Eight Pace Gallery Artists to Present Major Projects at 54th Venice Biennale in June

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Eight Pace Gallery Artists to Present Major Projects at 54th Venice Biennale in June
File photo of Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto. EPA/SIGI TISCHLER.

NEW YORK, NY.- Eight artists from The Pace Gallery will present major projects during the 54th Venice Biennale opening in June. Works by Loris Gréaud, Lee Ufan, Song Dong, Hiroshi Sugimoto, James Turrell, Corban Walker, Zhang Huan, and Zhang Xiaogang will be featured at venues including the main exhibition at the Arsenale and Giardini, Palazzo Grassi, Museo Fortuny, Fondazione Claudio Buziol, and the Irish Pavilion.

Corban Walker (b. 1967, Ireland), the official Irish representative at the 54th Venice Biennale, will present three new, site-specific sculptural installations at the Irish Pavilion, located at the Istituto Santa Maria della Pietà. The installations respond to rule-based, mathematical principles that derive from Walker’s own height of four feet and correlate to the experience of navigating a world that has been designed for others. The exhibition will feature a massive sculpture made of 160 interlocking steel cubes and two vinyl “drawings” that map the windows and interior glazing of the Pietà. Each work interacts with the historic architecture of the Pavilion and is, in some way, transparent. In the past, Walker has used transparent materials like glass and Plexiglas to create sculptures; this time, the installation itself will be transparent though the actual materials – metal and vinyl – are opaque.

Works by three Pace artists will be included in the official 54th Venice Biennale exhibition, ILLUMInations, curated by Bice Curiger at the Arsenale and Giardini. Light and space artist James Turrell (b. 1943) will show a work at the Arsenale. Curiger has selected Song Dong (b. 1966, China) as one of four artists to create a “Parapavilion”—an architectural space that will house another artist’s art. Song will create his Parapavilion using the facade of his parent’s hundred-year-old Shanghai home, relocated to the Giardini and filled with doors of wardrobes gathered from from 100 different families. Conceptual artist Loris Gréaud (b. 1979, France), who joined The Pace Gallery this month, will present The Gepetto Pavilion, a colossal sculpture of a 55-foot-long beached whale placed at the canal entrance to the Arsenale with an “isolation room” in the whale’s belly for visitors to enter.

Made and carved according to the description of Moby Dick, Gréaud’s life-sized whale explores the myth of the belly of the whale in contemporary culture, from biblical stories to Pinocchio. Continuing his practice of collaborating with experts in diverse fields, Gréaud compiled, archived, and analyzed stories about the obsession of the whale and formed a team of oceanographers and sculptors to produce an artwork that corresponds to their research. The inside of the belly houses a 40 square-foot space where the spectator can actually live what it would feel like to be swallowed and expectorated, allowing them an extreme and fictitious experience that has only been made tangible in tales and legends.

Three artists from Pace will be included in the exhibition The World Belongs to You at the François Pinault Foundation’s Palazzo Grassi. The exhibition will include rooms dedicated to Gréaud, Zhang Huan (b. 1966, China), and Lee Ufan (b. 1936, Korea), on the eve of Lee’s career survey at the Guggenheim in New York. Curated by Caroline Bourgeois, The World Belongs to You marks the five year anniversary of the opening of the Palazzo Grassi by François Pinault.

Conceptual photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto (b. 1948, Japan) will be included in the exhibition TRA– The Edge of Becoming at the Museo Fortuny. Curated by Daniela Ferretti, Rosa Martinez, Francesco Poli and Axel Vervoordt, the exhibition will include seven photographs from Sugimoto’s Lighting Field series—works created by applying electrical discharges to photographic dry plates to recreate major discoveries of scientific pioneers. On the occasion of Sugimoto’s first exhibition at The Pace Gallery last fall, the New York Times wrote that the works “seem to sizzle with majestic lightning bolts. Marked by incandescent whites, velvety blacks and subtle textural detail, they suggest the birth of stars and planets.”

Zhang Xiaogang (b. 1958, China) will be included in Future Pass, a special project parallel to the Venice Biennale curated by Victoria Lu, Renzo di Renzo, Felix Schoeber at the Fondazione Claudio Buziol at the Palazzo Mangilli-Valmarana. Future Pass is hosted by Fondazione Claudio Buziol, Taipei UNEEC foundation, and Beijing’s Today Art Museum.

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