The first good news of the decade in art comes from none other than the biggest exhibition in the world. The new person at the realm of the next Venice Biennale is the Italian curator Cecilia Alemani, who has been named artistic director of the 2021 edition!
Opening in Italy in May 2021, the Venice Art Biennale will for the first time welcome a female curator from the country itself, and only the fifth female curator in general in its several-decades-long history, after María de Corral and Rosa Martinez, Christine Macel, and Bice Curiger.
In a statement, Alemani said:
It is a great honor to be able to take on this role in one of the most prestigious and recognized Italian institutions in the world. As the first Italian woman to hold this position, I understand and appreciate the responsibility and also the opportunity offered to me and I intend to give voice to artists to create unique projects that reflect their visions and our society.
The director and chief curator of the High Line’s art program since 2011, Cecilia Alemani is one of the most prolific figures on the scene. She spent most of her career in New York, where she has commissioned numerous public works and worked as an independent curator for museums like the MoMA and fairs like Frieze. On the international level, she worked with Tate Modern in London and curated the Art Basel Cities in Buenos Aires in 2018, to name only a few. Among the artists she has exhibited, there are John Baldessari, Sheila Hicks, Barbara Kruger, Ed Ruscha and El Anatsui.
Cecilia Alemani is certainly no stranger to the Venice Biennale, as she was in charge of the Italian Pavilion there in 2017, with participating artists Roberto Cuoghi, Giorgio Andreotta Calò, and Adelita Husni-Bey. Alemani holds a degree in Philosophy from the Università degli Studi of Milan and a master's degree in curatorial studies for contemporary art from Bard College, New York. She is married to fellow curator Massimiliano Gioni.
As the new Venice Biennale artistic director, she will replace Serpentine Galleries director Ralph Rugoff, who was behind the Venice Biennale 2019.
The Venice Biennale 2021 will be held from May until November.
Featured image: Cecilia Alemani, image courtesy Art Basel.