Venice Biennale

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Venice Biennale
Biennale di Venezia
it focuses on contemporary art,
and also includes events for art, contemporary dance, architecture, cinema and theatre
Frequencybiennial, every two years
Location(s)Venice, Italy
FounderVenetian City Council
The 65th Venice International Film Festival. The Golden Lion is awarded to the best film screened in competition at the festival.
Detail of exhibition
Biennalist Giardini Main Entrance
View of "Pump Room", a work by the Hungarian artist Balázs Kicsiny at the Venice Biennale in 2005
Works at 54th Venice Biennale, special edition for the 150 Anniversary of Italian Unification, 2011–12[1]

The Venice Biennale (/ˌbɛˈnɑːl, -li/; Italian: La Biennale di Venezia [la bi.enˈnaːle di veˈnɛttsja]; in English also called the "Venice Biennial") refers to an arts organization based in Venice and the name of the original and principal biennial exhibition the organization presents. The organization changed its name to the Biennale Foundation in 2009, while the exhibition is now called the Art Biennale to distinguish it from the organisation and other exhibitions the Foundation organizes.

The Art Biennale, a contemporary visual art exhibition and so called because it is held biennially (in odd-numbered years), is the original biennale on which others in the world have been modeled. The Biennale Foundation has a continuous existence supporting the arts as well as organizing the following separate events:

Common name Formal name Since Frequency
Art Biennale International Art Exhibition 1895 odd-numbered years
Biennale Musica International Festival of Contemporary Music 1930
Biennale Teatro International Theatre Festival 1934
Venice Film Festival Venice International Film Festival 1934 annually
Venice Biennale of Architecture International Architecture Exhibition 1980 even-numbered years (since 2000)
Dance Biennale International Festival of Contemporary Dance 1999[2] irregularly[3]
International Kids' Carnival 2009



On April 19, 1893 the Venetian City Council passed a resolution to set up an biennial exhibition of Italian Art ("Esposizione biennale artistica nazionale") to celebrate the silver anniversary of King Umberto I and Margherita of Savoy.[4]

A year later, the council decreed "to adopt a 'by invitation' system; to reserve a section of the Exhibition for foreign artists too; to admit works by uninvited Italian artists, as selected by a jury."[5]

The first Biennale, "I Esposizione Internazionale d'Arte della Città di Venezia (1st International Art Exhibition of the City of Venice)" (although originally scheduled for April 22, 1894) was opened on April 30, 1895 by the Italian King and Queen, Umberto I and Margherita di Savoia. The first exhibition was seen by 224,000 visitors.

The event became increasingly international in the first decades of the 20th century: from 1907 on, several countries installed national pavilions at the exhibition, with the first being from Belgium. In 1910 the first internationally well-known artists were displayed- a room dedicated to Gustav Klimt, a one-man show for Renoir, a retrospective of Courbet. A work by Picasso was removed from the Spanish salon in the central Palazzo because it was feared that its novelty might shock the public. By 1914 seven pavilions had been established: Belgium (1907), Hungary (1909), Germany (1909), Great Britain (1909), France (1912), and Russia (1914).

During World War I, the 1916 and 1918 events were cancelled. In 1920 the post of mayor of Venice and president of the Biennale was split. The new secretary general, Vittorio Pica brought about the first presence of avant-garde art, notably Impressionists and Post-Impressionists.

1922 saw an exhibition of sculpture by African artists. Between the two World Wars, many important modern artists had their work exhibited there. In 1928 the Istituto Storico d'Arte Contemporanea (Historical Institute of Contemporary Art) opened, which was the first nucleus of archival collections of the Biennale. In 1930 its name was changed into Historical Archive of Contemporary Art.

In 1930, the Biennale was transformed into an Ente Autonomo (Autonomous Board) by Royal Decree with law no. 33 of 13-1-1930. Subsequently, the control of the Biennale passed from the Venice city council to the national Fascist government under Benito Mussolini. This brought on a restructuring, an associated financial boost, as well as a new president, Count Giuseppe Volpi di Misurata. Three entirely new events were established, including the Biennale Musica in 1930, also referred to as International Festival of Contemporary Music; the Venice Film Festival in 1932, which they claim as the first film festival in history,[6] also referred to as Venice International Film Festival; and the Biennale Theatro in 1934, also referred to as International Theatre Festival.

In 1933 the Biennale organised an exhibition of Italian art abroad. From 1938, Grand Prizes were awarded in the art exhibition section.

During World War II, the activities of the Biennale were interrupted: 1942 saw the last edition of the events. The Film Festival restarted in 1946, the Music and Theatre festivals were resumed in 1947, and the Art Exhibition in 1948.[7]


The Art Biennale was resumed in 1948 with a major exhibition of a recapitulatory nature. The Secretary General, art historian Rodolfo Pallucchini, started with the Impressionists and many protagonists of contemporary art including Chagall, Klee, Braque, Delvaux, Ensor, and Magritte, as well as a retrospective of Picasso's work. Peggy Guggenheim was invited to exhibit her collection, later to be permanently housed at Ca' Venier dei Leoni.

1949 saw the beginning of renewed attention to avant-garde movements in European—and later worldwide—movements in contemporary art. Abstract expressionism was introduced in the 1950s, and the Biennale is credited with importing Pop Art into the canon of art history by awarding the top prize to Robert Rauschenberg in 1964.[8] From 1948 to 1972, Italian architect Carlo Scarpa did a series of remarkable interventions in the Biennales exhibition spaces.

In 1954 the island San Giorgio Maggiore provided the venue for the first Japanese Noh theatre shows in Europe. 1956 saw the selection of films following an artistic selection and no longer based upon the designation of the participating country. The 1957 Golden Lion went to Satyajit Ray's Aparajito which introduced Indian cinema to the West.

1962 included Arte Informale at the Art Exhibition with Jean Fautrier, Hans Hartung, Emilio Vedova, and Pietro Consagra. The 1964 Art Exhibition introduced continental Europe to Pop Art (The Independent Group had been founded in Britain in 1952). The American Robert Rauschenberg was the first American artist to win the Gran Premio, and the youngest to date.

The student protests of 1968 also marked a crisis for the Biennale. Student protests hindered the opening of the Biennale. A resulting period of institutional changes opened and ending with a new Statute in 1973. In 1969, following the protests, the Grand Prizes were abandoned. These resumed in 1980 for the Mostra del Cinema and in 1986 for the Art Exhibition.[9]

In 1972, for the first time a theme was adopted by the Biennale, called "Opera o comportamento" ("Work or Behaviour").

Starting from 1973 the Music Festival was no longer held annually. During the year in which the Mostra del Cinema was not held, there was a series of "Giornate del cinema italiano" (Days of Italian Cinema) promoted by sectorial bodies in campo Santa Margherita, in Venice.[10]


1974 saw the start of the four-year presidency of Carlo Ripa di Meana. The International Art Exhibition was not held (until it was resumed in 1976). Theatre and cinema events were held in October 1974 and 1975 under the title Libertà per il Cile (Freedom for Chile) – a major cultural protest against the dictatorship of Augusto Pinochet.

On 15 November 1977, the so-called Dissident Biennale (in reference to the dissident movement in the USSR) opened. Because of the ensuing controversies within the Italian left wing parties, president Ripa di Meana resigned at the end of the year.[11]

In 1979 the new presidency of Giuseppe Galasso (1979-1982) began. The principle was laid down whereby each of the artistic sectors was to have a permanent director to organise its activity.

In 1980 the Architecture section of the Biennale was set up. The director, Paolo Portoghesi, opened the Corderie dell'Arsenale to the public for the first time. At the Mostra del Cinema, the awards were brought back into being (between 1969 and 1979, the editions were non-competitive). In 1980, Achille Bonito Oliva and Harald Szeemann introduced "Aperto", a section of the exhibition designed to explore emerging art. Italian art historian Giovanni Carandente directed the 1988 and 1990 editions. A three-year gap was left afterwards to make sure that the 1995 edition would coincide with the 100th anniversary of the Biennale.

The 1993 edition was directed by Achille Bonito Oliva. In 1995, Jean Clair was appointed to be the Biennale's first non-Italian director of visual arts[12] while Germano Celant served as director in 1997.

For the Centenary in 1995, the Biennale promoted events in every sector of its activity: the 34th Festival del Teatro, the 46th art exhibition, the 46th Festival di Musica, the 52nd Mostra del Cinema.[13]


In 1999 and 2001, Harald Szeemann directed two editions in a row (48th & 49th) bringing in a larger representation of artists from Asia and Eastern Europe and more young artists than usual and expanded the show into several newly restored spaces of the Arsenale.

In 1999 a new sector was created for live shows: DMT (Dance Music Theatre).

The 50th edition, 2003, directed by Francesco Bonami, had a record number of seven co-curators involved, including Hans Ulrich Obrist, Catherine David, Igor Zabel, Hou Hanru and Massimiliano Gioni.

The 51st edition of the Biennale opened in June 2005, curated, for the first time by two women, Maria de Corral and Rosa Martinez. De Corral organized "The Experience of Art" which included 41 artists, from past masters to younger figures. Rosa Martinez took over the Arsenale with "Always a Little Further." Drawing on "the myth of the romantic traveler" her exhibition involved 49 artists, ranging from the elegant to the profane. In 2007, Robert Storr became the first director from the United States to curate the Biennale (the 52nd), with a show entitled Think with the Senses – Feel with the Mind. Art in the Present Tense. Swedish curator Daniel Birnbaum was artistic director of the 2009 edition, followed by the Swiss Bice Curiger in 2011.

