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biennale stories

Pebbles, Pomp and Patrons

The German Pavilion #1


I fell in love with Venice the first time I arrived.

Peggy Guggenheim

dream des­ti­na­tion, art city, and seat of the world’s ol­dest art bi­en­nale. Ev­ery oth­er year, the Venice Bi­en­nale draws mil­lions to its var­i­ous venues. At the Giar­di­ni, na­tion­al pa­vil­ions en­ter a com­pe­ti­tion be­tween coun­tries. How did that hap­pen? And what do com­mis­sion­ers ac­tu­al­ly have to do with art?

CC0 via pixabay

Gondolas, St. Mark’s Square, the Grand Canal, and the Lido—popular associations with a famed city. The presence of Renaissance artists like Titian, Bellini, Tintoretto, and Veronese persists everywhere. But there’s more to Venice than that. Contemporary art flourishes alongside the Old Masters. What would Venice be without the Biennale and its works of music, dance, theater, film, architecture—and of course, visual art? Every other year, the most important art biennale in the world takes place at the Giardini, the Arsenale, and all across the city. The German Pavilion has often played an important part in that. Ever since 1971, the pavilion has been coordinated by ifa (Institut für Auslandsbeziehungen), an institute for international and cultural relations. The German participation has been awarded multiple prizes over the years.

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