Giardini, British Pavilion
Cathy Wilkes has built a considerable reputation for sculptural installations of profound and mysterious intensity. Her distinctive and highly personal installations evoke the rituals of daily life while alluding to existential questions at the core of human existence. Her exhibition in the British Pavilion will be made entirely of new work, including sculptural installations, object arrangements and paintings, which will flow from room to room.
Cathy Wilkes experiments with all kinds of media and materials, and collects treasures and ingredients. Her work recalls emergent visions of interiors and places of loss, and meditates on the nature of love and the coexistence of life and death. She questions how art can relate to human experience.
You might already have seen her work in Venice, as she represented Scotland in the Biennale Arte 2005 as part of the exhibition ‘Selective Memory’, and she was featured in ‘The Encyclopedic Palace’ at the Biennale Arte 2013.
Cathy Wilkes (°1966) was born in Dundonald, Belfast and lives and works in Glasgow. She is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential artists working in the UK today. She graduated with a BA from The Glasgow School of Art in 1988, and completed her MFA at the University of Ulster, Belfast in 1992. In 2008, she was nominated for the Turner Prize. In 2016, she was the inaugural recipient of the Maria Lassnig Prize and presented the largest solo exhibition of her work to date at MoMA PS1, New York (2017-2018).
Dr Zoe Whitley is Curator, International Art at Tate Modern. She recently co-curated the acclaimed exhibition Soul of a Nation. Prior to joining Tate, she was a Curator at the V&A, having also curated exhibitions in the USA and South Africa.
“We are excited to present a completely new body of work by Cathy Wilkes. Her inventiveness, curiosity and unique thinking have produced something as ambitious as it is captivating.”
The British pavilion in Giardini was opened at the 8th Art Biennale in 1909. The building originally housed the café and restaurant of La Biennale. It was redesigned by Edwin Alfred Rickards, a representative of British Edwardian classicism, with the support of William Frank Brangwyn for the interior.
If you want to know more about the Art Biennale 2019 and the other national participations, you can read my post ‘What to expect from the Art Biennale 2019’, or have a look at this overview page which links to all the articles related to the Biennale. If you want to be informed about new previews of national pavilions being added to the site, you can subscribe to The Venice Insider biweekly newsletter.
(Picture in banner: Cathy Wilkes – Installation view LENTOS Kunstmuseum, Linz, 2015 – Photo: Reinhard Haider – Courtesy of the Artist and The Modern Institute/Toby Webster Ltd, Glasgow)
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