The 2022 Edition of the Venice Biennale Makes History for Women

Cecilia Alemani changes the artist list significantly, giving female artists recognition.

Sarah Tunstall
4th March 2022
The Venice Biennale main exhibition, "The Milk of Dreams" - @venice.art.biennale on Instagram

Starting in 1895, the Venice Biennale is one of the oldest art exhibitions known. Its artist list has been a bi-annual glimpse into what artistic styles are coming into play today and in the next year. Usually taking a male majority curation (Jean Clair in 1995 for example, having a curated list of 90% male) Cecilia Alemani, artistic director of 2022, has officially changed the whole sequence. Set to open in April this year, Alemani released her artist list last week, and in such ways, it’s become significantly historic. Out of 213 artists mentioned, only 21 are/were male identifying; of those, only 15 were living. This is something the art community has never seen before and has become a significant step to further female-based curations. 

What does this mean for female artists of the past and present?

If anything, it is finally changing the artistic conversation regarding the female voice, not of a devotion or pretence, just simply down to talent. Having one of the oldest art exhibitions finally recognise the female movement in art will set a foundation for upcoming artists to be recognised by higher voices in the art community.

Although nowadays we are very secured in the use of social media to share new art, having one of the most significant members in the criticism of art recognise the female voice will make a more significant turn for female artists alike. 

This, I can say, will have a momentous push in the art community for not just women, but the voices that aren’t ‘male’. In turn, creating a more encouraging foundation for artists to express themselves and share their work.

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