Christine Macel Appointed Venice Biennale Artistic Director for the 2017 Edition

Art News

January 23, 2016

Two months after the 56th Venice Biennale ended, the international exhibition’s board of director announced the artistic director of their 2017 edition. To replace Okwui Enwezor there will be Christine Macel, chief curator at the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou in Paris, since 2000. In a statement released on January 23rd, the Biennale’s president, Paolo Baratta, said: ”In the wake of the Biennale Arte directed by Okwui Enwezor, centred on the theme of the rifts and divisions that pervade the world, and aware that we are currently living in an age of anxiety, La Biennale has selected Christine Macel as a curator committed to emphasizing the important role artists play in inventing their own universes and injecting generous vitality into the world we live in.”.

A Video of Anri Sala at the Venice Biennale 2013, curated by Christine Macel

The Expertise of Christine Macel

Christine Macel will become only the fourth woman to direct the Biennale, after Maria de Corral and Rosa Martînez in 2005 and Bice Currier in 2011. She will also be the first French at the helm since 1995, when the donors went to Jean Clair. But Christine Macel surely isn’t unfamiliar with the Venice Biennale, as she organized the French pavilion there in 2013, showing artist Anri Sala, as well as the Belgian pavilion in 2007, which featured Eric Duyckaerts. She is an experienced curator, who has founded the department of création contemporaine et prospective, as well as Espace 315, a space at the Centre Pompidou specializing in the work of young artists from around the world. During her ongoing career at the Paris museum, she was in charge of many successful solo exhibitions, including Nan Goldin in 2001, Sophie Calle in 2003 and Philippe Parreno in 2009. Christine Macel also co-organized an exhibition at the Whitney Museum of American Art, entitled Collected by Thea Westereich Wagner and Ethan Wagner, which will also open at the Centre Pompidou in June.

A Video of Eric Duyckaerts at Biennale di Venezia 2007

La Biennale Arte di Venezia 2017

The 56th edition attracted more than 500,000 visitors and included 89 international pavilions, also introducing a politically-oriented central show, after many years. The 57th Venice Biennale will run from May 13th through November 26th 2017 in Italy, starting one month earlier than usual once again, as it also had an early start in 2015. Next year will definitely be an exciting one for the European art market, as the quinquennial Documenta 14 will open on June 10th in Kassel, Germany and on April 8th in Athens, Greece; the Skulptur Project Muenster will come back after ten years of absence; and Art Basel in Basel, Switzerland, is scheduled for June 16th.

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Featured image: Christine Macel. Photo by Jean-Claude Planchet via Centre Pompidou

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