Anish Kapoor announces Venice Biennale exhibition across Gallerie dell'Accademia and Palazzo Manfrin
12 November 2021
At a press conference held this morning at the Gallerie dell'Accademia, Anish Kapoor announced the presentation of a major two-part exhibition across the historic Gallerie dell'Accademia and the Palazzo Manfrin in Venice during the Venice Biennale, opening on 20 April 2022 and running until 9 October 2022.
Kapoor will be first British artist to hold a solo exhibition at the Gallerie dell'Accademia. The exhibition will have retrospective elements alongside newer bodies of work, presenting key moments in the artist’s career. Ground-breaking new works, created using carbon nanotechnology, will be shown for the first time, as well as recent paintings and sculpture that are testament to the vitality and visionary nature of Kapoor’s current practice.
The Gallerie dell'Accademia's Director, Giulio Manieri Elia, the curator of the exhibition, Taco Dibbits and Kapoor, announced the additional presentation of a group of important works at the historic Palazzo Manfrin, where some of the most famous works in the Gallerie dell'Accademia’s collection originally hung.
Palazzo Manfrin was purchased in 1788 by Count Girolamo Manfrin, a wealthy tobacco merchant who transformed the first floor of the building into a picture gallery which quickly became one of Venice’s major tourist attractions visited by among others Antonio Canova, Lord Byron, John Ruskin and Edouard Manet.
When, around the middle of the nineteenth century, works in the collection were sold, after the death of Manfrin, the heritage of the Gallerie dell'Accademia was enriched with twenty-one paintings including masterpieces such as Giorgione’s The Tempest and La Vecchia and works by Mantegna, Memling, Nicolò di Pietro, Girolamo Savoldo and Moretto.
Anish Kapoor said: “It’s a huge honour to be invited to engage with the collections at the Gallerie dell’ Accademia in Venice, perhaps one of the finest collections of classical painting anywhere in the world. All art must engage with what went before. The Accademia presents a wonderful and wondrous challenge. I feel a deep commitment to Venice, its architecture and its support for the contemporary arts.”
Giulio Manieri Elia, the Accademia’s Director, said: “Kapoor, because of his original and deep research into colour, light, perspective and space, grows from the roots of Venetian Renaissance painting, investigating its essence and interacting intimately on an ideal - we could even say conceptual - level with Bellini, Giorgione, Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto.”
Taco Dibbits said: “All artists, however cutting-edge and contemporary, are in debate with those who have gone before. The Gallerie dell’Accademia is the perfect site for a modern master to explore the themes that have always engaged sculptors and painters. Kapoor’s latest works, using the most advanced nanotechnology, promise to be a revelation.”
Anish Kapoor represented Great Britain at the 44th Venice Biennale in 1990 where he was awarded the Premio Duemila Prize. In 1991 he won the Turner Prize and has gone on to receive numerous international awards including the Praemium Imperialein 2011 and Padma Bhushan in 2012. He received a CBE in 2003 and a Knighthood in 2013 for services to the visual arts.
Also renowned for his architecturally-scaled works, public projects include: Cloud Gate (2004), Millennium Park, Chicago, USA; Leviathan (2011) exhibited at 2011 Monumenta, Paris; Orbit (2012), Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, London; Ark Nova, an inflatable concert hall created for Lucerne Festival, Japan (2013-) and Descension, (2014) most recently installed in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York, USA (2017).
Taco Dibbits, director of the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, is one of the world’s leading experts on Rembrandt's work and seventeenth-century Flemish painting. He was curator, with others, of the "Rembrandt-Caravaggio" exhibition at the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam in 2006, and of the "Anish Kapoor and Rembrandt" exhibition also at the Rijksmuseum in 2016.
The exhibition has been organised in collaboration with Lisson Gallery, with support from Galerie Kamel Mennour, SCAI The Bathhouse, Kukje Gallery, Regen Projects, Galleria Continua, Galleria Massimo Minini.
The exhibition is accompanied by a catalogue published by Marsilio.
Giulio Manieri Elia, Anish Kapoor and Taco Dibbits at the Gallerie dell'Accademia. Photo by Luca Zanon