The biennale in 2013 was curated by the Italian Massimiliano Gioni. His title and theme, Il Palazzo Enciclopedico / The Encyclopedic Palace, was adopted from an architectural model by the self-taught Italian-American artist Marino Auriti. Auriti's work, The Encyclopedic Palace of the World was lent by the American Folk Art Museum and exhibited in the first room of the Arsenale for the duration of the biennale. For Gioni, Auriti's work, "meant to house all worldly knowledge, bringing together the greatest discoveries of the human race, from the wheel to the satellite," provided an analogous figure for the "biennale model itself...based on the impossible desire to concentrate the infinite worlds of contemporary art in a single place: a task that now seems as dizzyingly absurd as Auriti's dream."[14]

Curator Okwui Enwezor was responsible for the 2015 edition.[15] He was the first African-born curator of the biennial. As a catalyst for imagining different ways of imagining multiple desires and futures Enwezor commissioned special projects and programs throughout the Biennale in the Giardini. This included a Creative Time Summit, e-flux journal's SUPERCOMMUNITY, Gulf Labor Coalition, The Invisible Borders Trans-African Project and Abounaddara.[16][17]

The Biennale has an attendance today of over 500,000 visitors.[18][19][20]

Artistic directors[edit]

Role in the art market[edit]

When the Venice Biennale was founded in 1895, one of its main goals was to establish a new market for contemporary art. Between 1942 and 1968 a sales office assisted artists in finding clients and selling their work,[23] a service for which it charged 10% commission. Sales remained an intrinsic part of the biennale until 1968, when a sales ban was enacted. An important practical reason why the focus on non-commodities has failed to decouple Venice from the market is that the biennale itself lacks the funds to produce, ship and install these large-scale works. Therefore, the financial involvement of dealers is widely regarded as indispensable.[8] Furthermore, every other year the Venice Biennale coincides with nearby Art Basel, the world's prime commercial fair for modern and contemporary art. Numerous galleries with artists on show in Venice usually bring work by the same artists to Basel.[24]

Central Pavilion and Arsenale[edit]

The formal Biennale is based at a park, the Giardini. The Giardini includes a large exhibition hall that houses a themed exhibition curated by the Biennale's director.

For the 2013 edition, the main exhibition's budget was about $2.3 million; in addition, more than $2 million were raised mostly from private individuals and foundations and philanthropists.[25]

Initiated in 1980, the Aperto began as a fringe event for younger artists and artists of a national origin not represented by the permanent national pavilions. This is usually staged in the Arsenale and has become part of the formal biennale programme. In 1995 there was no Aperto so a number of participating countries hired venues to show exhibitions of emerging artists.

A special edition of the 54th Biennale was held at Padiglione Italia of Torino Esposizioni – Sala Nervi (December 2011 – February 2012) for the 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification. The event was directed by Vittorio Sgarbi.[26]

National pavilions[edit]

The Giardini houses 30 permanent national pavilions. Alongside the Central Pavilion, built in 1894 and later restructured and extended several times, the Giardini are occupied by a further 29 pavilions built at different periods by the various countries participating in the Biennale. The Giardini are the property of the individual countries and are managed by their ministries of culture.[27]

Countries not owning a pavilion in the Giardini are exhibited in other venues across Venice. The number of countries represented is still growing. In 2005, China was showing for the first time, followed by the African Pavilion and Mexico (2007), the United Arab Emirates (2009), and India (2011).[28]

The assignment of the permanent pavilions was largely dictated by the international politics of the 1930s and the Cold War. There is no single format to how each country manages their pavilion, established and emerging countries represented at the biennial maintain and fund their pavilions in different ways.[27] While pavilions are usually government-funded, private money plays an increasingly large role; in 2015, the pavilions of Iraq, Ukraine and Syria were completely privately funded.[29] The pavilion for Great Britain is always managed by the British Council while the United States assigns the responsibility to a public gallery chosen by the Department of State which, since 1985, has been the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.[30] The countries at the Arsenale that request a temporary exhibition space pay a hire fee per square meter.[27]

In 2011, the countries were Albania, Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Belarus, Belgium, Brazil, Bulgaria, Canada, Chile, China, Congo, Costa Rica, Croatia, Cuba, Cyprus, Czech and Slovak Republics, Denmark, Egypt, Estonia, Finland, France, Georgia, Germany, Greece, Haiti, Hungary, Iceland, India, Iran, Iraq, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, San Marino, Saudi Arabia, Serbia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Syrian Arab Republic, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, United States of America, Uruguay, Venezuela, Wales and Zimbabwe. In addition to this there are two collective pavilions: Central Asia Pavilion and Istituto Italo-Latino Americano. In 2013, eleven new participant countries developed national pavilions for the Biennale: Angola, Bosnia and Hervegowina, the Bahamas, Bahrain, the Ivory Coast, Kosovo, Kuwait, the Maldives, Paraguay, Tuvalu, and the Holy See. In 2015, five new participant countries developed pavilions for the Biennale: Grenada [4], Republic of Mozambique, Republic of Seychelles, Mauritius and Mongolia. In 2017, three countries participated in the Art Biennale for the first time: Antigua & Barbuda, Kiribati, and Nigeria.[31]


List of exhibitors in the Albanian Pavilion:

  • 1999 — Alban Hajdinaj, Besnik & Flutura Haxhillari, Edi Hila, Lala Meredith-Vula, Gazmend Muka, Adrian Paci, Edi Rama, Anri Sala, Astrit Vatnikaj, Sislej Xhafa. (Curator: Edi Muka)
  • 2005 — Sislej Xhafa. (Commissioner and Curator: Andi Tepelena and Cecilia Tirelli)
  • 2007 — Helidon Gjergji, Genti Gjokola, Alban Hajdinaj, Armando Lulaj, Heldi Pema. (Commissioner: Rubens Shima. Curator: Bonnie Clearwater)
  • 2009 — Anila Rubiku, Orion Shima, Gentian Shkurti, Eltjon Valle, Driant Zeneli. (Commissioner: Parid Tefereçi. Curator: Riccardo Caldura)
  • 2015 — Armando Lulaj. (Curator: Marco Scotini)
  • 2017 — Leonard Qylafi. Curator: Vanessa Joan Müller)


In 1901, Argentina was the first Latin American nation to participate in the Biennale. In 2011, it was granted a pavilion in the Sale d'Armi, which it will restore.[32]

List of exhibitors in the Argentine Pavilion:


The original Australian Pavilion, designed by Philip Cox to be a temporary structure of fiber cement and steel,[33] was opened in 1988 at the western edge of the Giardini.[34] Italian-born Australian industrialist Franco Belgiorno-Nettis had previously lobbied so successfully that in 1988 Australia beat 16 other countries to the last site on which to build a permanent pavilion in the Giardini.[35] Cox and other generous donors gifted the pavilion to the Commonwealth Government.[36] The pavilion was not heritage protected because of its temporary status.[37] A new, permanent pavilion was designed by architectural practice Denton Corker Marshall and completed in 2015.[38] Built from concrete and steel, the two-story structure contains 240 square meters of exhibition space and the exterior is covered in black granite from Zimbabwe.[39] Australia's participation at the Venice Biennale is managed by the Australia Council for the Arts. However, all of the A$6 million ($6.04 million) originally needed for the new building were to be raised from the private sector.[38] Eventually, the pavilion cost $7.5 million to build, $1 million of which was funded by the Australia Council for the Arts; the rest was donated by 82 private Australian donors, including actress Cate Blanchett[39] and producer Santo Cilauro.[40]

List of exhibitors in the Australian Pavilion:


Designed by Joseph Hoffmann with the collaboration of Robert Kramreiter, 1934 (restored by Hans Hollein, 1984).[34] The clear symmetrical building, conceived as a white cube from the outset, was the first Venice pavilion to have been designed by a leading Classical Modern architect. The Hoffmann pavilion was not used following the annexation of Austria by the Third Reich in 1938, nor in the subsequent Biennale years of 1940 and 1942. Austrian artists with close ties to the Nazi regime were shown in the German Pavilion.[42]

List of exhibitors in the Austrian Pavilion:


List of exhibitors in the Azerbaijan Pavilion:

  • 2007 .............. (Curators – Leyla Akhundzade and Sabina Shikhlinskaya)
  • 2009 ............. (Curator – Leyla Akhundzade)
  • 2011 — Mikayil Abdurahmanov and Altai Sadighzadeh (paintings), Aidan Salakhova and Khanlar Gasimov (sculptures), Zeigam Azizov and Aga Ousseinov (multidisciplinary installations). Curators: Cinghiz Farzaliev and Beral Madra[43]
  • 2013 — Rashad Alakbarov, Sanan Aleskerov, Chingiz Babayev, Butunay Hagverdiyev, Fakhriyya Mammadova, Farid Rasulov (Curator: Herve Mikaeloff)
  • 2015 — Ashraf Murad, Javad Mirjavadov, Tofik Javadov, Rasim Babayev, Fazil Najafov, Huseyn Hagverdi, Shamil Najafzada (Curator: Emin Mammadov)
  • 2017 — HYPNOTICA, Elvin Nabizade (Curators: Emin Mammadov, Martin Roth)


Designed by Leon Sneyers, 1907 (totally restored by Virgilio Vallot, 1948).[34]

List of exhibitors in the Belgian Pavilion:

Bosnia and Herzegowina[edit]

List of exhibitors in the Bosnian Pavilion:

  • 2003 — Maja Bajevic, Jusuf Hadžifejzovic, Edin Numankadic, Nebojša Šeric-Šoba
  • 2013 — Mlаden Miljаnović
  • 2017 — Radenko Milak
  • 2019 — Danica Dakić


Designed by Amerigo Marchesin, 1964.[34]

List of exhibitors in the Brazilian Pavilion:


The Canadian pavilion was designed by the Milan-based architecture firm BBPR (Gian Luigi Banfi, Ludovico Barbiano di Belgiojoso, Enrico Peressutti, Ernesto Nathan Rogers) and was first used at the 1958 biennale.[34] The nation has been participating in the international exhibition since 1952.[45] The National Gallery of Canada took over the Venice selection process from the Canada Council in 2010.

