24 Shows to See in Venice Beyond the Biennale, From Stanley Whitney’s Italian Paintings to a Major Survey of Marlene Dumas
Apr 19, 2022
Art lovers making a pilgrimage to Venice for the delayed opening of the 59th Venice Biennial will have packed dance cards, with art shows staged across the city in conjunction with the centerpiece International exhibition and pavilions from countries around the world, including 30 official collateral events. Here are a few shows to put on your to-see list.
Max Ernst, Attirement of the Bride (1940). Courtesy of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection has teamed up with the Museum Barberini in Potsdam, Germany, on this celebration of magic and the occult in Surrealist art. (It dovetails nicely with curator Cecilia Alemani’s theme for the biennial’s international exhibition, “The Milk of Dreams.”) Works by Max Ernst, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo are among the 60 pieces on loan for the occasion from 40 international museums and private collections.
The Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, Dorsoduro, 701-704, 30123 Venice
Installation view of “The Soul Expanding Ocean #3: Dineo Seshee Bopape – Ocean! What if no change is your desperate mission?” at Ocean Space. Commissioned and produced by TBA21–Academy. Photo by Matteo De Fina.
Inspired by transatlantic slavery routes, South African artist Dineo Seshee Bopape’s video installation at Ocean Space illustrates the ways in which oppression and colonialism continue through the present day. TBA21–Academy commissioned the show as part of a two-year exhibition series curated by Chus Martínez, after hosting Bopape as resident at Alligator Head Foundation in Jamaica and aboard the second voyage to the Solomon Islands led by Martínez.
Ocean Space, Chiesa di San Lorenzo Castello, 5069, 30122 Venice
Sabine Weiss, Enfants porte de Saint-Cloud Paris (1950). © Sabine Weiss.
For one of its final photography exhibitions before turning over the space to the Berggruen Institute, Casa dei Tre Oci is staging the biggest retrospective yet for French artist Sabine Weiss, who died in December at 97. It features over 200 photos, ranging from portraits of children and new images to fashion shoots and street photography, selected in conversation with Weiss before her death.
Casa dei Tre Oci, Fondamenta Zitelle, 43, 30133 Venice
Installation view of “Anselm Kiefer: Questi scritti, quando verranno bruciati, daranno finalmente un po’ di luce (Andrea Emo),” at the Palazzo Ducale, Venice. Photo: Andrea Avezzù, © Anselm Kiefer.
Anselm Kiefer’s site-specific installation in the Palazzo Ducale’s Sala dello Scrutinio is named after the writings of Venetian philosopher Andrea Emo. The title loosely translates to “These writings, when burned, will finally cast a little light.“
Palazzo Ducale, Piazza San Marco, 1, 30124 Venice
Bruce Nauman, Contrapposto Studies, I through VII (2015–16). Jointly owned by Pinault Collection and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Photo: Marco Cappelletti, courtesy of Palazzo Grassi, © Bruce Nauman by SIAE 2021.
Bruce Nauman presents a series of recent video installations that return to the themes of his 1968 piece Walk with Contrapposto, a video of the artist attempting to maintain the contrapposto pose while walking along a narrow wooden corridor.
Punta della Dogana, Dorsoduro, 2, 30123 Venice
Georg Baselitz, Jorn (2020). © Georg Baselitz 2021. Photo: Jochen Littkemann, Berlin, courtesy of Gagosian.
In an homage to Renaissance portraiture, German painter Georg Baselitz created 12 new paintings to hang where the Grimani family portraits were on display in stucco-framed panels until the end of the 19th century. The title is a reference to Titian’s 1558 portrait of Cardinal Filippo Archinto.
Museo di Palazzo Grimani, Rugagiuffa, 4858, 30122 Venice
Installation view of “Marlene Dumas: Open-End,” at Palazzo Grassi, 2022. From left to right: Alien (2017), Pinault Collection; Spring (2017), private collection, courtesy of David Zwirner; and Amazon (2016), private collection, Switzerland. Photo: Marco Cappelletti with Filippo Rossi, © Palazzo Grassi, © Marlene Dumas.
