In my previous post I wrote about the official Venice Bienalle in uncomplimentary terms. But if you are about to visit Venice, do not despair. There are a host of ‘collateral’ exhibitions, associated with but not part of the Biennale, whose quality leaves the Biennale cold and will certainly make your visit worthwhile.
One of the very best is a small but beautiful exhibition by the sculptor Jaume Plensa in San Giorgio Maggiore, the wonderful Palladian church which is one of the visual highlights of a visit to Venice. Plensa had a large and fascinating exhibition at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park a couple of years ago and this exhibition is curated by one of the YSP curatorial team.
There are two parts to the exhibition: a series of alabaster sculptures of girls from around the world; and, in the nave of the Basilica, Together, described as “conversation between the blessing hand, suspended beneath the cupola in the foreground of the altar, and head, sited in the nave”.
Both are simple and absolutely beautiful.