Throughout the Art Biennale (from April 20 till November 24), Venice overflows with contemporary art, from the Giardini and Arsenale gardens, where the “Foreigners Everywhere” project is held, to the national pavilions. However, the city’s renowned local museums are also preparing for the show.

Gallerie dell’Accademia

One of the largest institutions in the country with a collection of the Italian painting and sculpture, has been organizing thematic exhibitions of the 20th century classics for the Biennale for several years, always with a connection to the local context. Among the modernist innovators who found inspiration in the Venetian lagoons, was the eminent Dutch expressionist Willem de Kooning, who visited this enchanting city in 1959 and 1969. The “Willem de Kooning and Italy” exhibition (until September 15) showcases around a hundred canvases that illustrate the profound influence of the place on the artist’s work.

Willem de Kooning. Red Man with Moustache. 1971

Fondazione Giorgio Cini

The famous Giorgio Cini Art Foundation owns several venues in Venice, including a gallery featuring old Italian masters with masterpieces by Botticelli and Pontormo. On the city’s most picturesque island, San Giorgio Maggiore, you’ll find its Le Stanze della Fotografia halls showcasing photographic art. The exhibition of a legendary fashion photographer Helmut Newton is a true blockbuster — comprehensive retrospectives are seldom held due to the high value of his works. The “Helmut Newton. Legacy” exhibition (until November 24) covers all periods of the master’s career, from his early days in Australia to his renowned series of nudes.

Helmut Newton. Elle. Paris. 1967

Palazzo Bembo

The European Cultural Center hosts its “Personal Structures” series of multidisciplinary exhibitions in three Venetian venues: Palazzo Bembo, Palazzo Mora, and Marinaressa Gardens. These grand palazzos and gardens are unused most of the time. Only during the Biennale, contemporary art interventions initiate a dialogue between the past and the present. This season, over two hundred participants (including four Russians: Katerina Kovaleva, Marusya Borisova-Sevostyanova, Olga Lomaka, and Vasily Klyukin) will explore existence beyond conventional boundaries (until November 24). 

At the exhibition «Personal Structures»

Punta della Dogana

The old Venetian customs house, Punta della Dogana, along with Palazzo Grassi, house one of the world’s most extensive collections of modern art. The customs house owner is the French billionaire François Pinault, who also opened his own Bourse de Commerce museum in Paris a few years ago. His Italian properties operate year-round, independent of the Biennale schedule, offering visitors unique exhibition projects. Exhibitions in the customs halls are usually group events, while those in the palazzos are personal. This year, Punta della Dogana is breaking its usual pattern by hosting a solo exhibition of the largest contemporary video artist Pierre Huyghe (until November 24). His cinematic works exploring the connection between the human and the supernatural require large spaces. The exhibition features world premieres of new works, as well as pieces from various periods.

Pierre Huyghe. Variants. 2021

Palazzo Grassi

François Pinault’s second private museum in Venice, Palazzo Grassi, is currently hosting a large-scale exhibition of the American expressionist Julie Mehretu, known for her work with abstract architectural forms (until January 6, 2025). Over more than three decades, the artist has cultivated a global community of like-minded individuals and followers. These individuals have collaborated on the current exhibition. Contributors include the Iranian sculptor Nairy Baghramian, the British artist Tacita Dean, the American David Hammons, the Australian Jessica Rankin, and others.

Julie Mehretu. Black City. 2007

Photo: press-office