Tetsumi Kudo, Christina Quarles and Sophie Taeuber-Arp included in 2022 Venice Biennale
‘‘The Milk of Dreams’ takes its title from a book by Leonora Carrington (1917–2011),’ says Cecilia Alemani, ‘in which the Surrealist artist describes a magical world where life is constantly re-envisioned through the prism of the imagination. It is a world where everyone can change, be transformed, become something or someone else. The exhibition takes Leonora Carrington’s otherworldly creatures, along with other figures of transformation, as companions on an imaginary journey through the metamorphoses of bodies and definitions of the human.’
Opening to the public on 23 April 2022 at the Giardini and Arsenale, the exhibition includes 213 artists from 58 countries; 180 of these are participating for the first time in the International Exhibition. 1433 works and objects will be on display, with 80 new projects are conceived specifically for the Biennale Arte.
Portrait of Christina Quarles, 2021. Courtesy the artist and Pilar Corrias, London. Photo by Ilona Szwarc
Installation view, Tetsumi Kudo in ‘The Milk of Dreams,’ La Biennale di Venezia, 2022. Courtesy Hiroko Kudo, the Estate of Tetsumi Kudo and Hauser & Wirth © 2022 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris. Photo: Andrea Rossetti
‘How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms?’—Curator Cecilia Alemani
Japanese artist Tetsumi Kudo’s (1935 –1990) wide-ranging practice explored the human experience, interrogating the proliferation of mass consumption and the rise of technology. His oeuvre addresses themes of colonialism, racism, social cohesion, and environmental degradation through biomorphic sculptures and assemblages incorporating found materials.
Los Angeles-based artist Christina Quarles’ (b. 1985) practice works to dismantle and question assumptions and ingrained beliefs surrounding identity and the human figure. Born in Chicago and raised by her mother in Los Angeles, Quarles took art classes from an early age. She developed a solid foundation for a lifelong drawing practice through after- school programs and figure drawing classes at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp in the office of the Aubette, Strasbourg, ca. 1926-27 © Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin/Rolandswerth
Installation view, Sophie Taeuber-Arp in ‘The Milk of Dreams,’ La Biennale di Venezia, 2022 © Stiftung Arp e.V., Berlin/Rolandswerth. Courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth. Photo: Andrea Rossetti
Swiss-born artist Sophie Taeuber-Arp (1889 – 1943) is one of the most important artists of the twentieth-century avant-garde and is considered a pioneer of Constructivist art. Reconciling extremes with conﬁdence—Dada and Geometric Abstraction, ﬁne art and utilitarian objects—Taeuber-Arp’s works boldly engaged with the intellectual context of international modernism. Through her multi-faceted approach to media, she challenged traditional hierarchies between ﬁne and applied art, and asserted art’s urgent relevance to daily life.
The exhibition is built on conversations the curator has had with artists in recent years. ‘The questions that kept emerging from these dialogues seem to capture this moment in history when the very survival of the species is threatened,’ says Alemani, ‘but also to sum up many other inquiries that pervade the sciences, arts, and myths of our time. How is the definition of the human changing? What constitutes life, and what differentiates plant and animal, human and non-human? What are our responsibilities towards the planet, other people, and other life forms? And what would life look like without us? These are some of the guiding questions for this edition of the Biennale Arte, which focuses on three thematic areas in particular: the representation of bodies and their metamorphoses; the relationship between individuals and technologies; the connection between bodies and the Earth.’
Learn more about ‘The Milk of Dreams,’ the 59th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia.