As a Collateral Event of the 55. International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia, Zuecca Project Space will present an exhibition of new works by Ai Weiwei, from 29 May - 15 September 2013. The artist's only major new solo show in 2013, it will be presented across two locations in Venice: the Zitelle complex, home of Zuecca Projects, and the church of Sant’Antonin. Work by Ai Weiwei will also be on display elsewhere in the Venice Biennale as part of a group exhibition at the German Pavilion.
Curated by Maurizio Bortolotti, the exhibition will comprise landmark works showing Ai Weiwei at the height of his artistic and polemic powers. In Zuecca will be seen an expanded version of the artist's acclaimed sculptural installation Straight. First exhibited as part of his 2012 acclaimed survey show at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington DC., Straight is formed from multiple tons of steel rebar recovered from the collapsed schools in which more than five thousand children perished during the 2008 earthquake in Sichuan, China.
To be revealed during the opening week of the Venice Biennale, Ai Weiwei has specially conceived a new work for the Sant’Antonin church location. This will function as a dialogue between the artist and the existing architecture, offering an immediate sense of the drama of an event which underlines the contradictory development of contemporary China.
One of the leading cultural figures of his generation Ai Weiwei has consistently displayed great courage, placing himself at risk to affect social change through his art. He serves as an example for legitimate social criticism and free expression both in China and internationally.
The exhibition with Zuecca Projects represents a new chapter in the long-standing historical relationship - founded on trade, as well as religious and cultural exchange - that exists between China and Venice. The relationship will acquire fresh immediacy in light of the artist's interpretation of Contemporary China within the context of the city.
The exhibition is presented in collaboration with Lisson Gallery, which has represented and worked closely with Ai Weiwei since 2010, presenting acclaimed solo exhibitions of his work at its London and Milan locations.