This show marks the Pinault Collection’s first exhibition—in either of its two Venice locations—to be dedicated to a woman artist, the great figurative painter Marlene Dumas, with drawings and paintings dating from 1984 to the present day, including new unseen works.
Palazzo Grassi, Campo San Samuele, 3231, 30124 Venice
Hermann Nitsch, who just died at age 83, originally created and presented his 20 painting action at the Wiener Secession, Vienna, in 1987. This exhibition organized by Zuecca Projects and Galerie Kandlhofer is the first time it’s been shown since, with a massive 16-by 65-foot work surrounded by smaller canvasses, all from Helmut Essl’s private holdings. (It’s the artist’s only painting action that remains in a single collection.)
Oficine 800, Fondamenta San Biagio, 800, 30133 Venice
Courtesy of Ugo Rondinone.
Ugo Rondinone isn’t revealing much about his Venice show, other than that the title comes from you got to burn to shine, a 1994 book of poems by his late partner, John Giorno.
Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista, San Polo, 2454, 30125 Venice
Anish Kapoor, The Dark (2021). Photo: Dave Morgan, © Anish Kapoor. All rights reserved SIAE, 2021.
At long last, Anish Kapoor will reveal what he’s been doing with his exclusive license to make art with Vantablack, the super light-absorbent material made from carbon nanotubes by Surrey NanoSystems. (He’s dubbed it Kapoor Black, which definitely won’t ruffle any feathers.) The Rijksmuseum’s Taco Dibbits curates the dual presentation of both new and retrospective works.
Gallerie dell’Accademia, Campo della Carità, Dorsoduro, 1050, 30123 Venice; Palazzo Manfrin, Fondamenta Venier, Cannaregio 342, 30121, Venice
Palazzo Diedo, Venice. Photo: Alessandro Chemollo, courtesy Berggruen Arts and Culture.
Art collector Nicolas Berggruen announced plans to bring his art foundation to Venice last September, but with the new venue at Casa dei Tre Oci still occupied for two more years, the Nicolas Berggruen Charitable Trust acquired a second location in order to stage its first show in time for the biennale. Sterling Ruby, the inaugural artist-in-residence, is working on a multiyear site-specific installation, starting with relief structures across the façade.
Palazzo Diedo, Fondamenta Diedo, 30121 Venice
Nabil Anani, In Pursuit of Utopia #7. Photo courtesy of Zawyeh Gallery.
Though there is no official Palestinian pavilion, Connecticut’s Palestine Museum U.S. has sponsored this show featuring 19 Palestinian and diaspora artists. The show will feature paintings, photography, sculpture, and installations set against a historic map of Palestine on the gallery floor, an olive tree planted at its center.
Palazzo Mora, Room 8, Cannaregio, 3659 Venice
Work by Kayode Ojo. Courtesy of Flash Art Studios.
Flash Art Studios organized this solo show for buzzy emerging artist Kayode Ojo. Curated by Gea Politi and Cristiano Seganfreddo, it features a large-scale installation of oversize metal chains suspended between the two buildings of the Magazzini Ligabue, a University of Venice facility used by the Department of Project Cultures in the faculty of art and design.
Magazzini Ligabue, Fossa Capara, 9, 30123 Venice
Agnieszka Kurant, A.A.I (System’s Negative) No. 5 (2016). Photo courtesy of Fortes D’Aloia and Gabriel, São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro.
The first show from the new international curatorial cooperative Radicants, founded by Nicolas Bourriaud, is about how climate change influences today’s art—specifically through the lens of the sublime, as defined as “a delight tinged with terror” by the 18th-century philosopher Edmund Burke.
Palazzo Bollani, Castello, 3647, 30122 Venice
Kehinde Wiley, The Wounded Achilles (Fillippo Albacini) (2022). © Kehinde Wiley.
Taking as his starting point Hans Holbein the Younger’s 1512 painting The Dead Christ in the Tomb, Kehinde Wiley presents new monumental canvases and sculptures responding to the deaths of Black men. This exhibition, expanding upon his “DOWN” series from 2008, is organized by the Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, 30133 Venice
Angela Su, photo of performance for the video The Magnificent Levitation Act of Lauren O (2022). Video performance. Commissioned by M+. Photo: Ka Lam, courtesy of the artist.
