The Venice Biennale has unveiled the roster of 332 artists for this year’s main exhibition, which is titled “Foreigners Everywhere.” Curated by Adriano Pedrosa, the director of São Paulo’s Museu de Arte, the theme reflects on global movements and crises related to the migration of people across borders. The 60th iteration of the mammoth prestigious group show will run from April 20th to November 24th.
This year, the exhibition will notably feature a significant number of Indigenous artists, including Native American landscape artist Kay WalkingStick, the Brazilian collective MAHKU, and the Māori quartet Mata Aho Collective. At a press conference, Pedrosa explained that the Indigenous populations are often treated like foreigners in their own country.
Pedorosa’s exhibition will be divided into two sections: the “Nucleo Contemporaneo” and “Nucleo Storico,” which are dedicated to contemporary and historical art, respectively. The “Nucleo Contemporaneo,” as outlined by Pedrosa, encompasses a wide-ranging concept of “foreigner” that extends beyond geographic boundaries to include individuals often marginalized for their cultural, sexual, or social identities. The Biennale will feature work from several queer artists, both contemporary and historical, including Isaac Chong Wai, American figurative painter Louis Fratino, Canadian artist and filmmaker Erica Rutherford, and Chinese abstract painter Evelyn Taocheng Wang. In his press statement, Pedrosa added that he is the first openly queer curator of the Biennale.
Meanwhile, the “Nucleo Storico” segment will showcase works by 20th-century artists from Latin America, Africa, the Arab world, and Asia, dating from 1905 to 1990, highlighting the complex interplay between European modernism and Indigenous influences in the Global South.
This section is divided into portraits, abstraction, and the Italian diaspora, with one work per artist displayed across the Central Pavilion and the Arsenale. This exhibition will feature work from artists such as Cícero Dias, Brazilian artist Yêdamaria, and Rómulo Rozo in the portraits section; Mexican artist Eduardo Terrazas, Colombian painter Fanny Sanín, and Lebanese painter Etel Adnan in the abstraction section; and public artist Nenne Sanguineti Poggi, painter Gianni Bertini, and Argentine artist Lidy Prati in the Italian diaspora section.
Other names range from well-known, historically-celebrated artists, such as Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo, to emerging artists like New York–based WangShui and Algeria-born Lydia Ourahmane. The full list of artists can be downloaded at the following link.
Correction: A previous version of this article said that Isaac Chong Wai was born in Hong Kong. The text has been corrected.