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  • Feb 02, 2012

Massimiliano Gioni named artistic director of 55th Venice Biennale

Portrait of Massimiliano Gioni by Maurizio de Angelius. From ArtAsiaPacific

On January 31, Massimiliano Gioni, the associate director and director of exhibitions of the New Museum in New York, was appointed artistic director of the 55th Venice Biennale, which is scheduled for 2013. At 38, Gioni will be the youngest artistic director in the 110-year history of the Biennale, often dubbed “the art world’s Olympics.”

Gioni, who is also the artistic director of Milan’s Fondazione Nicola Trussardi, is no stranger to biennales and art mega-events: he was the co-curator of the 50th Venice Biennale (2003), the Berlin Biennale (2005) and Manifesta 5 (2005), as well as the artistic director of the Gwangju Biennale (2010).

His appointment gives Asian artists and practitioners hope for a more diverse Central Pavilion—an area where the artistic director of last year’s 54th Venice Biennale, Parkett founder and editor-in-chief Bice Curiger, was criticized for her heavy focus on European artists. Conversely, Gioni has demonstrated a strong interest in the Asia-Pacific region. Aside from being artistic director of the Gwangju Biennale, he organized the New Museum’s critically acclaimed “Ostalgia,” a 2011 survey of more than 50 artists from the former USSR and Central Asia, and co-curated the museum’s 2009 triennial, “Younger than Jesus,” which featured, among others, Chinese video artist Cao Fei, Indian multimedia artist Shilpa Gupta, Turkish conceptualist Ahmet Öğüt and Kazakh photographer and video artist Alexander Ugay. 

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