July 10th 2015
Just returned from the extraordinary odyssey that is a trip to the Venice Biennale. Just wandering the streets and little bridges is a visual feast before you start on the art. Here are notes of a few of my favourites:
‘Dansaekhwa’ Palazzo Contarini-Polignac. 7 Korean artists, who have been working since the 1960s. A pool of extreme calm amid the heat and tourist buzz of central Venice. http://www.venice-dansaekhwa.com
‘Proportio’ Museo Fortuny. An astonishing show on four floors of this fantastic building. Restored my faith in the art of curation. The Axel & May Vervoordt Foundation have put together a rich collection of artefacts and artworks from across centuries that are grounded in art and instinct of proportion. Peeling walls, raw linen and antique Fortuny fabrics form the background to work as diverse as Botticelli, Elsworth Kelly, an ancient architectural fragment from the Yemen, Bill Viola, Richard Long and a library of priceless books, to touch on a tiny number of experiences. Beautiful catalogue weighs a ton, but can be bought online from the Foundation website. http://www.axel-vervoordt.com/en/inside/foundation/exhibitions/proportio
And the official Biennale proper? In other words the vast Arsenale mixed show, and the national pavilions in the Giardini. Well, at 25 euros entry for both, each of which can take up a whole day, this is good value. But what you find is patchy. Highlights in the pavilions were Fiona Hall in the Australian, and Chiharu Shiota’s keys and boats and miles and miles of red thread in the Japanese
Enough. But must not forget to mention Sean Scully at the Palazzo Falier, or Cy Twombly at the Ca’ Pesaro. Back now to my own threads and paper.