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Posted inArt

What Did Jorge Luis Borges See in Xul Solar?

The writer Jorge Luis Borges once referred to his friend the artist Xul Solar as “one of the most singular events of our era.” Those in New York have the opportunity to see an important selection of works by the two friends in an exhibition at the Americas Society. Curated by Gabriela Rangel, the show sheds new light on the work of Borges and, through the lens of friendship, reveals the multifaceted artistic and intellectual project that he and Solar shared.

Posted inArt

In Venice, A Dream Reborn

SONCINO, Italy — Having just returned from Venice, with its literal acres of art, crowded parties, Arsenale hikes, and tourists wielding umbrellas through the rain, one exhibition left me gratefully awed. Ca’ d’Oro, an example of late Gothic architecture built between 1421 and 1440, is one of most beautifully preserved palazzos along the Grand Canal.

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Seeing the Invisible in a Humanitarian Crisis

BERLIN — In a visually stunning multichannel video installation, “The Enclave” (2013), Richard Mosse has created an immersive environment that plunges the viewer into the heart of the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The installation in the Irish Pavilion at the Venice Biennale consists of multiple screens positioned throughout the center of the room; they are transparent scrims, so you can see the projection simultaneously from both sides.

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The Impossible Desire of the Encyclopedic Palace

VENICE — After all of the seeing and being seen, it was a huge relief to enter Il Palazzo Enciclopedico (The Encyclopedic Palace), curated by Massimiliano Gioni, the youngest artistic director of La Biennale in 110 years. This museum-like exhibition featuring work from over 150 artists from 38 countries made throughout the past century is split between two massive locations: the Central Pavilion at the Giardini, and the Arsenale, which is roughly twelve times the size of an American football field.

Posted inArt

Shock of the View: Seeing and Scene at the Venice Biennale

VENICE — Nothing quite captured the absurdity that is the vernissage of La Biennale better than Ragnar Kjartansson’s fishing boat, the S. S. Hangover, floating through a barrel-vaulted and colonnaded boat parking structure carrying six horn players performing British composer Gavin Bryars’ “White’s SS” (1977) as Tilda Swinton looked on elegantly from a grassy beach at the end of the massive Arsenale. Yes, I actually saw Tilda Swinton. I died.

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