The theme of levitation runs through drawings, moving images, embroideries, and installations in this Angela Su solo show, curated by Freya Chou and co-presented by Hong Kong’s M+ museum.
Campo della Tana, Castello 2126, 30122 Venice
Ha Chong–hyun, Conjunction 22-01 (2022). Photo by Sangtae Kim, © Ha Chong–hyun.
This retrospective of Korean painter Ha Chong–hyun, curated by Sunjung Kim, will feature more than 20 works spanning six decades, showcasing his practice beyond his contributions to the nation’s monochrome Dansaekhwa movement.
Palazzetto Tito, Dorsoduro, 2826, 30123 Venice
Louise Nevelson, Untitled (Sky Cathedral) (1970–75). © 2022 Estate of Louise Nevelson/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.
This exhibition from the Louise Nevelson Foundation marks the 60th anniversary of the artist’s representing the U.S. at the nation’s pavilion in the 1962 biennale, with 60 works from the 1950s to the 1980s, including a number of her signature large-scale black sculptures of painted wood. It’s at a historic 16th-century building, the Procuratie Vecchie, which has just been restored by David Chipperfield Architects and opened to the public for the first time.
Procuratie Vecchie, 105, Piazza San Marco, 30124 Venice
Lita Albuquerque, Liquid Light (2022), film still. Photo courtesy of Bardo LA.
Lita Albuquerque’s latest film, shot in Bolivia and presented in Venice by Bardo LA, is about female astronaut spreading otherworldly knowledge across the universe. The Light and Space artist worked with Venetian glass blowers, beekeepers, and artisans to create the installation that surrounds the video piece.
San Pietro di Castello, Campo San Pietro, 30122 Venice
Bosco Sodi at work in the Palazzo Vendramin Grimani. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Bosco Sodi took up residence in the Palazzo Vendramin Grimani in preparation for his show there, making large textured canvases and leaving them to dry in the lagoon air. But the Mexican artist is also bringing a piece of Mexico to Venice, in the form of 195 small spheres made from Oaxacan clay that local residents will get the chance to take home at the end of the show.
Palazzo Vendramin Grimani, San Polo, 2033, 30125 Venice
Katharina Grosse, Study for Apollo, Apollo (2021). Photo by Daniela Görgens, © Katharina Grosse and VG Bild, Bonn, 2022.
Katharina Grosse, known for her large-scale, colorful, abstract paintings, is bringing a large-scale photographic print to Venice, of her hands covered in metallic mesh.
Espace Louis Vuitton Venezia, Calle del Ridotto, 1353, 30124 Venice
Video still from Zinaida, Without Women (2017). © Zinaida.
Zinaida, a Ukrainian artist and protégé of Marina Abramović, has been working on her multimedia installation Without Women since 2017, filming male shepherds at work in Ukraine’s Carpathian Mountains, isolated in their traditionally masculine roles. Due to shipping difficulties caused by the invasion of Ukraine, the exhibition (organized by the Visual Research Support Foundation and curated by Peter Doroshenko), will be presented in two parts.
Spiazzi, Castello 3865, Venice 30122
Stanley Whitney, The Awakening of Memory (1996). Courtesy of Lisson Gallery.
American artist Stanley Whitney moved to Rome for five years in 1992, keeping a studio in Parma even after moving back stateside. The Buffalo AKG Art Museum has put together this show of 30 years of work he’s since made in the country, highlighting the influence of Italian art and architecture on his practice.
Palazzo Tiepolo Passi, San Polo 2774, 30125 Venice
Claire Tabouret, The Spell (2018). Photo: Marten Elder, © Claire Tabouret, courtesy of the artist and Almine Rech.
The Fundación Almine y Bernard Ruiz-Picasso para el Arte organized this exhibition of figurative paintings by the French painter Claire Tabouret with the curator Kathryn Weir and the artist’s gallery, Almine Rech. Canvases exploring themes of self, refuge, and release are paired with Italian vernacular devotional objects.
Palazzo Cavanis, Fondamenta Zattere Ai Gesuati, 920, 30123 Venice