Critic’s Guide: Venice

A guide to the off-site shows in Venice this week

BY Paul Teasdale in Critic's Guides | 08 MAY 17

Carol Rama, ‘Spazio anche più che tempo’ (Space even more than time)
Palazzo Ca' nova
8 May 
 28 June 2017

'Space even more than time' marks Carol Rama's return to Venice after a decade’s absence, and coincides with her expansive retrospective at the New Museum in New York. But the late Turin-born artist is no stranger to The Floating City: she participated in four editions of the Biennale and won the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement in 2003.

Chris Ofili, Poolside Magic 8, 2012, charcoal, watercolour and pastel on paper, 40 x 26 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Victoria Miro

Chris Ofili, ‘Poolside Magic’
Victoria Miro Venice
10 May 
 1 July 2017
Private View: 9 May, 5.30-7.30pm

Chris Ofili's 'Poolside Magic', an exhibition of pastel, charcoal and watercolour works on paper, is the inaugural show at Victoria Miro’s new Venice gallery space, housed in the former Galleria il Capricorno on San Marco square. It coincides with the Manchester-born artist's current and lauded show, 'Weaving Magic', at the National Gallery, London.

Douglas Gordon, Gente di Palermo!’ (Citizens of Palermo!)
Palazzo Ducale
13 May 
 24 November 2017

Palazzo Ducale is presenting the world premiere of Douglas Gordon's video installation Gente di Palermo! (Citizens of Palermo!), which includes a reassembled home movie he shot in the Cupuchin Catacombs in Palermo, an underground cemetery which houses thousands of exposed, embalmed corpses.

Dineo Seshee Bopape, mabu/mubu/mmu, 2017. Courtesy: PinchukArtCentre; photograph: Sergey Illin

Future Generation Art Prize
Palazzo Contarini Polignac
10 May 
 13 August 2017

At the Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo Polignac, a group show of the artists nominated for the annual Future Generation Art Prize, featuring this year’s winner, Dineo Seshee Bopape, and runner-up Phoebe Boswell, as well as, among others, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Sol Calero, Asli Çavuşoğlu, Andy Holden, Li Ran, Kameelah Janan Rasheed, Martine Syms and Kemang Wa Lehulere.

Hieronymus Bosch and Venice
Palazzo Ducale
18 February – 4 June, 2017

'Hieronymus Bosch and Venice' features three newly restored Bosch paintings held in the Gallerie dell’Accademia, which have been returned to their former glory thanks to a campaign fronted by the Bosch Research and Conservation Project (BRCP) and the Getty Foundation of Los Angeles: The martyrdom of Saint UncumberThree hermit saints and Paradise and Hell (Visions of the Afterworld). 

Alexander Kluge, Kommt ein Schiff gefahren –STUMMFILM, 2016, film still. Courtesy: © Alexander Kluge

'The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied' 
Fondazione Prada
10 May 
 26 November 2017

The result of an ongoing exchange between writer and filmmaker Alexander Kluge, artist Thomas Demand, stage- and costume-designer Anna Viebrock and curator Udo Kittelmann, ‘The Boat is Leaking. The Captain Lied.’ will include a polyphonic mix of their respective media, from photographs to film works to theatrical displays to set designs. 

Philip Guston, Pittore, 1973, oil on canvas. Courtesy: Hauser & Wirth; © The Estate of Philip Guston

Philip Guston and the Poets
Gallerie dell’Accademia
10 May  3 September 2017
Private view: 8 May, 6pm

Presenting a major selection of work, 'Philip Guston and The Poets' explores how a number of writers, including DH Lawrence, WB Yeats, Wallace Stevens, TS Eliot and Eugenio Montale, inspired Philip Guston’s paintings over a 50-year period. 

Giovanni Anselmo
Fondazione Querini Stampalia
9 May 
– 14 September 2017

Born in 1934, the famed Arte Povera artist Giovanni Anselmo has created a show in six parts: four individual environmental works are met by a fifth operatic element, all of which is completed by a sixth: the viewer.

Rita Kernn-Larsen, Self-Portrait (Know Thyself), 1937, oil on canvas, 40 x 45 cm. Courtesy: Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, Venice

Rita Kernn-Larsen, 'Surrealist Paintings'
'Picasso on the Beach'
‘Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897’
Mark Tobey, 'Threading Light'

Peggy Guggenheim Collection

Four seperate shows run the gamut of modernist painting traditions, from 'Mystical Symbolism: The Salon de la Rose+Croix in Paris, 1892–1897' to a selection of Picasso drawings and paintings ('Picasso on the Beach') to Danish surrealist Rita Kernn Larsen to a retrospective of US abstract painter Mark Tobey.

Palazzo Fortuny
13 May 
 26 November, 2017
Press preview 9 May, 2017, 10 am – 5 pm
VIP opening days 10-12 May, 2017, 10 am – 5 pm with live performances

For the sixth and final show to be curated by Axel Vervoordt at the Palazzo Fortuny with the venue’s director Daniela Ferretti, expect the usual fascinating jumbling of old and new, drawing together Klee and Kandinsky with Surrealists such as Breton and Masson, as well as a host of contemporary artists who have created site-specific installations responding to the Fortuny’s unique collection.

Damien Hirst, 'Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable'
Punta della Dogana / Palazzo Grassi
9 April – 3 December 2017

Ten years in the making, this is the first Damien Hirst exhibition in Italy since the British artist's 2004 retrospective at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale in Naples. Titled 'Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable', it is also the first solo exhibition to be displayed across the 5,000 square meters of the Palzzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana – the two Venetian venues of the Pinault Collection – and has reportedly cost between GBP£50 million and 100 million.

Other shows around town:

Shezad Dawood, ‘Leviathan’, Villino Canonica
7 May — 24 September 2017

John Smith, 'Films in Sheeps' Clothing'Alma Zevi Gallery
8 May — 22 July 2017
Private View: 10 May, 6 - 9pm

Seung-taek Lee, Palazzo Caboto, 1645 Via Giuseppe Garibaldi
Opening 9 / 10 / 11 May, 5-7pm 

Lucy McKenzie, 'La Kermesse Héroïque'Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa
10 May — 10 Sep 2017
Opening 9 May, 6.30pm - 8.30pm

Robert Rauschenberg and Andy Warhol, ‘Us Silkscreeners’, Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Island of San Giorgio Maggiore
12 May — 27 August 2017

Tehching Hsieh, ‘Doing Time’,Palazzo delle Prigioni Venice
13 May 
 26 November 2017

William Merritt Chase, 'A Painter Between New York and Venice, Ca' Pesaro
11 February — 28 May

Main image: Damien Hirst, Demon with Bowl (Exhibitions Enlargement), installation view, Palazzo Grassi, Venice. Courtesy: © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd All rights reserved DACS / SCIAE 2017; photograph: Prudence Cuming Associates

Paul Teasdale is editor of He is based in London.