The view from the Arsenale, one of the venues of the Venice Biennale 2013.
Last March I attended the Bronx Museum of the Arts Spring Gala and Auction where I bought a special trip to Venice during the Art Biennale. It turned out to be one of the best charitable investments I ever made. Thanks to its charismatic director Holly Block, the small Bronx Museum was made the commissioning institution for the United States Pavilion of the Venice Biennale, for which they proposed presenting the work of installation artist Sarah Sze. So, with Holly Block as our wonderful guide, we got to see the amazing installation Sarah Sze made for the pavilion, plus a lot of other extraordinary art (including a fabulous exhibition of the personal collection of the late Spanish painter Antoni Tàpies, curated by Axel Veervordt, at the Museo Fortuny, which I’ll blog about separately), a couple of private palaces, and various other memorable sites. Here are some snapshots of things that caught my eye and my imagination at the Biennale.
Part of Sarah Sze’s installation, Triple Point, in the courtyard of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale 2013.
Triple Point–Sarah Sze’s wacky installation assembled from aluminum rods and ladders, caution tape and water bottles, sand bags, espresso cups, branches, and faux rocks–started in the courtyard of the 1930s Palladian-style pavilion.
Each room in the pavilion features a different installation assembled from objects the artist found during the three-month construction process. The four makeshift structures evoke a planetarium, an observatory, a laboratory, and a pendulum–devices of measurement or locators of the body in space.
Lara Almarcegui’s installation in the Spanish Pavilion.
Lara Almarcegui’s installation in the Spanish Pavilion occupied its entire interior: towering mountains of various construction materials–cement rubble, roofing tiles, and bricks smashed to gravel. In side rooms, there were smaller mounds of sawdust, glass, and a blend of iron slag and ashes. Overwhelming!