List of exhibitors in the Canadian Pavilion:

Central Asia[edit]

The first Central Asian Pavilion was an initiative of Victor Miziano in 2005. The second pavilion was organized by Yulia Sorokina (Almaty) and the third by Beral Madra (Istanbul). Each of these was different in format and approach. The first one – Art from Central Asia. A Contemporary Archive – aimed at placing Central Asia on the 'map' of international art. Along the works of invited artists, there were many video compilations of films, performance and happenings presented by Central Asian artists from the end of the 1990s and beginning of 2000.

List of exhibitors in the Central Asia Pavilion:

  • 2005 — Said Atabekov, Vyacheslav Akhunov & Sergey Tychina, Maksim Boronilov & Roman Maskalev, Elena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev, Kasmalieva & Djumaliev, Sergey Maslov, Almagul Menlibaeva, Erbossyn Meldibekov, Alexander Nikolaev, Rustam Khalfin & Yulia Tikhonova (Curators: Viktor Misiano, Commissioner: Churek Djamgerchinova)
  • 2007 — Roman Maskalev, Almagul Menlibaeva & German Popov, Gulnur Mukazhanova, Alexander Nikolaev, Aleksey Rumyantsev, Alexander Ugay, Asia Animation, Said Atabekov, Vyacheslav Akhunov, Alla Girik & Oksana Shatalova, Digsys, Natalia Dyu, Zadarnovsky Brothers, Gaukhar Kiyekbayeva, Vyacheslav Useinov, Jamol Usmanov, Aytegin Muratbek Uulu, Jamshed Kholikov, ZITABL (Commissioner and curator: Yulia Sorokina)
  • 2009 — Ermek Jaenish, Jamshed Kholikov, Anzor Salidjanov, Oksana Shatalova, Elena Vorobyeva & Viktor Vorobyev (Curator: Beral Madra, Commissioner: Vittorio Urbani)
  • 2011 — Natalia Andrianova, Said Atabekov, Artyom Ernst, Galim Madanov and Zauresh Terekbay, Yerbossyn Meldibekov, Alexander Nikolaev, Marat Raiymkulov, Aleksey Rumyantsev and Alla Rumyantseva, Adis Seitaliev (Curators: Boris Chukhovich, Georgy Mamedov, Oksana Shatalova, Commissioners: Asel Akmatova, Andris Brinkmanis)


List of exhibitors in the Chilean Pavilion:

  • 2009 — Iván Navarro (Curators: Antonio Arévalo, Justo Pastor Mellado)
  • 2011 — Fernando Prats (Curator: Fernando Castro Flórez)
  • 2013 — Alfredo Jaar (Curator: Madeleine Grynsztejn)
  • 2015 — Paz Errázuriz, Lotty Rosenfeld (Curator: Nelly Richard)
  • 2017 — Bernardo Oyarzún (Curator: Ticio Escobar)


List of exhibitors in the Croatian Pavilion:[49]

  • 1993 — Milivoj Bijelić, Ivo Deković, and Željko Kipke
  • 1995 — Martina Kramer, Goran Petercol, Mirko Zrinščak, Ivan Faktor, Nina Ivančić, Damir Sokić, Mladen Stilinović, Dean Jokanović Toumin, Goran Trbuljak, Gorki Žanić
  • 1997 — Dalibor Martinis
  • 1999 — Zlatan Vrkljan
  • 2001 — Julije Knifer
  • 2003 — Boris Cvjetanović and Ana Opalić
  • 2010 — Saša Begović, Marko Dabrović, Igor Franić, Tanja Grozdanić, Petar Mišković, Silvije Novak, Veljko Oluić, Helena Paver Njirić, Lea Pelivan, Toma Plejić, Goran Rako, Saša Randić, Turato Idis, Pero Vuković e Tonči Žarnić
  • 2013 — Kata Mijatović (Curator: Branko Franceschi)
  • 2015 — Damir Očko (Curator: Marc Bembekoff)
  • 2017 — Tina Gverović, Marko Tadić (Curator: Branka Benčić)

Czech Republic and Slovakia[edit]

Designed by Otakar Novotný, 1926 (annex built by Boguslav Rychlinch, 1970).[34]

List of exhibitors in the Czech and Slovak Pavilion:

  • 1926 — Charlotte Schrötter-Radnitz
  • 1942 — Janko Alexy, Miloš Alexander Bazovský, Martin Benka, Ľudovít Fulla, Jan Hála, Jozef Kollar, Frantisek Kudlac, Eugen Lehotský, Gustav Mally, Peter Matejka, Lea Mrazova, Jan Mudroch, Karol Ondreička, Štefan Polkoráb, Teodor Tekel, Jaroslav Votruba, Júlia Kováciková-Horová, Vojtech Ihrisky, Jan Koniarek, Jozef Kostka, Ladislav Majerský, Fraňo Stefunko, Koloman Sokol
  • 1956 — Josef Lada, Adolf Zábranský, Jiří Trnka, Antonín Pelc, Cyril Bouda, Václav Karel, Kamil Lhoták, Antonín Strnadel, Vincenc Vingler, a.o.
  • 1964 — Vladimír Kompánek
  • 1966 — Jozef Kornucik, Vladimír Kompánek
  • 1970 — Jozef Jankovič
  • 1986 — Ivan Ouhel
  • 1993 — František Skála, Daniel Fischer
  • 1995 — Jozef Jankovič
  • 1999 — (Curators: Petra Hanáková and Alexandra Kusá)
  • 2001 — Jiří Surůvka, Ilona Németh (Curator: Katarína Rusnáková)
  • 2005 — Stanislav Filko, Jan Mančuška, Boris Ondreička (Curator: Marek Pokorný)
  • 2007 — Irena Jůzová (Curator: Tomáš Vlček)
  • 2009 — Roman Ondak (Curator: Kathrin Rhomberg)
  • 2011 — Dominik Lang (Curator: Yvona Ferencová)
  • 2013 — Petra Feriancová, Zbyněk Baladrán (Curator: Marek Pokorný)
  • 2015 — Jiří David (Curator: Katarína Rusnáková)
  • 2017 — Jana Želibská


Designed by Carl Brummer, 1932 (annex designed by Peter Koch, 1958).[34]

The Danish Arts Council Committee for International Visual Arts serves as commissioner for the Danish Pavilion at the Biennale, where Denmark has taken part since 1895.[50]

List of exhibitors in the Danish Pavilion:


Egypt was assigned a pavilion in 1952.

List of exhibitors in the Egyptian Pavilion:


The expositions at the Estonian Pavilion are regularly commissioned by the Center for Contemporary Arts, Estonia.

List of exhibitors in the Estonian Pavilion:

  • 2003 — Kaido Ole
  • 2005 — Mark Raidpere (Curator: Hanno Soans)
  • 2007 — Marko Mäetamm (Curator: Mika Hannula)
  • 2009 — Kristina Norman (Curator: Marko Laimre)
  • 2011 — Liina Siib
  • 2013 — Dénes Farkas
  • 2015 — Jaanus Samma (Curator: Eugenio Viola)
  • 2017 — Katja Novitskova (Curator: Kati Ilves)[54]
  • 2019 — Kris Lemsalu[55]


Designed by Alvar Aalto to be a temporary construction for the architecture biennale in 1956, the pavilion was later restored by Fredrik Fogh with the collaboration of Elsa Makiniemi, 1976–1982. Also used by Iceland.[34] In 2011, a big tree fell on the pavilion in Venice, effectively interrupting the Finnish exhibition in the 2011 biennale. The pavilion and the works exhibited there were damaged and the show had to be closed ahead of time. The pavilion was later restored in 2012 by Gianni Talamini.[56]

  • 2005 — Jaakko Heikkilä
  • 2007 — Maaria Wirkkala
  • 2011 — Vesa-Pekka Rannikko (Curator: Laura Köönikkä)
  • 2013 — Antti Laitinen, Terike Haapoja (Curators: Mika Elo, Marko Karo Harri Laakso)
  • 2015 — IC-98 – Visa Suonpää, Patrik Söderlund (Curator: Taru Elfving)
  • 2017 — Erkka Nissinen, Nathaniel Mellors (Curator: Xander Karskens)[57]
  • 2019 — Larissa Sansour[58]


The French pavilion was designed by Faust Finzi in 1912.[45]

List of exhibitors in the French Pavilion:


Gabon first participated in the Venice Biennale in 2009.

