Women of Venice


Switzerland: Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council

Swiss Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition
La Biennale di Venezia 
Women of Venice
Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler and Carol Bove
curator Philipp Kaiser
Press: May 2017
Opening: May 2017
Exhibition: 13 May – 26 November 2017
Swiss Pavilion 1952. Swiss Federal Archives, E3001B#1981/132#379*
Curator Philipp Kaiser has invited artists Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler and Carol Bove to show their work in the exhibition «Women of Venice»
The exhibition at the Swiss Pavilion at the 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia will be entitled «Women of Venice». New works will be specifically created for the pavilion, which will deal with Alberto Giacometti’s heritage and universe and his absence from the Venice Art Biennale. Giacometti, who lived in Paris, was repeatedly requested to represent Switzerland with an exhibition in Venice, a request that the artist regularly declined, while in 1956, he finally consented to put on display a group of cast figures entitled «Femme de Venise» in the French Pavilion. Curator Philipp Kaiser aims to explore concepts of national identity as well as cultural policy contexts.

Alberto Giacometti is without doubt one of the most influential Swiss artists of the 20th century. This makes his absence from the Venice Art Biennale all the more surprising. In fact, Giacometti, who lived in Paris, was repeatedly requested to represent Switzerland with an exhibition in Venice – a request that the artist regularly declined. From an early age on, Alberto Giacometti, who was born in Borgonovo in the Canton of Grisons, saw himself as an international artist and refused to be defined through a national identity. Even when his brother, the architect Bruno Giacometti, built the new Swiss Pavilion in 1952 and Alberto was asked to present an exhibition there, he graciously turned the invitation down and suggested another artist instead. In 1956, he finally consented to put on display a group of cast figures entitled «Femme de Venise» in the French Pavilion. As a form of international recognition for his oeuvre, he was awarded the Grand Prix for Sculpture in Venice in 1962, a few years before his death. 
Philipp Kaiser, born 1972 in Berne, is working as an independent curator and art critic in California. His work recognises and retains his close links to the Swiss art scene.
He is currently preparing a comprehensive exhibition focussing on the archive and library of the late, world-famous Swiss curator Harald Szeemann at the renowned Getty Research Institute in LA.

Kaiser began his career as an Art historian in Switzerland. From 2001 to 2007, he worked as curator for modern and contemporary art at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Basel. He then moved to the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles. At the age of 39 he was appointed director of Museum Ludwig in Cologne. His work as visiting professor at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Karlsruhe, the University of California in Los Angeles and, also in California, the Claremont McKenna College give evidence of his close ties to teaching and research.

Hubbard AlexBirchlerd.jpg
Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler

Teresa Hubbard (Irish/ American/ Swiss, born in Dublin, Ireland 1965) and Alexander Birchler (Swiss, born in Baden, Switzerland 1962) have been working as a collaborative artist duo since 1990. Their lens-based practice interweaves hybrid forms of storytelling and explores the connections between social life, memory and history that sit just outside the frame of a recorded image. As the critic Jeffrey Kastner notes, «Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler’s filmic essays are also in their way detective stories, with all the poetic and philosophical resonance that the form at its best can offer. Not run-of-the-mill whodunnits, but examinations of the ways in which knowing and notknowing are related.»

Hubbard attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture and the graduate sculpture program at Yale University School of Art, New Haven. Birchler studied at the Academy of Art and Design Basel and the University of Art and Design, Helsinki, Finland. They received MFA degrees from the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in Halifax, Canada in 1992.

Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler’s work is held in numerous public collections including the Kunsthaus Zurich; Kunstmuseum Basel; Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D. C.; Aargauer Kunsthaus Aarau; Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth; Museum of Fine Arts Houston; Thyssen- Bornemisza Art Contemporary, Vienna and the Pinakothek der Moderne,

They live in Austin, Texas and Berlin, Germany.

Image: Portrait of Teresa Hubbard / Alexander Birchler
Courtesy the Artists and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York, Lora Reynolds Gallery, Austin, Vera Munro Gallery, Hamburg.

Carol Bove

Work by the artist is represented in permanent collections worldwide, including the Fonds Régional d’Art Contemporain (FRAC) Nord-Pas de Calais, Dunkerque, France; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; Princeton University Art Museum, New Jersey; Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art, Hartford, Connecticut; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and the Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, Connecticut.

Bove’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at institutions including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; High Line at the Rail Yards, New York; The Common Guild, Glasgow; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin; Kunsthalle Zürich; Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; and Kunstverein Hamburg.

In 2014, a major two-person exhibition, «Carol Bove/Carlo Scarpa», was held at Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, England and traveled to Museion, Bolzano, Italy, followed by Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle, Belgium.

Major group exhibitions include Documenta 13, Kassel, Germany; 54th Venice Biennale; and the Whitney Biennial, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York.

Bove studied at New York University where she later taught as a clinical associate professor of studio art. She is co-represented by David Zwirner and Maccarone galleries. She lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

Geneva-born, American artist Carol Bove (b. 1971), who was raised in Berkeley, California, is known for her assemblages that combine found and made elements. Incorporating a wide range of domestic, industrial and natural objects, her sculptures, paintings, and prints reveal the poetry of their materials. As the art historian Johanna Burton notes, «Bove brings things together not to nudge associative impulses into free play driven by the unconscious, but rather to conjure a kind of affective tangle that disrupts any singular, historical narrative.»

Image: Carol Bove. Photo by Andreas Laszlo Konrath.
Courtesy David Zwirner, New York/London
The 57th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia takes place from 13 May to 26 November 2017. The Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia is responsible for the Swiss contributions to the Biennale di Venezia. 
Switzerland: Pro Helvetia, Swiss Arts Council
Image: The Pavilion of Switzerland at the 26th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia, built by Bruno Giacometti in 1951/1952. View into the sculpture room with works by Jakob Probst who was exhibited instead of Alberto Giacometti who declined the invitation.



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