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The Biennale Arte 2024 is the longest running and most prestigious exhibition in the global art calendar. It is widely recognised as the leading forecast of contemporary art trends and in the words of Liza Essers (owner Goodman Gallery) the Biennale “has the authority, the power, the voice that determines art history, in many ways.” – Liza Essers in Conversation with Farah Nayeri, in The New York Times (April 2024).

Goodman Gallery – whose locations include Johannesburg, Cape Town, London and New York – has five artists presented at this edition of La Biennale across the main exhibition and the national pavilions. Selected and organised by esteemed Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa, the main exhibition Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere includes Kudzanai Chiurai, Gabrielle Goliath, Kiluanji Kia Henda and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA. 

Kapwani Kiwanga presents a solo project for the Canadian Pavilion curated by Gaëtane Verna, Executive Director, Wexner Center for the Arts, and Yinka Shonibare CBE RA also participates as part of a group exhibition titled Nigeria Imaginary for the Nigerian Pavilion curated by Aindrea Emelife, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, MOWAA. 

This significant presentation of Goodman Gallery artists evidences the gallery’s long standing influence on the Continent and global art world more broadly, championing early career African and diasporan artists. 

Chiurai, Goliath and Kia Henda are exemplary of the generation of early career artists first introduced to African audiences through the Goodman Gallery curatorial project Working Title and later to international platforms through gallery representation, make their debuts at Biennale Arte following major moments; including Chiurai’s inclusion in A World in Common: Contemporary African Photography at the TATE last year, and Goliath’s current inclusion in Cantando Bajito: Testimonies at the Ford Foundation, New York. Kia Henda was also present in A World in Common and is currently on view at Haus der Kulturen der Welt as part of the group show Echoes of the Brother Countries. Their appearance at Venice highlights the importance of Goodman’s longstanding commitment to championing the next generation and providing an international platform to support their careers through recent London and New York expansions in 2019 and 2024 respectively.

Yinka Shonibare CBE’s Nigerian Pavilion presentation continues his central thematic impulses; explorations of colonial history, post-colonialism and the tangled interrelationship between Africa and Europe. Shonibare’s presence at Venice occurs concurrently with his first solo exhibition in over 20 years at a London public institution, Suspended States at Serpentine. Kiwanga’s solo presentation Trinket debuts newly commissioned work that examines Global trade and transactional relations between Africa and Europe. This follows a series of major exhibitions including, MOCA Toronto – her Canadian Museum debut in 2022 and New Museum, New York 2021.

Alongside the Biennale, the gallery also supported the premier of William Kentridge’s new nine-episode video series SELF-PORTRAIT AS A COFFEE-POT as a site specific installation curated by long time collaborator and curator Carolyn Christov Bakargiev at the Arsenale Institute for Politics of Representation. The series is about the interior life of an artist in our digital world and was filmed at the artist’s studio during the Pandemic in South Africa.  

Work by Goodman Gallery artists are on display in Venice until 24 November, 2024.



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