Venice Biennale Italy

You too can be in the Biennale

Vittorio Sgarbi marks 150 years of unity with giant show

Curator Vittorio Sgarbi is inviting 1,200 artists to come forward

VENICE. To mark 150 years of Italian unity, Vittorio Sgarbi, the curator of the Italian Pavilion at next year’s Venice Biennale, is inviting 1,200 artists, of whom around 200 will be featured in the Italian Pavilion, to take part in the biennale. Outside of Venice, artists will be exhibited in cities of artistic importance, such as Urbino, Matera, Verona, Mantua, Lecce, Parma and Noto.

Italian artists living abroad are invited to participate, while foreign artists who have elected to live in Italy will also be celebrated, including Cy Twombly, Dieter Kopp and Jenny Saville.

“The fact that [the biennale] coincides with the anniversary of Italian unity calls for wide ranging and generous recognition of artists active in the past decade, including those who are little known or neglected,” said Sgarbi.

Despite putting pressure on Paolo Baratta, the president of the Venice Biennale and Sandro Bondi, the Italian minister for culture, Sgarbi was unable to secure the original Italia Pavilion in the Giardini, now the Palazzo delle Esposizioni, for his exhibition. Sgarbi says a return to the Giardini “would have been fitting for the 150th anniversary of Italian unity”. Baratta, however, has confirmed that an extension to the present pavilion at the Arsenale will be completed in May 2011, thanks to funding from the Ministry for Cultural Heritage.

Sgarbi said that he has €1.5m at his disposal from the culture ministry, but its director general, Lolli Ghetti, said the amount of funding has not yet been decided. A further E1m will come from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the rest from regional administrations.

More from The Art Newspaper


17 Dec 10
17:44 CET


I would really like to show some work with Vittorio Sgarbi's pavillion, I kind of feel like an absent part of Italy, the idea is something inspiring, so much of the spirit of the place has been borrowed - some important pieces might be returned. The strange thing is his books appear so very academic, but the idea he has proposed has a great contemporary feel, although I suppose it could all go sadly wrong on curatorial taste, how important selection is to the success, he has rather bravely put himself on the line, if there are 1200 artists that match the top players in his show? -How can I get in touch with this opportunity? Mark

16 Dec 10
8:34 CET


Can I participate if my great grandmother was of italian ancestry ???

14 Dec 10
9:25 CET


Wowww 1,200 artist in Biennial!!!!! Success!.. CONGRATS ITALIAN PEOPLE, CONGRATS ITALY! Italy, birthplace of the Renaissance and specifically of art in all its manifestations.

Submit a comment

All comments are moderated. If you would like your comment to be approved, please use your real name, not a pseudonym. We ask for your email address in case we wish to contact you - it will not be made public and we do not use it for any other purpose.


Want to write a longer comment to this article? Email


Share this