List of exhibitors in the Gabonese Pavilion:


List of exhibitors in the Georgian Pavilion:

  • 2009 — Koka Ramishvili (Curator: Khatuna Khabuliani)
  • 2013 — Bouillon Group, Thea Djordjadze, Nikoloz Lutidze, Gela Patashuri with Ei Arakawa and Sergei Tcherepnin, Gio Sumbadze (Commissioner: Marine Mizandari, curator: Joanna Warsza)
  • 2015 — Rusudan Khizanishvili, Irakli Bluishvili, Dimitri Chikvaidze, Joseph Sabia, Ia Liparteliani, Nia Mgaloblishvili, Sophio Shevardnadze (Curator: Nia Mgaloblishvili)
  • 2017 — Vajiko Chachkhiani (Curator: Julian Heynen)
  • 2019 — Anna K.E. (Curator: Margot Norton)[60]


The commissioner for the German contribution to Biennial is the German Foreign Ministry. On the recommendation of an advisory committee of museum directors and art experts, the ministry appoints a curator (formerly called a commissioner) responsible for the selection of the artists and the organisation of the contribution. This appointment is usually for two years in succession. The Sparkassen-Kulturfonds (culture fund) of the Deutscher Sparkassen- und Giroverband is the pavilion's main sponsor. The Goethe-Institut and, since 2013, the ifa Friends of the German Pavilion are also funders.[27]

From 1982 until 1990 the German Democratic Republic organized its own exhibitions in the former Pavilion of Decorative Art. Germany's pavilion was redesigned by Ernst Haiger and inaugurated in 1938 by the ruling Nazi government, a fact that has inspired artistic responses from some presenters.[45] It was originally designed by Daniele Donghi in 1909.[34]

List of exhibitors in the German Pavilion:

Great Britain[edit]

British Pavilion

Designed by Edwin Alfred Rickards, 1909.[34]

Since 1938 the British Council has been responsible for the British Pavilion in Venice.

List of exhibitors in the British Pavilion:


Designed by Brenno Del Giudice, M. Papandre, 1934.[34] In 1934, after the Biennale had organised a second exhibition in Athens (1993) — Greece officially took part for the first time in the Venice exhibition. The exhibitions at the pavilion are commissioned by the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Tourism.

List of exhibitors in the Greek Pavilion:


  • 1936 — Maria Anagnostopoulou, Umberto Argyros, Constantinos Artemis, Nicolas Asprogerakas (Commissioner: Typaldo Forestis)
  • 1936 — Konstantinos Maleas, Nikolaos Lytras, C. Stefanopoulo Alessandridi, Umberto Argyros, Aglae Papa (Commissioner: Typaldo Forestis)
  • 1938 — Constantin Parthenis, Michalis Tombros, Angelos Theodoropoulos (Commissioners: Antonios Benakis, Typaldo Forestis)
  • 1940 — Aginor Asteriadis, Yannis Mitarakis, Pavlos Rodokanakis, Dimitris Vitsoris, Bella Raftopoulou, Costis Papachristopoulos, George Zongolopoulos, Dimitrios Ghianoukakis, Alexandros Korogiannakis, Efthimios Papadimitriou
  • 1950 — Bouzianis Giorgos
  • 1976 — Michael Michaeledes, Aglaia Liberaki (Commissioner: Sotiris Messinis)
  • 1978 — Yannis Pappas (Commissioner: Sotiris Messinis)
  • 1980 — Pavlos (Dionysopoulos) (Commissioners: Sotiris Messinis, Emmanuel Mavrommatis)
  • 1982 — Diamantis Diamantopoulos, Costas Coulentianos (Commissioner: Sotiris Messinis)
  • 1984 — Christos Caras, George Georgiadis (Commissioner: Sotiris Messinis)
  • 1986 — Costas Tsoclis (Commissioners: Nelli Missirli, Sotiris Messinis)
  • 1988 — Vlassis Caniaris, Nikos Kessanlis (Commissioner: Emmanuel Mavrommatis)
  • 1990 — Georges Lappas, Yannis Bouteas (Commissioner: Manos Stefanidis)
  • 1993 — George Zongolopoulos (Commissioner: Efi Andreadi)
  • 1995 — Takis (Commissioner: Maria Marangou)
  • 1997 — Dimitri Alithinos, Stephen Antonakos, Totsikas, Alexandros Psychoulis (Commissioner: Efi Strousa)
  • 1999 — Costas Varotsos, Danae Stratou, Evanthia Tsantila (Commissioner: Anna Kafetsi)
  • 2001 — Nikos Navridis, Ilias Papailiakis, Ersi Chatziargyrou (Commissioner: Lina Tsikouta)
  • 2003 — Athanasia Kyriakakos, Dimitris Rotsios (Commissioner: Marina Fokidis)
  • 2005 — George Hadjimichalis (Commissioner: Katerina Koskina)
  • 2007 — Nikos Alexiou (Commissioner: Yorgos Tzirtzilakis)
  • 2009 — Lucas Samaras (Curator: Matthew Higgs)
  • 2011 — Diohandi (Curator: Maria Marangou)
  • 2013 — Stefanos Tsivopoulos (Curator: Syrago Tsiara)
  • 2015 — Maria Papadimitriou (Curator: Gabi Scardi)
  • 2017 — George Drivas (Curator: Orestis Andreadakis)

Hong Kong[edit]

List of exhibitors in the Hong Kong Pavilion:

  • 2009 — Pak Sheung Chuen (Curator: Tobias Berger)
  • 2011 — Kwok Mang Ho (known as Frog King)
  • 2013 — Lee Kit (Curators: Lars Nittve, Yung Ma)
  • 2015 — Tsang Kin-wah (Curators: Doryun Chong, Stella Fong)[66]
  • 2017 — Samson Young
  • 2019 — Shirley Tse (Curator: Christina Li)[67]

Holy See[edit]

  • 2013 — Studio Azzurro, Lawrence Carroll, Josef Koudelka
  • 2015 — Monika Bravo, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, Mário Macilau (Curator: Micol Forti)


Designed by Géza Rintel Maróti, 1909 (restored by Agost Benkhard, 1958).[34]

List of exhibitors in the Hungarian Pavilion:

  • 1968 — Ignác Kokas, Béla Kondor, Tibor Vilt
  • 1982 — Erzsébet Schaár (Commissioner: Géza Csorba)
  • 1984 — Imre Varga, György Vadász (Commissioner: Géza Csorba)
  • 1986 — Imre Bak, Ákos Birkás, Károly Kelemen, István Nádler (Commissioner: Katalin Néray)
  • 1988 — Imre Bukta, Sándor Pinczehelyi, Géza Samu (Commissioner: Katalin Néray)
  • 1990 — László Fehér (Commissioner: Katalin Néray)
  • 1993 — Joseph Kosuth, Viktor Lois (Commissioner: Katalin Keserü)
  • 1995 — György Jovánovics (Commissioner: Márta Kovalovszky)
  • 1997 — Róza El-Hassan, Judit Herskó, Éva Köves (Commissioner: Katalin Néray)
  • 1999 — Imre Bukta, Emese Benczúr, Attila Csörgö, Gábor Erdélyi, Mariann Imre (Curator: János Sturcz)
  • 2001 — Antal Lakner, Tamás Komoróczky (Curator: Júlia Fabényi, Barnabás Bencsik)
  • 2003 — Little Warsaw (András Gálik, Bálint Havas) (Curator: Zsolt Petrányi)
  • 2005 — Balázs Kicsiny (Curator: Péter Fitz)
  • 2007 — Andreas Fogarasi (Curator: Katalin Timár)
  • 2009 — Péter Forgács (Curator: András Rényi)
  • 2011 — Hajnal Németh (Curator: Miklós Peternák)
  • 2013 — Zsolt Asztalos (Curator: Gabriella Uhl)
  • 2015 — Szilárd Cseke (Curator: Kinga German)
  • 2017 — Gyula Várnai (Curator: Zsolt Petrányi)
  • 2019 — Tamás Waliczky (Curator: Zsuzsanna Szegedy-Maszák)[68]


In 1984, as Finland had joined Norway and Sweden in the Nordic Pavilion, Iceland was given the opportunity to rent the Finnish pavilion until 2006.[34] The Icelandic Art Center commissions the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.[69]

List of exhibitors in the Icelandish Pavilion:[70]


In 2011, India was represented for the first time after 116 years, with the support of the culture ministry and the organizational participation of the Lalit Kala Akademi.[45] Biennale organizers had reportedly invited the country in past years, but the government had declined, a decision attributed to a lack of communication between the culture ministry and the country's National Gallery of Modern Art.[45]


In 2011, Iraq returned to the Biennale for the first time after a 35-year absence. The title of the Iraq Pavilion was "Acqua Ferita" (translated as "Wounded Water"). Six Iraqi artists from two generations interpreted the theme of water in their works, which made up the exhibition.


