This is not only the 57th International Art Exhibition’s year. Spring/summer 2017 are the seasons of arts in Venice. If you are planning to visit Italy, this is the place to be and these are the exhibitions you totally can’t afford to miss.

VIVA ARTE VIVA

The 57th International Art Exhibition, titled VIVA ARTE VIVA will be open to the public from Saturday May, at the Giardini and the Arsenale venues. VIVA ARTE VIVA will unfold over the course of nine chapters or families of artists, beginning with two introductory realms in the Central Pavilion, followed by another seven across the Arsenale through the Giardino delle Vergini. 120 are the invited artists from 51 countries; 103 of these are participating for the first time. Until 26 November. www.labiennale.org

Damien Hirst: “Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable” at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana

This is the first major solo exhibition dedicated to Damien Hirst in Italy since 2004. The exhibition is displayed across 5,000 square meters of museum space and marks the first time that Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana (the two Venetian venues of the Pinault Collection) are both dedicated to a single artist. Damien Hirst’s most ambitious and complex project to date has been almost ten years in the making. Exceptional in scale and scope, the exhibition tells the story of the ancient wreck of a vast ship, the ‘Unbelievable’ (Apistos in the original Koine Greek), and presents what was discovered of its precious cargo: the impressive collection of Aulus Calidius Amotan – a freed slave better known as Cif Amotan II – which was destined for a temple dedicated to the sun. Until 3 December. www.palazzograssi.it

Davide La Chapelle: “New World” at Casa dei Tre Oci

A major monographic exhibition featuring more than 100 images from the 90s to the present day. This amazing show explores the career of David LaChapelle, one of the world’s most important contemporary photographers. For the first time ever he presents his ‘New World’ series, featuring masterpieces that mark a return to the human figure, to different representations of joy, nature and soul. Until 10 September. www.treoci.org

“Philip Guston and the Poets” at Gallerie dell’Accademia

Beginning May 10th, to coincide with the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale, the Accademia will present the work of Guston in a major exhibition, featuring 50 paintings and 25 drawings dating from 1930 until his death. The exhibition will relate Guston’s work to that of five poets he loved: D. H. Lawrence, W. B. Yeats, Wallace Stevens, Eugenio Montale and T. S. Eliot. Until 3 September. www.gallerieaccademia.org

Philip Guston, The Line, 1978, ©The Estate of Philip Guston. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth
Philip Guston, The Line, 1978, ©The Estate of Philip Guston. Courtesy Hauser & Wirth

Pablo Picasso at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Gathering a selection of drawings and paintings produced between February and December 1937, the exhibition will revolve around Picasso’s masterpiece “La Baignade” (1937) owned by Peggy Guggenheim Collection. It will explore the theme of the beach, a leitmotif throughout the artist’s oeuvre: during his time spent in France in 1937, Picasso’s approach to this subject matter shifted, becoming increasingly visceral and more strongly connected to Surrealism. Until 7 January 2018. www.guggenheim-venice.it

Pablo Picasso, La Baignade, 1937, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, © Succession Picasso 2011
Pablo Picasso, La Baignade, 1937, Peggy Guggenheim Collection, Venice, © Succession Picasso 2011
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