Cecilia Alemani to Curate the Venice Biennale

Roberta Cutillo (January 13, 2020)
The director and curator of the High Line’s art program, will be the first Italian woman to organize the Venice Art Biennale, one of the most important international contemporary art appointments in the world.

Born in Milan in 1977, Cecilia Alemani has been directing the art program of New York City’s High Line Art since 2011, working with celebrated contemporary artists such as Kerry James Marshall, Carol Bove, Nari Ward, El Anatsui, Sarah Sze, Maria Hassabi, and Simone Leigh, from which she commissioned a variety of site-specific works ranging from sculptures to installations, group shows and performances.

Under her direction, the former railroad turned elevated park, which runs along Manhattan’s west side from the Meatpacking district through Chelsea and all the way to Hudson Yards, has become a recognized contemporary art venue as well as a charming promenade.

Ms. Alemani was also the curator of Frieze Projects, a program of new artists’ commissions realized annually at the Frieze New York art fair, from 2012 to 2017 and already participated in the Venice Art Biennale as the curator of the Italian Pavilion in 2017, which featured site-specific works by Giorgio Andreotta Calò, Adelita Husni-Bey, and Roberto Cuoghi. Furthermore, her husband, New Museum curator Massimiliano Gioni, was the artistic director of the 2013 edition of the prestigious international biennial. 

She will be the first Italian woman and the fifth-ever woman in the history of the Venice Biennale, which began in 1895 and has grown to become one of the most important contemporary art appointments in the world, to curate the event, following in the footsteps of Rosa Martinez and Maria de Corral (2005), Bice Curiger (2011), and Christine Macel (2017). 

“As the first Italian woman to hold this position, I understand and appreciate the responsibility and also the opportunity offered to me,” Ms. Alemani commented. “I intend to give voice to artists to create unique projects that reflect their visions and our society.”

The theme and participants have yet to be announced but the 59th edition of the Venice Biennale will take place from May to November 2021. For further information check back here in the coming months.