Dates: May 13th to November 26th, 2017
The oldest and still to this day most prestigious Biennale of them all, La Biennale de Venezia, continues to be the most visited Biennal. Founded in 1895, the La Biennale de Venezia takes place every two years. Venice is where you will find art stars, and where major curators are being discovered, evaluated and honoured.
Carnegie International was founded by Andrew Carnegie in 1896 and is the second-oldest recurring exhibition in the world. The Biennale occurs every three to five years in Pittsburgh at the Carnegie Museum of Art and has featured almost all major modern artists, from the likes of Auguste Rodin to Vincent van Gogh to France Stark and Phyllida Barlow. The Biennale has evolved from being an educational initiative to an international showcasing of the best art and biggest names from around the world in the form of curated mini-shows and unique projects.
Dates: April 8th to July 16th, 2017
Documenta is a Biennale founded in 1955 occurring every five years in Kassel, Germany. The Biennale originally was created in Germany as an act to unify and revitalize the country after World War II. The Nazi’s previously imposed a ban on so-called degenerate art. Documenta is one of the most well funded Biennales and as a result has dramatically increased in size over the years. Touted as being a less glamorous Biennale, Documenta is the art world’s most intellectual Biennale, with a strong and unique emphasis on its curatorial approach. The artworks presented in Documenta challenges the expectations our society has on art and forces viewers to think outside the box.
Dates: March 17th to June 11th, 2017
Founded in 1932 and running every two years in New York City, The Whitney Biennal has been the United States largest Biennale. The Biennale displays the current state of the US art market and serves as a right of passage for young emerging artists as well as a pilgrimage for established artists. The emerging artists selected for the Biennale are a good reflection of what fine art programs are currently producing and showcase the best in the United States.
Dates: Palermo, Italy 2018
With its headquarters in Amsterdam, Holland, Manifesta is a Biennale founded in 1996 occurring every two years in a different city each year, usually based in Europe. The Biennale was created after the fall of the Soviet Union. Manifesta is a more unconventional Biennale and encourages emerging artists to experiment, be different and do projects that may not fit more conventional exhibitions. Manifesta has been known for its impressive curatorial rigor, always having a new theme, and curator or group of curators for each Biennale that is best suited to that host venue and city. Manifesta steers clear of utilizing traditional art centers and opts for venues that are more off the beaten track such as abandoned coalmines.
The Bienal de São Paulo was founded by Brazilian businessman Ciccillo Matarazzo in 1951 and occurs every two years. Since 1957 this Biennale always takes place at the Oscar Niemeyer- and Hélio Uchôa-designed Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion. The Biennale’s mission is to present and discuss contemporary art, promoting the art of the time whilst recognizing the Brazilian visual arts community and environment. Since the Biennale’s conception there has been 14, 000 artists who have participated from 160 countries, with around 8 million visitors.
Dates: October 2016 to October 2017
The United Arab Emirates is where the Sharjah Biennale was founded in 1993 taking place every two years. The non-profit Sharjah Art Foundation has funded the Sharjah Biennale since 2006 and runs additional visual art programming between Biennales. Each Biennale has a global focus with an Emirates influence and is organized around themes that are either very conceptual or overtly political. It is the goal of the Sharjah Biennale to act as a catalyst for collaboration, experimentation and exchange with the Middle East, and the rest of the world.
The Bienal de la Habana was founded in 1984 taking place in Cuba every two to three years. Initially this Biennale only included Caribbean and Latin American artists. It has since grown to include artists from Africa, the Middle East and Asia. The Bienal de la Habana is unique as it does not rotate its curators but instead utilizes a curatorial team at Havana’s Wilfredo Lam Contemporary Art Center. This Biennale is considered one of the most important Cuban cultural developments in the visual arts and is a platform for liberation, integration and convergence of knowledge.
Dates: November 11th, 2016 to March 12th, 2017
Shanghai Biennal is China’s largest Biennale founded in 1996 running every two years since its inception. The Biennale has always taken place at the Shanghai Art Museum and explores the ultimate connections between contemporary art, urban life, and the public. It is one of the most important Biennales in Asia and is a gathering spot for the most talented and cutting-edge international curators and artists.
Dates: to be announced
The Vancouver Biennale is a Biennale founded in 1998 by Barrie Mowatt. The Biennale works with established artists the likes of Ai Weiwei and Jonathan Borofsky. The Vancouver Biennale has experienced growth at a fast rate and now has featured 91 outdoor sculptures and new media works with 78 artists from 25 countries. The Biennale has received great international attention and has strongly contributed to transforming Metro Vancouver into a major cultural destination and centre of artistic vibrancy.