Art Angle Roundup: On the Ground at the Venice Biennale

Kate Brown is joined by Ben Davis and Naomi Rea to discuss the major art event.

From left: Golden Lion winner Archie Moore during the Art Biennale. Photo: Felix Hörhager/picture alliance via Getty Images; Closure notice hangs in the window of the Israel Pavilion. Photo: Jo Lawson-Tancred; the facade of the central pavilion curated by Adriano Pedrosa. Photo: Ben Davis.

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It is time for another edition of the Art Angle Roundup, where we look at some of the biggest headlining stories of the past month. But really, let’s be honest, in the art world there’s just one headlining story, and that is the 60th edition of the Venice Biennale, the so-called “Olympics of the Art World,” which opened to the public last Saturday, April 20.

Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa’s “Foreigners Everywhere” was a major feat, and it brought together more than 330 artists and collectives, the vast majority of whom have not been seen at the Biennale before. So it was truly exciting. And all over Venice, there were scores of collateral shows, galleries that brought their own exhibitions, private foundations pulling their weight as well with all of their palazzos.

Suffice to say, the lagoon was busy.

As we know, it’s a challenge to get anywhere fast in a city without cars and bikes, and it’s very easy to get lost along the way, but there is, naturally, a lot of great art to see. This week, Art Angle co-hosts Kate Brown and Ben Davis are joined by acting Editor in Chief Naomi Rea, who were all together at the vernissage and are now back to remotely chatting from Berlin, New York, and London respectively.

After a very busy week, a look back at what it was like on the ground in Venice, beginning with the main show curated by Pedrosa (who was a recent guest on the podcast); the protests that took place around the Biennale art week; and finally the national pavilions, the nation-state pavilions, and all of the hits, misses, and stories that came out of it.

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