The Venice Biennale’s preview week has come to an end as the art set start their journey back home or head off to the next art event after having drunk their last glass of prosecco, ridden their last gondola and left their last lavish opening party. This marks the official public opening of the International Exhibition until November 22nd 2015. The Biennale greeted many international collectors such as Russian socialite Maria Baibakova, adviser and DJ Simon de Pury, William Zhao, Chinese-Indonesian entrepreneur Budi Tek, French billionaire François Pinault and pharmaceutical heiress Maja Hoffman. For the unfortunates who cannot travel to the lagune, travel virtually through Instagram with Larry’s List to find out what’s trending at this revered exhibition. From the bawdy phallic forms to the undeniably great classics, we look at some of the popular favourite exhibitions by art collectors during this year’s Venice Biennale.
1. Sarah Lucas, British Pavilion
British artist Sarah Lucas, part of the YBA generation, represented the British Pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale, unveiling her latest group of works. As visitors walked in the overwhelming custard yellow coloured room, they were immediately greeted by a grandiose figure titled “Maradona”, a part man, part maypole, part praying mantis sculpture. Named after the Argentinian footballer, the figure squats on the ground while an enormous phallus soars majestically into the air. The pavilion was completed with two other sets of plaster-made fragmentary sculptures of women’s legs, provocatively displayed on the artist’s own furniture by either bending over or promiscuously lying on the table with a cigarette bud protruding from their buttocks. A definite popular favourite and eye-catcher as Instagram feed is filled with angled shots of phallic shapes and rears.
2. Danh Vo, Pallazzo Grassi & Denmark Pavilion
The conceptual artist Danh Vo was a definite crowd-pleaser this year, participating in two major exhibitions. Invited to collaborate with Palazzo Grassi – Pinault Collection at Punta della Dogana as both an artist and curator, he curated the exhibition “Slip of the Tongue” working with the collection in conjunction with 39 other invited artists. The exhibition generated quite a buzz among art circles, as plenty took snaps of one particular piece of a diving board on a semi-arched open window, overlooking the Venice sea landscape.
Danh Vo also represented the Denmark Pavilion, owing to his close ties with the country and having one of the most prominent careers on the international art scene in the past decade. His “Mother Tongue” sculpture, depicting a female form against a lush red wall along with a bright linear light beaming through the window, bringing an angelic touch to the work attracted many viewers to the scene and was most well-received by the art crowd.
3. Chiharu Shiota, Japanese Pavilion
Chiharu Shiota amazed visitors with her immersive installation “The Key in the Hand” for the Japanese Pavilion. With the aim to explore the notion of memory, the artist solicited tens of thousands of keys from the public in order to create a gigantic cloud of tightly interwoven red string, with 50,000 keys hanging down. With two boats in the middle of the room, which seem to ascend in mid-air, the web of threads turns the roof into a complex and elaborate labyrinth of materials, forming an undulated path for viewers to traverse beneath.
4. Georg Baselitz, Arsenale
Germany’s most celebrated artist, Georg Baselitz, is also participating at the Biennale for the “All World’s Future” International Exhibition curated by Okwui Enwezor. The artist still remains a popular among art collector folks, as many collectors gathered around and took pictures of the 8 impressive 4.80m high self-portraits from the artist’s series “Avignon” (2014) paintings , presented in an octagonal pavilion at the Arsenale.
5. Fondazione Prada, Ca’ Corner della Regina
For those who needed a break from the contemporary art exhibitions, some took refuge into the majestic Fondazione Prada at the Ca’ Corner della Regina. Co-chaired by the fashion designer and art collector Miuccia Prada and husband Patrizio Bertelli, the foundation took a more historical approach by presenting “ Portable Classics” co-curated by Salvatore Settist and Davide Gasparetto. The exhibition examines the miniature reproductions of classical works prevalent during the renaissance. A section of the show was devoted to art collectors from the 1500s and were portrayed among sculptures and plaster casts. It was another popular venue for art collectors during the preview week, as they strolled among the classical treasures to even posing next to brawny masculine fragmented bust sculptures.