June 29, 2007 |
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, who died of AIDS-related complications at 38 in 1996, is the second American to be posthumously represented in the high-profile American pavilion at the Venice Biennale. Unfortunately, the show mostly represents a lost opportunity for any of scores of living American artists. When Robert Smithson was so honored in 1982, nine years after his untimely death at 35, the privilege was crucial to securing his international reputation.
June 9, 2007 |
The world's oldest and most prestigious contemporary art fair opens Sunday in Venice, Italy, kicking off what promises to be the European art season of the decade as four premier events align in an unusual convergence that is generating extraordinary buzz. After this weekend's opening of the 52nd Venice Biennale, three other events kick off in quick succession over the following week: Art Basel in Switzerland; Documenta in Kassel, Germany; and the Muenster Sculpture Project, also in Germany.
December 16, 2003 |
The facade of Venice's luxuriant opera house, La Fenice, is again gleaming white. Inside, bare-breasted plaster nymphs once more show themselves off against a ceiling of gold leaf and a painted azure sky. The acoustics seem as rich as ever -- no microphones needed, thank you. Sunday night, nearly eight years after arsonists burned it to the ground, one of Italy's most storied theaters came back to life.
December 13, 2003 |
La Fenice rises from the ashes again Sunday, eight years after the famous Venetian theater burned to the ground. After years of squabbles and delays, Riccardo Muti will lift his baton and lead a gala concert of the company's orchestra and chorus, marking the return of the city's premier cultural jewel. "It's the same theater like before," La Fenice's music director, Marcello Viotti, said over coffee in New York last month. "Two years ago it was nothing -- ground zero, like you say here."
December 7, 2001 |
After more than 12 years of debate and discord, Italy approved a plan to save Venice from sinking by installing mobile barriers to protect the city from high tides. The project, approved at a Cabinet meeting, will take about eight years and $2.6 billion to complete. The barriers would be erected on the Adriatic seabed near the entrance to the Venetian lagoon. They would be raised only when high tides threaten the city.
May 27, 2001 |
The first of five blasts from the sirens atop St. Mark's bell tower and other high points in this lagoon city sounded late one night in early April, unusually late for the high tide season. The alarm woke many Venetians and tired tourists and let night owls know they would have wet feet if they didn't make it home in a couple of hours before the acqua alta--high water--flooded in. In Venice, life and the sea are inseparable.