Following our London Frieze jaunt, my collectistas and I decided to pop over to Venice for the Biennale and Bellinis. Attending the Venice Biennale in the fall was nothing short of brilliance. While I always like to be the first to see all and know all, the dirty truth is Venice is hot, crowded and smelly in the summer. Further, most art world insiders told me they didn’t even have time to see all the art between the parties at the late spring opening. Venice simply does not function efficiently enough to do both, but let’s not go down that canal…
The Venice Biennale is a huge contemporary art exhibit that takes place every other year (shout out to the Latin challenged) in the Giardini and Arsenale. It features one main thematically curated pavilion surrounded by many different international artist pavilions. The 55th edition, titled “Il Palazzo Enciclopedico” was curated by Massimiliano Gioni and had a total of 88 participating countries along with several collateral events. The main pavilion had a theme of art created and inspired by well-known psychological/imagination theorists like Jung and Steiner and then continued a study of imagery and the world of the artist. It was about the “desire to see and know everything.” While I love knowing, collecting and sharing everything, my favorite pavilions were the Dutch by Mark Manders, French by Anri Sala and German by Ai Wei Wei, Romuald Karmakar, Santu Mofokeng and Dayanita Singh. The United States pavilion by Sarah Sze was interesting, but not so much so to stand in the enormous line of people waiting to enter. In the interest of full transparency, my truly favorite exhibits in Venice were those simultaneously occurring at a variety of Palazzos and foundations. One fact remains consistent: Art is an international language.
As much as we were longing to return to London after two days of sailing up and down the canals viewing art, we simply couldn’t say farewell to Venice without a Bellini. While Harry’s Bar in Venice is arguably overrated, they still make a mean Bellini after all these years in the biz — 83 to be exact!. Rumored to be Hemingway’s favorite drink, Harry’s actually invented this easy mix of 1 ounce white peach purée and 5 ounces chilled champagne. It is fresh, sweet and oh-so-smooth. There is always something festive about a Bellini and it is particularly enjoyable after a long day of anything. All I really know is, it was the perfect drink as we toasted to conquering art in Venice before saying “Arrivederci” to all that!
San Marco 1323
Venezia, Italy 30124
+39 041 5285777
Sestiere Giudecca 773
Venezia, Italy 30133
+39 041 5224844