The enigmatic Ewa Juszkiewic and the fragility of Eva Jospin, the architectural reflections of Rick Lowe, the biotech of Pierre Huyghe, the site-specific works of Berlinde De Bruyckere: 8 exhibitions to see in Venice

The National High Magnetic Field Laboratory in Florida has created a very powerful magnet, capable of generating fields so intense that they reach levels above 45 Tesla. Nothing compared to what the city of Venice will be able to attract on the occasion of the now imminent Biennale.

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The60. The International Art Exhibition will in fact trans form the Arsenale and Giardini into the nerve center of contemporary creativity. But not only. The entire Lagoon will become an open-air museum, a catalyst of talents and emotions: thanks to an impressive calendar in terms of quality and transversality.

It's really complicated to unravel the macramé of offers: they range from official collateral events to exhibitions organized in the most important city institutions, from exhibitions in private galleries to openings scattered among churches, foundations, shipyards, former prisons and even islands. We choose eight but they could easily be double or even triple.

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We start from the Island of San Giorgio, where the 16th century Benedictine abbey of the same name is the scene of the splendid exhibition by Berlinde De Bruyckere entitled City of Refuge III.

The Belgian artist presents three new groups of works that dialogue with the architecture of the church, but also with its function, its symbolism, its history. A series of sculptures of veiled and hybrid archangels, in which the human contrasts with the divine, are placed in the central nave and in the side aisles.

Then a large installation composed of felled tree trunks covered with wax castings is located along the Sacristy, while various display cases containing other sculptures inspired by the work of the Flemish carver Albert van den Brulle are positioned on the corridor of the Monastery Gallery.

The exhibition, whose title is inspired by Nick Cave's song City of Refuge III, talks about how art can transform places into refuges. And it will be one of the most intense events ever.

We then move on to Palazzo Cavanis which is the setting for the exhibition of Ewa Juszkiewic, rising star of the figurative paintingworld. Polish origins, 39 years old, she creates portraits of women that refer to famous works of the Flemish age.

The faces of the subjects never appear because they are sometimes covered by lush floral compositions, other times by dry leaves, intricate hairstyles, carefully folded fabrics. The final effect is attractive and disturbing at the same time.

Reason: by covering the faces of these ladies, Juszkiewicz challenges the very essence of the portrait, destroying it. His paintings no longer tell any features, becoming representations of the condition of women under patriarchy.

The exhibition that the Peggy Guggenheim dedicates to Jean Cocteau is also highly anticipated. The Juggler's Revenge is the first major retrospective held in Italy dedicated to the enfant terrible of the 20th century French art scene.

Curated by Kenneth E. Silver, the exhibition is a tribute to the versatility of the author of Orphée through over one hundred and fifty works, ranging from drawings to graphic works, from jewels to tapestries, from historical documents to films.

The itinerary unfolds around a series of chapters that touch on the main themes at the center of Monsieur Jean's poetics: Orpheus and the theme of poetry, Eros, the classic in art, Venice and the relationship with Peggy Guggenheim, cinema and design, which is expressed in fashion but above all in jewelery and applied arts.

We move on to the Palazzo Grimani museum, which provides an evocative backdrop to the vibrant canvases signed by Rick Lowe. The Arch within the Arc , is inspired by the urban dynamics of Venice but above all by the rooms of the palace (rare example of Tuscan-Roman Renaissance architecture) and its famous Tribune, elements that have stimulated a reflection on the influence aesthetics of ancient and pre-modern architecture.

“I started examining the curve,” said the sixty-three-year-old artist, who has long been part of the Gagosian stable, “which is relevant to the arch and to the existence of everything in time. Everything has a life cycle and within each cycle there is always a curve...".

Another must is Pierre Huyghe's solo show at Punta della Dogana. Liminal, curated by Anne Stenne, is a new project that will occupy the entire extension of the space designed by Tadao until November 24th I am transforming it into a sensitive platform capable of communicating with the visitor.

In this sort of journey, characters and narratives will be introduced from time to time, which will alternate with the most iconic works of the Parisian artist's production.

The not-so-hidden objective is to push the public to reflect on the relationship between humanity, technology and biotechnology and on the effects of artificial intelligence in our lives.

The great exhibition that the Accademia Galleries dedicates to William de Kooning is also a red circle. Never before had such a retrospective been staged to pay homage to the titan of American abstract expressionism.

The exhibition, curated by Gary Garrels and Mario Codognato, examines the two periods in which the painter of Dutch origin lived in Italy, in 1959 and 1969, and the profound impact that those two stays on his later work.

The itinerary collects 75 works ranging from the 1950s to the 1980s. On stage are very rare works such as the selection of the large drawings Black and White Rome that de Kooning created during his first long stay in the capital in 1959 and Door to the River, < em>A Tree in Naples and Villa Borghese, three of the most famous Pastoral Landscapes, signed in his New York studio in 1960 where the memory of the trip to Italy is evident.

Instead, it is entirely dedicated to the Nebula video art, a collective curated by Alessandro Rabottini and Leonardo Bigazzi at theComplesso dell'Ospedaletto.

Created by the In Between Art Film Foundation, chaired by Beatrice Bulgari, it puts on the screen the brand new works of eight international artists: from the Brazilians Cinthia Marcelle and Tiago Mata Machado up to our Diego Marcon and Giorgio Andreotta Calò. The final effect is a project on fog, understood as a material and metaphorical condition.

An almost sensorial exhibition that incorporates the Church of Santa Maria dei Derelitti, the frescoed music room and the ancient pharmacy, and which will reveal a wing of the modern retirement home that has never been opened to the public.

"In Venice - says Rabottini - the fog becomes the liminal space in which water and sky merge, where light becomes a diffuse and mysterious presence. It is a meteorological phenomenon that demonstrates how fallacious our sense of perspective and our understanding can be of what is outside of us."

The last rendez-vous is a real gem. The Eva Jospin exhibition at the Fortuny Museum, one of the most magical places in the Venetian city. The project, curated by Chiara Squarcina and Pier Paolo Pancotto, compares the fragile works of the transalpine artist inspired by landscapes, trees, plants, branches, leaves, geological formations, pieces of vegetation, architectural structures with the collections kept inside Palazzo Pesaro Orfei, represented above all by the rich and complex production of Mariano Fortuny who lived in these rooms between the 19th and 20th centuries.

The final effect is as disruptive as it is poetic. An aesthetic and ethical short circuit on highly topical issues such as those related to ecology and the environment.


Cover photo: a work by Ewa Juszkiewic, courtesy Christie's