List of exhibitors in the Irish Pavilion:

  • 1950 — Norah McGuinness, Nano Reid
  • 1956 — Louis le Brocquy, Hilary Heron
  • 1960 — Patrick Scott
  • 1993 — Dorothy Cross, Willie Doherty
  • 1995 — Kathy Prendergast
  • 1997 — Jaki Irvine, Alastair MacLennan
  • 1999 — Anne Tallentire
  • 2001 — Siobhan Hapaska, Grace Weir
  • 2003 — Katie Holten (Commissioner: Valerie Connor)
  • 2005 — Stephen Brandes, Mark Garry, Ronan McCrea, Isabel Nolan, Sarah Pierce, Walker and Walker (Commissioner: Sarah Glennie)
  • 2007 — Gerard Byrne (Commissioner: Mike Fitzpatrick)
  • 2009 — Sarah Browne, Gareth Kennedy, Kennedy Browne
  • 2011 — Corban Walker (Commissioner: Emily-Jane Kirwan)
  • 2013 — Richard Mosse (Commissioner: Anna O'Sullivan)
  • 2015 — Sean Lynch, The Rubberbandits (Commissioner: Mike Fitzpatrick; curator: Woodrow Kernohan)[72][73]
  • 2017 — Jesse Jones, Olwen Fouéré (Curator: Tessa Giblin)
  • 2019 — Eva Rothschild (Curator: Mary Cremin)


Designed by Zeev Rechter, 1952 (modified by Fredrik Fogh, 1966).[34] Somewhat unusual in the Giardini, the pavilion has three exhibition floors.

Partial list of exhibitors at the Israeli Pavilion:


"Palazzo Pro Arte": Enrico Trevisanato, façade by Marius De Maria and Bartholomeo Bezzi, 1895; new façade by Guido Cirilli, 1914; "Padiglione Italia", present façade by Duilio Torres, 1932. The pavilion has a sculpture garden by Carlo Scarpa, 1952 and the "Auditorium Pastor" by Valeriano Pastor, 1977.[34]

Partial list of exhibitors at the Italian Pavilion:


Designed by Takamasa Yoshizaka, 1956.[34] Japan has the longest history at the Venice Biennale compared to any other Asian nation.

List of exhibitors in the Japanese Pavilion:

  • 1952 — Taikan Yokoyama, Kokei Kobayashi, Kiyotaka Kaburaki, Heihachirō Fukuda, Kyujin Yamamoto, Kenji Yoshioka, Sotaro Yasui, Shinsen Tokuoka, Ryuzaburo Umehara, Ichiro Fukuzawa, Kigai Kawaguchi
  • 1954 — Hanjiro Sakamoto, Taro Okamoto
  • 1956 — Kunitaro Suda, Kazu Wakita, Takeo Yamaguchi, Shigeru Ueki, Toyoichi Yamamoto, Shiko Munakata
  • 1958 — Ichiro Fukuzawa, Kawabata Ryushi, Seison Maeda, Kenzo Okada, Yoshi Kinouchi, Shindo Tsuji
  • 1960 — Toshimitsu Imai, Yoshishige Saito, Kei Sato, Kaoru Yamaguchi, Tadahiro Ono, Tomonori Toyofuku, Yoshitatsu Yanagihara, Yozo Hamaguchi
  • 1962 — Kinuko Emi, Minoru Kawabata, Kumi Sugai, Tadashi Sugimata, Ryokichi Mukai
  • 1964 — Yoshishige Saito, Toshinobu Onosato, Hisao Domoto, Tomonori Toyofuku
  • 1966 — Toshinobu Onosato, Masuo Ikeda, Morio Shinoda, Ay-O
  • 1968 — Tomio Miki, Kumi Sugai, Jiro Takamatsu, Katsuhiro Yamaguchi
  • 1970 — Nobuo Sekine
  • 1972 — Kenji Usami, Shintaro Tanaka
  • 1976 — Kishin Shinoyama
  • 1978 — Koji Enokura, Kishio Suga
  • 1980 — Koji Enokura, Susumu Koshimizu, Isamu Wakabayashi
  • 1982 — Naoyoshi Hikosaka, Yoshio Kitayama, Tadashi Kawamata
  • 1984 — Kosho Ito, Kyoji Takubo, Kosai Hori
  • 1986 — Isamu Wakabayashi, Masafumi Maita
  • 1988 — Shigeo Toya, Keiji Umematsu, Katsura Funakoshi
  • 1990 — Toshikatsu Endo, Saburo Muraoka
  • 1993 — Yayoi Kusama
  • 1995 — Katsuhiko Hibino, Yoichiro Kawaguchi, Hiroshi Senju, Jae Eun Choi
  • 1997 — Rei Naito
  • 2003 — Yutaka Sone, Motohiko Odani
  • 2005 — Ishiuchi Miyako
  • 2007 — Masao Okabe (Commissioner: Chihiro Minato)
  • 2009 — Miwa Yanagi
  • 2011 — Tabaimo (Curator: Yuka Uematsu)
  • 2013 — Koki Tanaka (Curator: Mike Kuraya)
  • 2015 — Chiharu Shiota (Curator: Hitoshi Nakano)
  • 2017 — Takahiro Iwasaki (Curator: Meruro Washida)[77]

Republic of Kosovo[edit]

List of exhibitors in the Kosovo Pavilion:

  • 2013 — Petrit Halilaj (Curator: Kathrin Rhonberg. Commissioner: Erzen Shkololli)
  • 2015 — Flaka Haliti (Curator: Nicolaus Schafhausen)
  • 2017 — Sislej Xhafa (Curator: Arta Agani, Commissioner: Valon Ibraj)


List of exhibitors in the Kuwait Pavilion:


Lebanon was present at the Biennale for the first time in 2007.[79] After being absent in 2009 and 2011, it is coming back in 2013.[80]


List of exhibitors in the Lithuanian Pavilion:

  • 1999 — Mindaugas Navakas and Eglė Rakauskaitė
  • 2001 — Deimantas Narkevičius
  • 2003 — Svajonė Stanikas and Paulius Stanikas
  • 2005 — Jonas Mekas
  • 2007 — Nomeda Urbonienė and Gediminas Urbonas
  • 2009 — Žilvinas Kempinas
  • 2011 — Darius Mikšys
  • 2013 — Gintaras Didžiapetris, Elena Narbutaitė, Liudvikas Buklys, Kazys Varnelis, Vytautė Žilinskaitė, Morten Norbye Halvorsen, Jason Dodge, Gabriel Lester, Dexter Sinister (Curator: Raimundas Malašauskas)
  • 2015 — Dainius Liškevičius
  • 2017 — Žilvinas Landzbergas
  • 2019 — Nida Art Colony


The Cà del Duca, situated on the Canale Grande, has been the permanent site for Luxembourg's participations in the Venice Biennale since 1999.

List of exhibitors in the Luxembourg Pavilion:

  • 1990 — Marie-Paule Feiereisen
  • 1993 — Jean-Marie Biwer, Bertrand Ney
  • 1995 — Bert Theis
  • 1997 — Luc Wolf
  • 1999 — Simone Decker
  • 2001 — Doris Drescher
  • 2003 — Su-Mei Tse
  • 2007 — Jill Mercedes
  • 2009 — Gast Bouschet, Nadine Hilbert
  • 2011 — Martine Feipel, Jean Bechameil (Curator: René Kockelkorn)
  • 2013 — Catherine Lorent
  • 2015 — Filip Markiewicz (Curator: Paul Ardenne)
  • 2017 — Mike Bourscheid (Curator: Kevin Muhlen)
  • 2019 — Marco Godinho[81]


List of exhibitors in the Macao Pavilion:

  • 2015 — Mio Pang Fei


List of exhibitors in the Republic of Macedonia Pavilion:

  • 1993 — Gligor Stefanov and Petre Nikoloski
  • 1997 — Aneta Svetieva
  • 1999 — Iskra Dimitrova
  • 2001 — Javon Sumkovski
  • 2003 — Zaneta Bangeli and Vana Urosebic
  • 2005 — Antoni Maznevski
  • 2007 — Blagoja Manevski
  • 2009 — Nikola Uzunovski and Goce Nanevski
  • 2011 — Zarko Basevski and ZERO
  • 2013 — Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva
  • 2015 — Hristina Ivanoska, Yane Calovski (Curator: Basak Senova)
  • 2017 — Tome Adzievski (Curator: Branislav Sarkanjac)


The Maldives Pavilion was introduced in 2013.[82] List of exhibitors in the Maldives Pavilion:

  • 2013 — Mohamed Ali, Sama Alshaibi, Ursula Biemann, Stefano Cagol, Wael Darwesh, Moomin Fouad, Thierry Geoffrey (aka Colonel), Khaled Hafez, Heidrun Holzfeind & Christoph Draeger, Hanna Husberg, Laura McLean & Kalliopi Tsipni-Kolaza, Achilleas Kentonis & Maria Papacaharalambous, Paul Miller (aka DJ Spooky), Gregory Niemeyer, Khaled Ramada, Oliver Ressler, Klaus Schafler, Patrizio Travagli, Wooloo (Sixten Kai Nielsen and Martin Rosengaard), (Curators CPS – Chamber of Public Secrets: Alfredo Cramerotti, Aida Eltorie, Khaled Ramadan)


The Malta Pavilion returned to the Venice Biennale in 2017.[83] They also exhibited in 2000 and 1958. List of exhibitors in the Malta Pavilion:


The Pavilion of Mauritius was introduced in 2015 with an exhibition ‘From One Citizen You Gather an Idea’.

