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Art Market & You : EXPLORING THE BIENNALE FORMAT

Through Art Market & You, Art From Us provides you Analysis, Opinion and Factual Reports regarding the current on-goings of the Global Art Market. In this article, we discuss the Biennale Format of exhibiting art.

Rise & Evolution of the Art Biennale

For those who are not in the know, an art biennale or biennial, as the name suggests, is a type of exhibition held once in two years. Biennales are different from regular exhibitions in that they are large scale and generally city-wide. Such a format was developed in 1895 with the Venice Biennale.

The Venice Biennale even today stands as the one of the most important art events and perhaps the biggest of its kind. Through the 20th and 21st centuries however, there was an sudden rise in the number of such exhibitions around the globe.

Following are some significant art biennales today :
The Venice Biennale, held in Italy
Liverpool Biennale, held in England
Kochi-Muziris Biennale, held in India
Sharjah Biennale, held in the United Arab Emirates

The Impact of an Art Biennale

The biennale has developed as a great medium to not only promote art and culture , but also tourism for a particular place. They are a fantastic way to make art accessible to the public, locally and internationally. Biennales generally have a theme that tie together all the art on display. The art is spread across various venues city-wide, as opposed to being limited to art institutions. Arguably, biennales contribute to the infrastructural, socio-economic and cultural development of the city they are held in.

However, in the recent past, there has arguably been an overload of art biennales world wide. Such exhibitions are drawing much criticism owing to their large scale and lack of planning. Further, oftentimes the curatorial note is too specific or too general to produce a good show.


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