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One of the digital drawings that hint at the plans for the proposed Lisa Frank pavilion in 2021 (image courtesy the artist and Nayland Blake)

Weeks before the 2019 Venice Biennale is scheduled to open this May, it’s already been announced that Lisa Frank will represent the United States at the 2021 Venice Biennale. Known for her rainbow-hued kaleidoscopic vision that has entranced pre-teens and teens alike, Frank’s signature style represents a new wave of maximalist aesthetics that have come to define the contemporary world.

The United States pavilion, with Frank’s work, will be organized by artist Nayland Blake, who proposed the project independently without an affiliated institution. The selection was made by the Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

“I wanted to explore the nature of fanfic, rainbow aesthetics, and teen bedrooms through this selection,” Nayland told Hyperallergic. “She is the artist we need right now.” Nayland, who is known for overturning hierarchies, says the opportunity to showcase Frank’s work is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Venice Biennale staff are reputedly abuzz with the merchandising possibilities, while some are excited that this news means their children will finally want to come to the world’s oldest art biennial.

One Venetian city council member called the decision “meraviglioso” in a television interview, citing the happy palette Frank is known for, and her love of unicorns.

Nayland’s curatorial plans include a retrospective of 3-ring binders, a sticker room, and countless rainbow erasers.

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Hrag Vartanian

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic. You can follow him at @hragv.

4 replies on “A Startling Choice, Lisa Frank Is Selected for the US Pavilion at the 2021 Venice Biennale”

  1. Oh Lord! I clicked on this link not realizing it was satire… I was ready to retire! I am obviously no longer relevant as a curator or art professor.

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