Florence Biennale

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The Florence Biennale is an art exhibition held in Florence, Italy, since 1997 it has been held every two years in the exhibition spaces of the Fortezza da Basso, Florence. Artists shown in the exhibition, run by the Arte Studio organisation, pay to have their work exhibited in the biennale.


The Biennale in its current form was initiated in 1997 by Piero and Pasquale Celona.[1]

The first Art Director of the Florence Biennale to be appointed, in 1997, was the art historian Stefano Francolini,[2] from 1998 to 2005 the Art Director in charge was the art historian and critic John Spike. In 2007 Emanuel von Lauestein Massarani, Secretary of Culture and Superintendent of Cultural Heritage in São Paulo (Brazil), took over; in 2009 and 2011 Stefano Francolini was called up again. In 2013 the Florentine art historian and critic Rolando Bellini was appointed and is currently in charge.


Contrary to similar large international exhibitions and art fairs where national governments bear the participation cost (Venice Biennale) or where galleries bear the cost (London Art Fair), the Florence Biennale is funded by admission fees from selected artists, the Biennale is a juried exhibition with a selection committee. Its members are chosen according to their experience in contemporary art on an international level; in 2015 the committee consisted of 29 art experts from 15 countries.[3] [4]


The Florence Biennale is one of the larger juried exhibitions in Europe where selected artists can show their work to an international public without the intermediation of traditional galleries, for a growing number of digital painters and new media artists in general, who as a collective have difficulties with finding gallery representation and opportunities for exhibitions, juried exhibition becomes increasingly important.


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