The Venice Biennale 2019

Artists from the Ghana Pavilion Open Celebrations at the Venice Biennale

By Sotheby's
Undeniably a key highlight of the 58th Venice Biennale is the Ghana pavilion, and its heavy-hitting artistic talent were out in force to kick off the week at Sotheby’s home overlooking the Grand Canal: The Gritti Palace.

H osted by European Chairmen, Oliver Barker and Claudia Dwek, guests including Her Excellency, the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo, celebrated the opening of the Ghana Pavilion - a historic moment for being the first time Ghana has taken part in the Biennale.

Images from left to right: Her Excellency, the First Lady of Ghana, Rebecca Akufo-Addo and guests;. Sir David Adjaye & Ashley Shaw-Scott. Photo: Laure Jacquemin/Sotheby's.

Curator Nana Oforiatta Ayim was joined by John Akomfrah and Ibrahim Mahama, as well as Sir David Adjaye, the mastermind behind the architectural design of the pavilion, and his wife, Ashley Shaw-Scott.

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John Akomfrah. Photo: Laure Jacquemin/Sotheby's

After thanking the evening’s Presenting Partner and longtime Sotheby’s affiliate, the real estate developer Lodha UK, with Sotheby’s International Realty presenting No.1 Grosvenor Square, Barker expressed his excitement at hosting some of the key minds behind the inaugural Ghana Pavilion, noting the significance of the country's first ever national presentation at the Biennale.

Images from left to right: Oliver Barker, Chairman Europe and Ewi Shafran;. David Goodman, EVP Digital Development and Marketing, Marnix Neerman and Fiorella Ballabio, Head of Preferred. Photo: Laure Jacquemin/Sotheby's.

Barker’s speech also recognised a “very special year” for Sotheby’s, referring to its 275th anniversay along with its commitment to innovation. “It almost feels like a start up at times,” he observed, highlighting the reimagined Sotheby’s New York building that has just opened and the upcoming David Korins-designed immersive exhibition, Treasures from Chatsworth.

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Presenting partner, Lodha UK with Sotheby’s International Realty, unveiling No. 1 Grosvenor Square. Photo: Laure Jacquemin/Sotheby's

After bringing together a host of the art world’s most exciting figures to mark the opening of the biennale, the vernissage week continues with a number of events that highlight not only this spirit of innovation and breaking new ground, but that also explore the history and legacy of this captivating city as the beating heart of the art world. Intimate private dinners, conversations with artists and curators and tours of the Giardini, Arsenale and beyond will follow, allowing Sotheby’s clients unrivalled access to all that Venice has to offer.

WATCH: Tim Marlow's Must-See Museum Shows: The Venice Biennale's Best Installations, from America to Ghana

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