Edwart and I travelled to Venice last month and we spent 11 marvelous days in my favorite city : Venice ! This is our preferred rendez-vous every two years with contemporary Art, the exquisite opportunity to mix pleasure and …well, I can’t write work, I should definitely say : passion ! The passion of discovering new works, new artists, new shows…after 11 days we are experts of this 2015 Biennale and I’m going to tell you what I’ve loved so much this year. You can take this post as a kind of Biennale short cut to help you to find your way easier and faster among the hundreds offers and proposals on view until november 22nd in the Serenissima City !
As usually everything starts with the best Bellini at .. the Gritti ! ;-)
We stayed this time at the San Regis on San Clemente island, just 15 minutes boat ride from Piazza san Marco (former San Clemente Palace hotel) which is even better now than during our first stay there 4 years ago. This is the best option in summer as they have a great swimming pool and fantastic huge garden with different atmospheres. We were so well received by the butler team and guests service team : Joana, Lena, Allesandro… They took care of us so well ! The golden keys concierges were also great. We enjoyed every minute spent in this great and exceptional resort. Moreover we discover the new chef and his excellent cuisine, one of the best in Venice !
The food was excellent also by the pool (I will remember with emotions this winter the great green pizza that enchanted our sunny pool afternoons ! ).
If you don’t have a lot of time while you’re in the City of Doges and want to see the best of the Biennale and exhibitions around, here is my short list . Actually I prefer to simply name the best artists without describing their works as the pleasure of discovering and effects of surprise are important . And if you don’t go to Venice this year, don’t worry you’ll find many articles and pics on the net !
1) My Top 10 of the Biennale Giardini pavillions :
– Nordic Pavillion with Camille Norment ( our favorite !)
– French Pavillion with Celeste Boursier-Mougenot
– Japonese Pavillion with Chiaru Shiota
– Australian Pavillion with Fiona Hall
– Austrian Pavillion with Heimo Zobernig
– Romanian Pavillion with Adrian Ghenie ( Ghenie the Ghenius !)
– British Pavillion with Sarah Lucas ( well …the biggest controversy : either you like either you laugh at loud !)
– Corean pavillion with Moon Kyungwon and Jeon Joonho
– Netherlands Pavillion with Herman de Vries
– Finland Pavillion with IC 98
2) My Top 7 artists in the Arsenale :
– Adel Abdessemed with Bruce Nauman at the entrance ( powerful !)
– Theater Gates ( big huge crush !!moving and mesmerizing video/ installation, I couldn’t leave the room)
– Ji Dachun
– Ricardo Brey ( the Alchimist)
– Tiffany Chung ( small scales )
– Lorna Simpson
Special mention to the Turkish pavillion with Sarkis (moving and so meaningful in this very special year for Armenian people) located in a building inside the Arsenal
3) My Top 5 exhibitions in Venice :
– Mario Merz at the Accademia : the best show, according to me an example of art of hanging + the quality of selected pieces . What else ? ;-)
– Cy Twombly at Ca’ Pesaro for the amazing landscapes echoing Courbet powerful sens of nature and for the roses series I’ve discovered. I like when a giant still charms my eyes and spirit.
– Charles Pollock at Peggy’s home (Peggy Guggenheim Foundation).
Know the son, don’t you ? Meet the father ! You’ll love and will understand more about abstract expressionnism.
– Glass Stress ( located just in front the Accademia) ! When the so venitian medium meets contemporary art : surprising and magical, espcecially if you’re not familiar with contemporary art, a cool way to get in.
– A must do during the Biennale, the rendez-vous of connoisseurs : Axel Vervoordt show in mythical Palazzo Fortuny, the alliance of taste and knowledge, always thrilling !
2 Honourable mentions :
– French ex POP artist Martial Raysse at Palazzo Grassi. Better display than in Pompidou Center. And if you’ve ever been to this show last year in Paris, well you MUST go to Venice and see it in Palazzo Grassi !
– Hiroshi Sugimoto with his tea Pavillion , tribute to Mondrian on San Giorgio Maggiore island. Soothing moment. You deserve it, especially while you’re running from one show to another with the fear of missing out ( believe me, this peculiar anxiety is called …fomo. Yes I’m serious, there is a name for this venetian fear !).
Well, don’t worry, the point is to participate during these Olympic games of contemporary Art, as newspapers call this Biennale !
To be continued with more pics and topics ;-)