This year's Venice Biennale, as curated by Massimiliano Gioni, opens on June 1st, and runs through the end of November. As artistic director of the 55th International Art Exhibition, Gioni is evoking the self-taught Italian-American artist Marino Auriti by titling this year's affairs the Encyclopedic Palace. On November 16th, 1955, Auriti filed a design with the US Patent Office depicting his Palazzo Enciclopedico, which was an imaginary museum meant to house all worldly knowledge, bringing together the greatest discoveries in a 136-story building that would stand 700 meters tall and take up over 16 blocks in Washington, D.C.
"Auriti’s plan was never carried out, of course, but the dream of universal, all-embracing knowledge crops up throughout history, as one that eccentrics like Auriti share with many other artists, writers, scientists, and prophets who have tried—often in vain—to fashion an image of the world that will capture its infinite variety and richness," said Gioni in a statement.
Among the 155 artists and special exhibits being featured in this year's exhibition is Phyllis Galembo. John Patrick first met Phyllis back in the late 1970s, as introduced by artist Jan Galligan, and the two have been longtime friends and mutual supporters ever since. Phyllis' inclusion in this year's Venice Biennale is well-deserved and we are so excited that she is representing the USA in Venice.
The above image is detail from Phyllis Galembo’s “Cowboy, Tumus Masquerade Group, Winneba, Ghana” (2009), as featured in the New York Times.