A Boogie Down Biennale: Holly Block Is Bringing the Bronx to Venice

And remaking an institution

One could almost trace the career of Holly Block through biennials. So the selection of a program she oversaw for the 2013 Venice Biennale, which opens next June, is not much of a surprise.

In 1994, she led a group of intrepid museum directors, curators, critics and artists down to Cuba during the embargo to attend the Fifth Havana Biennial. In 2003, she and James Farber co-commissioned the Cairo Biennial, with the support of the State Department. In 2010, under her direction, the Bronx Museum was charged with administering a $1 million cultural diplomacy initiative called SmARTPower. Then in 2011, Ms. Block brought the biennial flair to the backyard of the Bronx Museum when the Artist in the Marketplace (AIM) program (an artist residency program founded in 1980, and one of the museum’s trophies) staged its own for the first time.
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