The Art Events That Only Happen Every Ten Years An insider’s guide to the 2017 Grand Tour.
Every ten years, the stars align and the world’s most anticipated art events fill the summer calendar. “The Grand Tour,” as it’s termed, includes the Venice Biennale; Documenta (a conceptual exhibition examining the current state of art) taking place this year in both Athens, Greece and Kassel, Germany; and the Muenster Sculpture Project. 2017 is shaping up to be an epic summer of art all across Europe, including street art festivals and the granddaddy of all art fairs, Art Basel. Here’s a quick round-up of what not to miss - including works by Twyla artists.
Considered the most prestigious art exhibition in the world, the Venice Biennale is a constellation of exhibitions that, every two years, brings together the brightest artists of each country for a decadent celebration of contemporary culture. Set against the city’s surreal, romantic backdrop of opulent Palazzos, winding canals and cobblestone streets, the Biennale’s main exhibition venues are the picturesque Giardini (the “Gardens”) and the Arsenale, a former military dockyard. The Giardini hosts pavilions representing individual countries — each designed with vaguely nationalistic undertones (the American pavilion, for example, resembles a neoclassical colonial mansion and is unofficially termed “The White House”).
This year’s clear favorite and recipient of the Golden Lion award was the German artist Anne Imhof, whose interpretation of “Faust” filled the German Pavilion with heavy metal music, terrifying Dobermans and gaunt gothic actors. The Arsenale, meanwhile, is a sprawling industrial shell taken over by massive group exhibitions. Beyond these main events, however, are countless other affiliate exhibitions and installations that transform the city into a dizzying labyrinth of contemporary art.
Don't Miss Twyla Artists at the Venice Biennale
Winston Chmielinski at the Antarctic Pavilion
May 12 - July 31st
Unlike other national pavilions at the Venice Biennale, the Antarctic Pavilion represents an entire continent, without a single sovereign government. According to the 1959 Antarctic Treaty, the southern continent is reserved exclusively for peaceful scientific research in the interests of all of humanity (with sovereign claims suspended). In March 2017, an international group of artists, scientists, architects and philosophers traveled to the Antarctic Circle for the first Antarctic Biennial. The Antarctic Pavilion in Venice includes documentation of this journey and debuts a series of newly commissioned works exploring an imagined Antarctic future, including artwork by Twyla artist Winston Chmielinski.
Palazzo Molin a San Basegio
Fondamenta Zattere Al Ponte Lungo, 1412, 30123 Venice, Italy
Anne Senstad's Topologies for a Vertical Sound
May 10 - August 6th
Known for her immersive installations that transform space with sound and light, Anne Senstad and Catherine C. Hennix created a sensory environment within an ancient Venetian monastery. Responding to the history and architecture of their chosen venue, the installation combines multi video projections, sound, fabrics, light and plexiglass sculptures to completely reimagine the optics and meaning beholden to this traditionally devotional space.
Other Events You Don't Want to Miss Throughout Europe This Summer
Mambo and Patrick Hartl at the 2017 Urban Art Biennial
April 9th - November 5th
The Urban Art Biennial returns for the fourth incarnation of what its organizers deem “the world’s largest urban art exhibition,” taking place at World Heritage UNESCO site “Völklinger Hütte” on the border of Germany and France. The venue itself is an imposing former iron factory, an icon of the industrial revolution’s heyday and a veritable playground for the dozens of street artists invited to exhibit. Continuing the legacy are two Twyla artists - Mambo and Patrick Hartl - who will join an illustrious alumni roster including Banksy.
66333 Völklingen, Germany on Googlemaps
BASE23 at The Haus (massive street art exhibition in Berlin)
April 1st - May 31
Berlin is full of abandoned buildings overflowing with creative potential and The Haus is no exception. In this fully immersive urban art extravaganza 165 street artists invaded a former bank in West Berlin—one last hurrah before the building is demolished in August. The Haus will feature five floors of artists, including Twyla’s own Base23, and more than 100 unique room installations, completely transforming every corner of the building and celebrating the ephemeral spirit of street art and Berlin’s international street art community.
Nürnberger Str. 68, 10787 Berlin, Germany