PRINT September 1984


THE OVERALL TITLE OF THE 1984 Venice Biennale, the 41st, was “Arte e Arti. Attualità e Storia” (Art and the arts. Now and in history). The Central Pavilion in the permanent exhibition grounds, the Giardini di Castello, contained a show entitled “Arte alto Specchio” (Art in the mirror) and the installation section of a show entitled “Arte, ambiente, scena” (Art, environment, stage); both were international in scope and were curated by Maurizio Calvesi, the director of the visual-arts section of the Biennale. “Arte, ambiente, scena” also included a single, outdoor work by Alberto Burri, in the Giardini, and programs of performances in two theaters in the city. Thirty-three countries ran national pavilions in the Giardini (some work relating to the national pavilions, notably an exhibition of French painting, was shown elsewhere in Venice), and one-man shows of the work of Augusto Murer and Antonio Zoran Music were also held here. “Le Arti a Vienna dalla Secessione alla Caduta dell’Impero Asburgico” (The arts in Vienna from the Secession to the fall of the Hapsburg empire) filled the Palazzo Grassi, on the Grand Canal; and an international show of “emerging artists” titled “Aperto 84” (Open 84), curated by Flavio Caroli and John Roberts, occupied the Magazzini del sale buildings on the Zattere.

In addition, several independently organized shows were held in Venice to coincide with the Biennale. We include coverage of one such show, “Quartetto” (Quartet), in the Scuola di San Giovanni Evangelista. All of the writers here contribute regularly to Artforum.