  • 2015 — Tania Antoshina, Djuneid Dulloo, Sultana Haukim, Nirmal Hurry, Alix Le Juge, Olga Jürgenson, Helge Leiberg, Krishna Luchoomun, Bik Van Der Pol, Vitaly Pushnitsky, Römer + Römer, Kavinash Thomoo (Curators: Olga Jürgenson, Alfredo Cramerotti, Commissioner: pARTage)
  • 2017 — Michael Lalljee, Robert Rauschenberg, SEO, Jacques Desiré, Wong So (Curator: Olga Jürgenson, Executor: Krishna Luchoomun, Commissioner: Thivynaidoo Perumal Naiken)


The Mexican Pavilion was introduced for the first time in 1950 with the participation of the Muralists: David Alfaro Siqueiros, Diego Rivera, José Clemente Orozco and Rufino Tamayo. For this participation, David Alfaro Siqueiros was awarded the 1st prize to foreign artists. The national participation was interrupted until 2007. The exhibitors that have represented the pavilion are:


Mongolia took part in the Venice Art Biennale for the first time in 2015. This pioneering step was taken and commissioned by Gantuya Badamgarav, Founding Director of Mongolian Contemporary Art Support Association. The project did not get financial support from the government of Mongolia. However Mayor of Ulaanbaatar city Bat-Eul Erdene helped raising fund from Mongolian businessmen.

Names of exhibitions, exhibitors, curators and organizers of the Mongolia Pavilion:


In 1914, the Swedish Pavilion, designed by Gustav Ferdninand Boberg, was handed over to the Netherlands. In 1954 the Dutch pavilion was demolished and reconstructed on the same site, designed by Gerrit Thomas Rietveld in 1954.[34]

Since 1995, the Mondriaan Foundation has been responsible for the Dutch entry at the Biennale di Venezia, appointing a curator for each entry.

Dutch artists and curators of previous editions:

New Zealand[edit]

List of exhibitors in the New Zealand Pavilion:

The Nordic Countries[edit]

Designed by Sverre Fehn, 1962 (small annex built by Fredrik Fogh, 1987).[34]

The cooperation between Finland, Norway and Sweden in Venice was initiated in 1962 after the completion of the Nordic Pavilion. Until 1984, the representation of each country was organized nationally.[85] From 1986 to 2009 the pavilion was commissioned as a whole, with the curatorial responsibility alternating between the collaborating countries. From 2011 the cooperation has been temporarily discontinued. In a trial period lasting from 2011 until 2015, the pavilion was used for a national presentation: Sweden in 2011, Finland in 2013, and Norway in 2015.[86]

List of exhibitors in the Nordic Pavilion:[87]

  • 1962 — FINLAND: Ahti Lavonen, Kain Tapper, Esko Tirronen; NORWAY: Rolf Nesch, Knut Rumohr; SWEDEN: Siri Derkert, Per Olof Ulltvedt
  • 1964 — FINLAND: Ina Colliander, Simo Hannula, Pentti Kaskipuro, Laila Pullinen; NORWAY: Hannah Ryggen; SWEDEN: Torsten Andersson, Martin Holmgren, Torsten Renqvist
  • 1966 — FINLAND: Heikki Häiväoja, Harry Kivijärvi, Sam Vanni; NORWAY: Jakob Weidemann; SWEDEN: Öyvind Fahlström
  • 1968 — FINLAND: Mauno Hartman, Kimmo Kaivanto, Ahti Lavonen; NORWAY: Gunnar S. Gundersen; SWEDEN: Sivert Lindblom, Arne Jones
  • 1970 — FINLAND: Juhani Linnovaara; NORWAY: Arnold Haukeland; SWEDEN: Did not participate
  • 1972 — FINLAND: Harry Kivijärvi, Pentti Lumikangas; NORWAY: Arne Ekeland; SWEDEN: Did not participate
  • 1976 — FINLAND: Mikko Jalavisto, Tapio Junno, Kimmo Kaivanto, Ulla Rantanen; NORWAY: Boge Berg, Steinar Christensen/Kristian Kvakland, Arvid Pettersen; SWEDEN: ARARAT (Alternative Research in Architecture, Resources, Art and Technology)
  • 1978 — FINLAND: Olavi Lanu; NORWAY: Frans Widerberg; SWEDEN: Lars Englund
  • 1980 — FINLAND: Matti Kujasalo; NORWAY: Knut Rose; SWEDEN: Ola Billgren, Jan Håfström
  • 1982 — FINLAND: Juhana Blomstedt; NORWAY: Synnøve Anker Aurdal; SWEDEN: Ulrik Samuelson
  • 1984 — FINLAND: Kain Tapper, Carl-Erik Ström; NORWAY: Bendik Riis; SWEDEN: Curt Asker
  • 1986 — "Techne": Bård Breivik (NO), Marianne Heske (NO), Olli Lyytikäinen (FI), Kjell Ohlin (SE), Erik H. Olson (SE), Silja Rantanen (FI), Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd (SE), Osmo Valtonen (FI) (Curator: Mats B.)
  • 1988 — Per Inge Bjørlo (NO), Rolf Hanson (SE), Jukka Mäkelä (FI) (Curator: Maaretta Jaukkuri, FI)
  • 1990 — "Cavén, Barclay, Håfström": Per Barclay (NO), Kari Cavén (FI), Jan Håfström (SE) (Curator: Per Hovdenakk, NO)
  • 1993 — Jussi Niva (FI), Truls Melin (SE), Bente Stokke (NO) (Curator: Lars Nittve, SE)
  • 1995 — Eva Løfdahl (SE), Per Maning (NO), Nina Roos (FI) (Curator: Timo Valjakka, FI)
  • 1997 — "Naturally Artificial": Henrik Håkansson (SE), Mark Dion (US), Marianna Uutininen (FI), Mariko Mori (JP), Sven Påhlsson (NO) (Curator: Jon-Ove Steihaug, NO)
  • 1999 — "End of a Story": Annika von Hausswolff (SE), Knut Åsdam (NO), Eija-Liisa Ahtila (FI). (Curator: John Peter Nilsson, SE)
  • 2001 — "The North is Protected": Leif Elggren (SE), Tommi Grönlund/Petteri Nisunen (FI), Carl Michael von Hausswolff (SE), Anders Tomren (NO) (Curators: Grönlund/Nisunen, FI)
  • 2003 — "Devil-May-Care": Karin Mamma Andersson (SE), Kristina Bræin (NO), Liisa Luonila (FI) (Curators: Anne Karin Jortveit and Andrea Kroksnes, NO)
  • 2005 — "Sharing Space Dividing Time": Miriam Bäckström and Carsten Höller (SE/DE), Matias Faldbakken (NO) (Curator: Åsa Nacking, SE)
  • 2007 — "Welfare — Fare Well": Adel Abidin (IQ/FI), Jacob Dahlgren (SE), Lars Ramberg (NO), Toril Goksøyr & Camilla Martens (NO), Sirous Namazi (SE), Maaria Wirkkala FI (Curator: René Block, DE)
  • 2009 — "The Collectors" (in collaboration with the Danish Pavilion): Elmgreen and Dragset, Klara Lidén (SE), Wolfgang Tillmans (DE) and others (Curators: Elmgreen & Dragset, DK/NO)
  • 2011 — SWEDEN: Fia Backström, Andreas Eriksson (Curator: Magnus af Petersens)
  • 2013 — FINLAND: Terike Haapoja (Curators: Mika Elo, Marko Karo, Harri Laakso)
  • 2015 — NORWAY: Camille Norment (Curator: Katya García-Antón)
  • 2017 — Curator: Mats Stjernstedt

Northern Ireland[edit]

List of exhibitors in the Northern Ireland Pavilion:

  • 2005 — "The Nature of Things", group show with Patrick Bloomer, Patrick Keogh, Ian Charlesworth, Factotum, Séamus Harahan, Michael Hogg, Sandra Johnston, Mary McIntyre, Katrina Moorhead, William McKeown, Darren Murray, Aisling O'Beirn, Peter Richards and Alistair Wilson (curator: Hugh Mulholland)
  • 2007 — Willie Doherty (Curator: Hugh Mulholland)
  • 2009 — Susan MacWilliam (Curator: Karen Downey)


List of exhibitors in the Peruvian Pavilion:

  • 2015 — Raimond Chávez, Gilda Mantilla (Curator: Max Hernández-Calvo)
  • 2017 — Juan Javier Salazar (Curator: Rodrigo Quijano)


List of exhibitors in the Philippines Pavilion:

  • 1964 — Jose Joya
  • 2015 — Manuel Conde, Carlos Francisco, Manny Montelibano, Jose Tence Ruiz (Curator: Patrick D. Flores)
  • 2017 — Manuel Ocampo, Lani Maestro (Curator: Joselina Cruz)[88]


List of exhibitors in the Polish Pavilion:


Romania owns a National Pavilion in the Giardini since 1938, bought from the Italian state when the Venice Pavilion (built in 1932, architect Brenno Del Giudice) was enlarged.[90] The interior was planned under the attention of Nicolae Iorga. It was initially designed as an art salon with three rooms (the main, tall show room being flanked by two smaller ones) and it stayed like that until 1962, when the walls were demolished, uniting the three rooms into one single salon. The initial architecture was recreated in 2015, albeit temporarily, by architect Attila Kim for Adrian Ghenie's Darwin's Room. Since 1997, the Romanian Institute for Culture and Research in Humanities (also known as Casa Romena di Venezia, based in Palazzo Correr) has hosted intermittently parallel exhibitions representing Romania at the Venice Biennale.

