Peggy Guggenheim Museum

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim’s former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The collection contains works by Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Georges Braque, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miro, Rene Magritte and Peggy Guggenheim’s first husband Max Ernst. Guggenheim amassed most of this impressive collection in the very early stages of World War 2. As the Nazis were laying siege to Paris, she had the works spirited to New York hidden among her things. After the war, she returned to Europe where she opened a gallery and museum, first in Paris and then in Venice.  Her collection is now one of Venice’s top tourist attractions.

Peggy Guggenheim, the rich socialite who amassed an impressive collection of Modern Art.

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Venice: Beyond the main Biennale

The official Art Biennale spreads across the entire city of Venice and seeing everything is quite the undertaking; the main spaces of the Giardani and the Arsenale alone take hours to cover.  However, there are many country pavilions and large scale installations to be seen elsewhere. In addition to the Biennale, Damien Hirst’s fantastical Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is currently on show at the Palazzo Grassi, and there are many impressive, permanent collections, such as the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, that are essential viewing.
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Venice: Art Biennale 2017

Every two years since 1895, Venice has hosted the Art Biennale, a contemporary visual art exhibition. The Biennale is now a major international Art Expo that features contributions from around the world as well as attracting over half a million visitors to the city.

While there are official Biennale locations all across Venice, the main locations are the The Giardini, which houses 30 permanent national pavilions, and The Arsenale, where an exhibition of invited artists takes place. The Arsenale also houses many countries that do not have a permanent pavilion, including Ireland, which is represented this year by Jesse Jones with her work called Tremble Tremble.

Video of Irish actor Olwen Fouere as a witch dismantling the architecture of (in)justice in Tremble Tremble, by Jesse Jones for Ireland at Venice Biennale 2017

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Once upon a time in Venice

Gondola Service, Venice. 2017.

I was in Venice recently to check out the 2017 Art Biennale exhibition. The low and heavy clouds gave the city a fog that was both otherworldly and romantic. Even when cold and grey, Venice has an allure; a faded elegance that gives the city a slightly unreal quality.  Like it is a beautifully art-directed film set. It’s the perfect setting to be inspired by art.

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