The Hermitage will curate Russia’s Venice Biennale pavilion in art world first

The Hermitage will curate Russia’s Venice Biennale pavilion in art world first
Richard Mortel under a CC licence/WikiCommons

14 March 2019

St Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum will curate this year’s Russian pavilion at the Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art.

It will be the first time that an institution has curated one of Venice’s Biennale pavilions, which are usually handed over to the art world’s leading curators and visionaries.

Mikhail Piotrovsky, the museum’s general director, will oversee the project in partnership with the G. A. Tovstonogov Bolshoi Drama Theater.

The title of the Russian exhibition’s — Lc. 15: 11-32 — alludes to the biblical tale of the prodigal son, embraced by his father even after deserting his family and squandering his fortune. The exhibition is also a response to the Biennale’s own theme: “May you live in interesting times.”

Russian film director Alexander Sokurov and artist Alexander Shishkin-Hokusai are already tipped to appear alongside some of Russia’s best upcoming contemporary artists.

Meanwhile, copies of the Classical Atlantean figures which line one of the Hermitage’s entrances will also appear at the pavilion, evoking the museum’s grand artistic tradition.

The 58th Venice Biennale of Contemporary Art will run from 11 May to 24 November, 2019.

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