Detailed list of Romanian participations:[91]


Designed by Alexey Shchusev in 1914. In 1922, 1938—1954, and 1978—1980 pavilion was closed. In both 1926 and 1936 Russian pavilion hosted exhibition of Italian Futurism curated by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti.

List of exhibitors in the Russian Pavilion:

San Marino[edit]

List of exhibitors:[95]

  • 2009
  • 2011 — Group exhibition of 13 artists, including Dorothee Albrecht, Marco Bravura, Cristian Ceccaroni, Daniela Comani, Ottavio Fabbri, Verdiano Manzi, Patrizia Merendi, Omar Paolucci, Cristina Rotondaro, Lars Teichmann, Thea Tini, Daniela Tonelli, Paola Turroni
  • 2015 — Group exhibition of 11 artists, including Xu De Qi, Liu Ruo Wang, Ma Yuan, Li Lei, Zhang Hong Mei, Eleonora Mazza, Giovanni Giulianelli, Giancarlo Frisoni, Tony Margiotta, Elisa Monaldi, Valentina Pazzini


List of exhibitors in the Scottish Pavilion:


List of exhibitors in the Serbian Pavilion:

  • 2012 — Marija Mikovic, Marija Strajnic, Olga Lazarevic, Janko Tadic, Nebojsa Stevanovic, Milos Zivkovic, Aleksandar Ristovic, Nikola Andonov, Milan Dragic and Marko Marovic [98]
  • 2015 — Ivan Grubanov (Curator: Lidija Merenik)[99]


The Seychelles Pavilion was first introduced in 2015, by the proposal of artist Nitin Shroff,[100] featuring "A Clockwork Sunset".[101] The Pavilion was commissioned by the Seychelles Art Projects Foundation and curated by Sarah J. McDonald and Victor Schaub Wong.

List of exhibitors in the Seychelles Pavilion:

  • 2015 — George Camille, Leon Wilma Lois Radegonde

The 2017 Seychelles Pavilion featured the work of Group Sez, a collective comprising the following artists:

  • 2017 — Alyssa Adams, Tristan Adams, George Camille, Christine Chetty-Payet, Zoe Chong Seng, Daniel Dodin, Charle Dodo, Allen Ernesta, Christine Harter, Nigel Henri, Alcide Libanotis, Marc Luc, Egbert Marday, Colbert Nourrice, Leon Radegonde, Danny Sopha.

The Pavilion was commissioned by the government of the Republic of Seychelles (commissioner Benjamine Rose) and curated by Martin Kennedy under the exhibition title 'Slowly, Quietly'.


List of exhibitors in the Singapore Pavilion:

  • 2001 — Chen KeZhan, Salleh Japar, Matthew Ngui, Suzanne Victor
  • 2003 — Heman Chong, Francis Ng, Tan Swie Hian
  • 2005 — Lim Tzay Chuen (Curator: Eugene Tan)[102]
  • 2007 — Tang Da Wu, Vincent Leow, Jason Lim and Zulkifle Mahmod (Curator: Lindy Poh)
  • 2009 — Ming Wong (Curator: Tang Fu Kuen)
  • 2011 — Ho Tzu Nyen (Curator: June Yap)
  • 2015 — Charles Lim (Curator: Shabbir Hussain Mustafa)
  • 2017 — Zai Kuning (Curator: June Yap)


List of exhibitors in the Slovenian Pavilion:

  • 2007 — Tobias Putrih
  • 2009 — Miha Štrukelj
  • 2013 — Jasmina Cibic[103]
  • 2015 — Jaša Mrevlje Pollak (Curators: Michele Drascek, Aurora Fonda)[104]
  • 2017 — Nika Autor (Curator: Andreja Hribernik)[104]
  • 2019 — Marko Peljhan

South Africa[edit]

  • 1993 — Jackson Hlungwane, Sandra Kriel, Tommy Matswai (Curator: Christopher Till)
  • 1995 — Randolph Hartzenberg, Brett Murray (Curator: Malcolm Payne)
  • 2011 — Mary Sibande, Siemon Allen, Lyndi Sales (Curator: Thembinkosi Goniwe)
  • 2013 — Nelisiwe Xaba, Zanele Muholi, Wim Botha, Joanne Bloch, David Koloane, Gerhard Marx, Maja Marx, Philip Miller, Cameron Platter, John Muafangejo, Johannes Phokela, Andrew Putter, Alfred Martin Duggan-Cronin, Penny Siopis, Kay Hassan, Sue Williamson, Donna Kukama, Athi-Patra Ruga, James Webb, Kemang wa Lehulere, Sam Nhlengethwa (Curator: Brenton Maart)
  • 2015 — Willem Boshoff, Haroon Gunn-Salie, Angus Gibson, Mark Lewis, Gerald Machona, Mohau Modisakeng, Nandipha Mntambo, Brett Murray, Serge Alain Nitegeka, Jo Ratcliffe, Robin Rhode, Warrick Sony, Diane Victor, Jeremy Wafer (Curators: Christopher Till and Jeremy Rose)
  • 2017 — Candice Breitz, Mohau Modisakeng (Curator: Lucy MacGarry)[105]

South Korea[edit]

Designed by Seok Chul Kim and Franco Mancuso, 1995.[34]

South Korea has participated in the Venice Biennale since 1995.[106]

List of exhibitors in the South Korean Pavilion:

  • 1995 — Yoon Hyong Keun, Kwak Hoon, Kim In Kyum, Jheon Soocheon (Commissioner: Il Lee)
  • 1997 — Hyungwoo Lee, Ik-joong Kang (Curator: Oh Kwang Soo)
  • 1999 — Lee Bul, Noh Sang-Kyoon (Curator: Misook Song)
  • 2001 — Michael Joo, Do-Ho Suh (Commissioner: Kyung-mee Park)
  • 2003 — Whang In Kie, Bahc Yiso, Chung Seoyoung (Commissioner: Kim Hong-Hee)
  • 2007 — Hyungkoo Lee (Commissioner: Soyeon Ahn)
  • 2009 — Haegue Yang (Commissioner: Eungie Joo)
  • 2011 — Lee Yong-baek (Commissioner: Yun Chea-gab)
  • 2013 — Kimsooja (Curator: Seungduk Kim)
  • 2015 — Moon Kyungwon, Jeon Joonho (Curator: Sook-Kyung Lee)
  • 2017 — Cody Choi, Lee Wan (Curator: Lee Daehyung)


Designed by Javier de Luque, 1922 (façade restored by Joaquin Vaquero Palacios, 1952).[34]

List of exhibitors in the Spanish Pavilion:


Pavillon designed by Bruno Giacometti, 1952.[34] Between 1990 and 2009, Switzerland also used the San Stae church as exhibition venue. From 1932 until 1952 Switzerland had another pavilion, designed by Brenno Del Giudice on the island Sant'Elena.

As of 2012, Pro Helvetia has assumed responsibility for the Swiss contributions to the Venice Biennale.

List of exhibitors in the Swiss Pavilion:


In 2013, Turkey signed a 20-year lease for a national pavilion at the Venice Biennale. The state-funded Istanbul Foundation for Culture and Arts is the co-ordinator of the Turkish pavilion.[110]

List of exhibitors in the Turkish Pavilion:

  • 1990 — Kemal Önsoy, Mithat Şen (Curator: Beral Madra)
  • 1993 — Erdağ Aksel, Serhat Kiraz, Jȧrg Geismar, Adem Yilmaz (Curator: Beral Madra)
  • 2001 — Murat Morova, Butch Morris, Ahmet Öktem, Sermin Sherif, (Güven Icirlioğlu & Hakan Topal) (Curator: Beral Madra)
  • 2003 — Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ergin Çavuşoğlu, Gül Ilgaz, Neriman Polat, Nazif Topçuoğlu (Curator: Beral Madra)
  • 2005 — Hussein Chalayan (Curator: Beral Madra)
  • 2007 — Hüseyin Alptekin (Curator: Vasif Kortun)
  • 2009 — Banu Cennetoğlu, Ahmet Ögüt (Curator: Basak Senova)
  • 2011 — Ayşe Erkmen (Curator: Fulya Erdemci)
  • 2013 — Ali Kazma (Curator: Emre Baykal)
  • 2015 — Sarkis (Curator: Defne Ayas)[111]
  • 2017 — Cevdet Erek[112]
  • 2019 — İnci Eviner (Curator: Zeynep Öz)


Despite the cost to the third world country, Tuvalu decided to develop its first national pavilion in 2013 to highlight the negative effects of global warming on the nation, which is forecast to be one of the first countries to disappear due to sea level rise caused by climate change.[113] After working closely with Taiwanese eco artist Vincent J.F. Huang at the 2012 UNFCCC COP18 session in Doha, Qatar and collaborating with the artist on several occasions, Tuvalu's government invited Huang to act as the representative artist for the pavilion.[113] All of the artworks at the 2013 Tuvalu Pavilion focused on climate change and included In the Name of Civilization, a giant oil rig turned agent of destruction, and Prisoner's Dilemma, a depiction of the Statue of Liberty kneeling in apology to ghostly portraits of terra-cotta penguins symbolic of ecological sacrifices made to further the development of human civilization.[114]

List of exhibitors for the Tuvalu Pavilion:

  • 2013 — Vincent J.F. Huang (Curators: An-Yi Pan, Li Szuhsien, Shih Shuping)
  • 2015 — Vincent J.F. Huang (Curator: Thomas J. Berghuis)


The PinchukArtCentre sponsored Ukraine's pavilions in 2007, 2009 and 2015.[29]

List of exhibitors in the Ukrainian Pavilion:

  • 2005 — Mykola Babak «Your Children, Ukraine» (Curator: Oleksiy Tytarenko)
  • 2011 — Oksana Mas «Post-vs-Proto-Renaissance» (Curator: Oleksiy Rogotchenko)
  • 2013 — Ridnyi Mykola, Zinkovskyi Hamlet, Kadyrova Zhanna (Curators: Soloviov Oleksandr, Burlaka Victoria)
  • 2015 — Yevgenia Belorusets, Nikita Kadan, Zhanna Kadyrova, Mykola Ridnyi & Serhiy Zhadan, Artem Volokitin, Anna Zvyagintseva and Open Group (Curator: Björn Geldhof)
  • 2017 — Boris Mikhailov (Curator: Peter Doroshenko)

United Arab Emirates[edit]

The United Arab Emirates' Venice pavilion first opened in 2009, but 2015 was the first time an Emirati has served as curator.

