s Workshop Gallery’s exhibition “DYSFUNCTIONAL” explores why art doesn’t need to be functional and where art becomes design. Artist collective Studio Drift and sculptor Joep van Lieshout are among the participating artists.

Georg Baselitz at the Gallerie dell’Accademia

A retrospective of the artists’ 60-year career contains rarely seen works and includes paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints. Baselitze is the first living artists the Gallerie chose to exhibit.

Yun Hyong-keun at Palazzo Fortuny

Palazzo Fortuny’s retrospective on Yun Hyong-keun is one of the Biennale’s most understated and impressive shows. The Korean minimalist artist explores the connection between beauty and suffering, heaven and earth, with his umber and blue paintings.

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