Now that everyone can wash their hands of Armory Week, it’s time to look forward to the next red letter day on the global art world calendar—that would be the opening of the 56th International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia. Yep, the Venice Biennale is just weeks away. Can’t you just taste the Campari and soda already?
And so as that lovely occasion nears, the MIT List Visual Arts Center—directed by Paul Ha, the commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion—has announced that the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation will donate $200,000 to support Joan Jonas’ presentation at the Biennale, which will fill five galleries with works across various media. Ms. Jonas is representing the United States at what is perhaps the world’s grandest display of international art, with an exhibition entitled “Joan Jonas: They Come to Us Without a Word.”
The large chunk of funds brings the total contributions to $1.5 million.
“It is a particularly meaningful gift for us, because in 1966, Helen Frankenthaler, along with Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jules Olitski, represented the U.S. at the 33rd Venice Biennale,” Elizabeth Smith, executive director of the Foundation, said in a statement. “It seems fitting that, 49 years later, the Foundation is able to support another pioneering artist at this major moment in her long and distinguished career.”
“On behalf of the List, Joan Jonas, and everyone involved in this project, I extend our great appreciation to the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation for its incredible generosity and support,” said Mr. Ha in the same statement. “We’re very excited to present Joan Jonas’s latest work in Venice this May, and the Foundation’s gift will play an important role in bringing her vision for the U.S. Pavilion to life.”
The donation makes the Foundation the lead foundation sponsor of this nation’s contribution to the fair, with support coming from a wide range of philanthropists and institutions. The pavilions all go up in Venice on May 9, making the first few weeks of that month an historically busy one for the art world. Safe travels, everybody.