List of exhibitors in the UAE Pavilion:

United States[edit]

The United States Pavilion at the Venice Biennale was constructed in 1930[116] by the Grand Central Art Galleries, a nonprofit artists' cooperative established in 1922 by Walter Leighton Clark together with John Singer Sargent, Edmund Greacen, and others.[117] As stated in the Galleries' 1934 catalog, the organization's goal was to "give a broader field to American art; to exhibit in a larger way to a more numerous audience, not in New York alone but throughout the country, thus displaying to the world the inherent value which our art undoubtedly possesses."[118]

In 1930 Walter Leighton Clark and the Grand Central Art Galleries spearheaded the creation of the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.[119][120] The pavilion's architects were William Adams Delano, who also designed the Grand Central Art Galleries, and Chester Holmes Aldrich. The purchase of the land, design, and construction was paid for by the galleries and personally supervised by Clark. As he wrote in the 1934 catalog:

"Pursuing our purpose of putting American art prominently before the world, the directors a few years ago appropriated the sum of $25,000 for the erection of an exhibition building in Venice on the grounds of the International Biennial. Messrs. Delano and Aldrich generously donated the plans for this building which is constructed of Istrian marble and pink brick and more than holds its own with the twenty-five other buildings in the Park owned by the various European governments."[118]

The pavilion, owned and operated by the galleries, opened on May 4, 1930. Approximately 90 paintings and 12 sculptures were selected by Clark for the opening exhibition. Artists featured included Max Boehm, Hector Caser, Lillian Westcott Hale, Edward Hopper, Abraham Poole, Julius Rolshoven, Joseph Pollet, Eugene Savage, Elmer Shofeld, Ofelia Keelan, and African-American artist Henry Tanner. U.S. Ambassador John W. Garrett opened the show together with the Duke of Bergamo.[116]

The Grand Central Art Galleries operated the U.S. Pavilion until 1954, when it was sold to the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). Throughout the 1950s and 1960s shows were organized by MOMA, Art Institute of Chicago, and Baltimore Museum of Art. The Modern withdrew from the Biennale in 1964, and the United States Information Agency ran the Pavilion until it was sold to the Guggenheim Foundation courtesy of funds provided by the Peggy Guggenheim Collection.[121]

Since 1986 the Peggy Guggenheim Collection has worked with the United States Information Agency, the US Department of State and the Fund for Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions in the organization of the visual arts exhibitions at the US Pavilion, while the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation has organized the comparable shows at the Architecture Biennales. Every two years museum curators from across the U.S. detail their visions for the American pavilion in proposals that are reviewed by the NEA Federal Advisory Committee on International Exhibitions (FACIE), a group comprising curators, museum directors and artists who then submit their recommendations to the public-private Fund for United States Artists at International Festivals and Exhibitions.[122] Traditionally the endowment's selection committee has chosen a proposal submitted by a museum or curator, but in 2004 it simply chose an artist who in turn has nominated a curator, later approved by the State Department.[123]


Partial list of exhibitors at the United States Pavilion:[124]


Ex-warehouse of the Biennale, 1958, ceded to the government of Uruguay, 1960.[34]

List of exhibitors in the Uruguayan Pavilion:


Designed by Carlo Scarpa, 1956.[34]

List of exhibitors in the Venezuelan Pavilion:

  • 1964 — Jesús Rafael Soto
  • 1970 — Carlos Cruz-Diez, Jesús Rafael Soto
  • 1978 — Luisa Richter
  • 1980 — Regulo Pérez
  • 1988 — Jacobo Borges
  • 1990 — Julio Pacheco Rivas
  • 1995 — Meyer Vaisman
  • 2005 — Santiago Pol (Commissioner: Vivian Rivas Gingerich)
  • 2007 — Antonio Briceño, Vincent & Feria (Commissioner: Zuleiva Vivas)
  • 2009 — Claudio Perna, Antonieta Sosa, Alejandro Otero
  • 2011 — Francisco Bassim, Clemencia Labin, Yoshi (Curator: Luis Hurtado)
  • 2013 — Colectivo de Artistas Urbanos Venezolanos (Curator: Juan Calzadilla)
  • 2015 — Argelia Bravo, Félix Molina (Flix) (Curator: Oscar Sotillo Meneses)


The Wales pavilion was introduced in 2003.[137][138]

List of exhibitors in the Wales Pavilion:


  • 2011 — Tapfuma Gutsa, Misheck Masamvu, Berry Bickle, Calvin Dondo. (Commissioner: Doreen Sibanda; curator: Raphael Chikukwa)
  • 2013 — Portia Zvavahera, Michele Mathison, Rashid Jogee, Voti Thebe, Virginia Chihota. (Commissioner: Doreen Sibanda; curator: Raphael Chikukwa)
  • 2015 — Chikonzero Chazunguza, Masimba Hwati, Gareth Nyandoro. (Commissioner: Doreen Sibanda; curator: Raphael Chikukwa)
  • 2017 — Charles Bhebe, Admire Kamudzengerere, Sylvester Mubayi, Dana Whabira. (Commissioner: Doreen Sibanda; curator: Raphael Chikukwa)

Unofficial Pavilions[edit]

As well as the national pavilions there are countless "unofficial pavilions"[149] that spring up every year. 2009 there were pavilions such as the Gabon Pavilion and a Peckham pavilion. Upcoming artists in new media showed work in an Internet Pavilion in 2011.


  • "Venezia" Group of Pavilions — Brenno Del Giudice (Arti Decorative pavilion 1932); other pavilions (Yugoslavia, Romania, Latin America), 1938.
  • Ticket Office — Carlo Scarpa, 1951.[34]
  • Book Shop — James Stirling, 1991.[34]


The Venice Biennale has awarded prizes to the artists participating at the Exhibition since the first edition back in 1895. Grand Prizes were established in 1938 and ran until 1968 when they were abolished due to the protest movement. Prizes were taken up again in 1986. The selections are made by the Board of la Biennale di Venezia, following the proposal of the curator of the International Exhibition.

Also, the Biennale names the five members of its international jury, which is charged with awarding prizes to the national pavilions.[150]

1938 to 1968[edit]

Since 1986[edit]


On 26 July 1973, the Parliament approved the Organisation's new statute for the Biennale. A "democratic" Board was set up. It included 19 members made up of representatives from the Government, the most important local organisations, major trade unions, and a representative of the staff. The Board was to elect the President and nominate the Sectorial Directors – one each for Visual arts, Cinema, Music, and Theatre.

In 1998 the Biennale was transformed into a legal personality in private law and renamed "Società di Cultura La Biennale di Venezia". The company structure – Board of directors, Scientific committee, Board of auditors and assembly of private backers – has a duration of four years. The areas of activity became six (Architecture, Visual arts, Cinema, Theatre, Music, Dance), in collaboration with the ASAC (the Historical Archives). The President is nominated by the Minister for Cultural Affairs. The Board of directors consists of the President, the Mayor of Venice, and three members nominated respectively by the Regione Veneto, the Consiglio Provinciale di Venezia and private backers. Dance, was added to the others.

On 15 January 2004, the Biennale was transformed into a foundation.

See also[edit]


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Further reading[edit]

  • Sophie Bowness and Clive Phillpot (ed), Britain at the Venice Biennale 1895–1996, The British Council, 1995
  • Martino, Enzo Di. The History of the Venice Biennale, Venezia, Papiro Arte, 2007.
  • Sarah Thornton. Seven Days in the Art World. New York: WW Norton, 2008.
  • Digitalarti Mag (2009). Venice Biennale (PDF). pp. 8–12.
  • 52nd Venice Biennale and Documenta 12 in Kassel vol.20 July 2007 n.paradoxa: international feminist art journal pp. 88–92
  • Vittorio Sgarbi, Lo Stato dell'Arte: 54 Esposizione internazionale d'Arte della Biennale di Venezia. Iniziativa speciale per il 150° Anniversario dell'Unità d'Italia, Moncalieri (Torino), Istituto Nazionale di Cultura, 2012

External links[edit]

Media related to Venice Biennale at Wikimedia Commons