hans-ulrich-obrist-guide-banner.jpg
Contemporary Art

Hans Ulrich Obrist's Venice

Ahead of this year's Venice Biennale, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries, shares his list of the must-see shows and destinations you should visit during your stay.

hans-ulrich-obrist-guide-7.jpg
HANS ULRICH OBRIST PHOTOGRAPHED BY YOUSSEF NABIL. © THE ARTIST.

1. Giorgio Mastinu Fine Art Bookshop

Calle de le Boteghe, San Marco 3126, 30124 Venice, Tel. 347 1828553

One of the great experiences in Venice is to spend an hour in this bookshop. It’s always the first thing I do. On first glance it's tiny but the more time you spend in it the more amazing discoveries you make. The owner is a great source of information about artists and artist books.

2. Damien Hirst: Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable

Palazzo Grassi and Punta Della Dogana, Campo San Samuele, 3231, 30124 Venice

Damien's exhibition is a total work of art about lost and found treasures. It's the first time an artist has taken over both the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana and it's absolutely not to be missed.

hans-ulrich-obrist-guide-5.jpg
DAMIEN HIRST, HYDRA AND KALI DISCOVERED BY FOUR DIVERS, 2017. PHOTOGRAPHED BY CHRISTOPH GERIGK © DAMIEN HIRST AND SCIENCE LTD.

3. Lucy McKenzie: La Kermesse Héroïque

Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa — Palazzetto Tito, Dorsoduro, 2826, 30123 Venice

Lucy is a fascinating artist from Scotland who lives in Brussels and has founded her own label, Atelier E.B. (Edinburgh Brussels) Her new series of paintings blur the boundaries between art and craft, and this is her first exhibition in Venice, in collaboration with Beca Lipscombe.

hans-ulrich-obrist-guide-4.jpg
LUCY MCKENZIE, LA KERMESSE HÉROÏQUE, 2017. © LUCY MCKENZIE. PHOTO: MARKUS PROSCHEK 

4. John Latham: Viva Arte Viva

Giardini and Arsenale, Sestiere Castello, 30122 Venice

John was a pioneering English artist and is the subject of a retrospective called A World View: John Latham at the Serpentine at the moment. This show focuses particularly on his book works and the spheres he created from them. He's one of the central artists in the Christine Macel's biennale so we can look forward to seeing his work both in Venice and London. 

5. Ettore Sottsass: The Glass

Le Stanze Del Vetro, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, 1, 30124 Venice

Sottsass was one of the leading Italian designers. This show, curated by Luca Massimo Barbero, features a series of works that were originally commissioned for a major project in Doha that was never realised. It's the first time they’ve been seen in an exhibition.

hans-ulrich-obrist-guide-1.jpg
ETTORE SOTTSASS, ALLODOLA, 2003. PHOTO: RICCARDO BIANCHI © ETTORE SOTSASS BY SIAE 2017.

6. Alighiero Boetti: Minimum/Maximum

Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Isola di San Giorgio Maggiore, 30100 Venice

Boetti often used a photocopy machine in his work and this is a retrospective of all of the pieces he ever created using that format. He once had a photocopier delivered to his house and one day he wanted to photocopy the rain so he moved it outside. Of course that was the end of the photocopier.

hans-ulrich-obrist-guide-3.jpg
ALIGHIERO BOETTI, MAPPA, 1989-94. COURTESY TORNABUONI ART.

7. British Diaspora Pavilion

Palazzo Pisani a Santa Marina, Cannaregio 6103-6104, 30100 Venice

The Diaspora Pavilion showcases the work of 11 emerging UK-based artists, all from culturally diverse backgrounds, with ten leading artists from similar backgrounds acting as their mentors.

8. Dayanita Singh: A Brief Biography by Herself

Residenze Artistiche e Letterarie a Venezia, Waterlines Project, Dorsoduro 3488, 30123 Venice

This show covers voluntary and involuntary migration which is a big topic of our time. It shows people belonging less to a geography than being between geographies which is true of course for so many artists. 

MAIN IMAGE: INSTALLATION VIEW OF ETTORE SOTTSASS: THE GLASS AT LE STANZE DEL VETRO. PHOTO: ENRICO FIORESE.

We use our own and third party cookies to enable you to navigate around our Site, use its features and engage on social media, and to allow us to perform analytics, remember your preferences, provide services that you have requested and produce content and advertisements tailored to your interests, both on our Site as well as others. For more information, or to learn how to change your cookie or marketing preferences, please see our updated Privacy Policy & Cookie Policy.

By continuing to use our Site, you consent to our use of cookies and to the practices described in our updated Privacy Policy.

Close