Day 2 in Venice – Contemporary Art & Cocktails

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Launch Slideshow

After an evening which saw the launch of the magnificent White Baaz on the Rendetore Terrace of the Gritti Palace, Sotheby's kicked off the rest of the vernissage week's events with breakfast at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection on the Grand Canal. Outgoing director Philip Rylands took guests on a guided tour of Mark Tobey: Threading Light, before they made their way on to the pavilions of the Giardini by Sotheby's private boat, for the very first glimpse of the 57th Venice Biennale. After a morning spent absorbing the best of the world's art, guests reconvened at the Gritti Palace for an intimate lunch co-hosted by Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society and artist Isaac Julien. The day was rounded off by a sunset cocktail reception in honour of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, at which people celebrated the enduring relationship between Sotheby's and the pioneering museum – whilst enjoying spectacular views over Venice. 

 

Follow the rest of our Venice Biennale coverage

Day 2 in Venice – Contemporary Art & Cocktails

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Sotheby's European Chairman, Oliver Barker, talking to guests over breakfast at the Peggy Guggenheim collection.
  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Philip Rylands, Director of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection welcomes Sotheby's guests for breakfast before a guided tour.
    Outgoing Director of the Peggy Gugenheim Collection, Philip Rylands, said in an interview earlier this week: "The whole of Venice comes scintillatingly alive at the opening of the Biennale: it becomes the hub of the contemporary art universe, with its swarming gallerists, artists, directors, museum staff, collectors, writers, socialites. And I mean the whole of Venice, since the Biennale now spawns exhibitions and events throughout the city". Read the full interview here .

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Breakfast was served at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection before a guided tour of Mark Tobey: Threading Light.
  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Sotheby's Alex Branczik chats to artist Isaac Julien
    Framing the concept of art as an 'ongoing conversation' Isaac Julien made clear his view that art must be a 'positive, deep thinking space.' Julien spoke about the mutually enriching dialogue found in concentrated form within the Diaspora Pavilion's 22 month programme, between mentor and mentee, going on to discuss the politically responsive art present at this year's Biennale. 

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    The elegant Redentore Terrace at the Gritti Palace overlooks the sunlit Grand Canal.
    Around 50 guests joined the chefs who cooked up a delectable spread of meats, fish and risotto accompanied by Processco Bisol, Rosé di Masi and Posessioni di Serego Alighieri, carefully selected to refresh guests after a morning spent in the heat and hum of the Giardini.

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Contemporary Art Society's Caroline Douglas in conversation with Isaac Julien.
    Julien's personal involvement in the Biennale (he is exhibiting in the Diaspora Pavilion which opened last night) enabled him to speak candidly and passionately on the state of art today, prompting guests to spark lively conversation themselves. 

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Guests were welcomed with chilled champagne on the terrace.
    The Redentore Terrace at Gritti Palace overlooks the famous church of Santa Maria della Salute, perched in pride of place on the Grand Canal. 

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Contemporary Art Society's Caroline Douglas, Sotheby's Alex Branczik and artist Isaac Julian.
    Sotheby's host Alex Branczik, senior director and specialist in the Contemporary Art Department, welcomed Caroline Douglas, Director of the Contemporary Art Society and co-host of the luncheon. Douglas in turn welcomed the artist and filmmaker Isaac Julien to join her in conversation. 

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Artist Isaac Julien talks to guests before sitting down to lunch.
  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Sotheby's specialist Marina Ruiz Colomer at the Garage Museum drinks reception.
  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    The classic Venetian Bellini was the drink of choice.
  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Flowers decorated the Redentore Terrace at the Gritti Palace.
    Sotheby's were delighted to welcome the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art to the Redentore Roof Terrace at the Gritti Palace to celebrate the museum, its legacy and the Sotheby’s and Garage partnership.

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Drinks kept guests refreshed throughout the day on the terrace.
    The clear skies and golden evening sun primed the guests for the Bisol Prosecco, although the drink of choice for the event was the brilliantly pink Bellini, a refreshing mix of chilled prosecco and succulent, fresh white peach puree.

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Garage Museum of Contemporary Art's Chief Curator, Kate Fowle, welcomes guests for an evening of cocktails.
    Foregoing the pre-planned presentation, in light of the setting at 'the best viewpoint in Venice', Anton thanked Sotheby’s for their ongoing support, a message that was reinforced by Kate Fowle, the Chief Curator of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Friends of the Garage Museum of Contemporary Art gathered at the Gritti Palace for drinks on the Redentore Terrace.
    The event was hosted by Sotheby's Alina Davis, Senior Director of the Private Client Group, Jo Vickery, Senior Director and specialist in Russian art and Oliver Barker, the Senior Director of Sotheby's Europe, who introduced Anton Belov, the Director of Garage Museum of Contemporary Art

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Guests listening to a welcome from Anton Belov and Kate Fowle
    The eclectic crowd of over 80 people was made up of an array of artists, curators and private collectors, whose attire covered the broad spectrum of people that two such varied and respected institutions encompass. 

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    The Gritti Palace is the home of Sotheby's in Venice
    Afterwards, in conversation, Jo Vickery praised Garage for its hard work and success in "changing the cultural landscape of Russia". The warmth of the afternoon sun passed into a spectacular sunset as the assortment of art world aficionados relaxed well in to the evening. 

  • Photograph: Molly SJ Lowe
    Cocktails, champagne and canapés were served at sunset at the Gritti Palace.
    Waiters circulated with an array of irresistible cicchetti, from gazpacho to creamed cod or octopus for the invited guests. 

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