Scandinavian Imprint on this Year’s Venice Biennale

Ovartaci, Sandra Mujinga and Ulla Wiggen are among the artists featured in the biennale’s central exhibition.

Ovartaci, Miss Lo, gouache.

The list of artists featured at this year’s Venice Biennale has just been published. Numbering a total of 213 artists, the list is one of the most extensive ever – and probably also includes the largest number of Scandinavian artists since Utopia Station in 2003, where Molly Nesbit, Rirkrit Tiravanija and Hans Ulrich Obrist curated part of the central exhibition, which the artistic director Francesco Bonami had delegated to ten different curators/curator groups.

This year, the central exhibition is curated by Cecilia Alemani, director and chief curator of High Line Art, a spectacular New York-based art programme set in a public park on Manhattan’s West Side. While this is not first time the Venice Biennale is curated by a woman, Alemani is the first woman with Italian roots to do so. The exhibition, The Milk of Dreams, takes its title from a book by the Surrealist artist Leonora Carrington (1917–2011).

From Sweden, the participating artists are Charlotte Johannesson, Britta Marakatt-Labba and Ulla Wiggen. All three are women artists from an older generation that has attracted increasing attention over the course of the last decade – and now Venice joins in.

Norway is represented by Sandra Mujinga, one of the most talked-about names on the Nordic art scene in recent years, who recently presented a solo show at the Swiss Institute in New York and won the Preis der Nationalgalerie. She is joined by Liv Bugge and the recently deceased Aage Gaup (1943–2021), who, like Marakatt-Labba, was a co-founder of the legendary Masi group in 1978, which enacted an artistic revolt against the cultural stereotypes surrounding Sámi art.

The Danish representatives are Sidsel Meineche Hansen and Ovartaci (1894–1985). The last time Ovartaci’s art was shown on a large scale was in 2017 in Mathias Kryger’s exhibition Ovartaci & The Art of Madness at Kunsthal Charlottenborg in Copenhagen. It will be exciting to see her work displayed in the Venice lagoon and in the company of historical and living artists from the last 150 years of art history, from Niki de Saint Phalle to Wu Tsang, from Tetsumi Kudo to Precious Okyomon, from Josephine Baker to the writer Unica Zürn.

The list of artists features names originating from a wealth of places, from Colombia to Hong Kong, and contains a mix of familiar and unknown names that appears suitably appetising. The selection shows a preponderance of artists operating in Europe or the United States: approximately 25 per cent of the artists reside in or have roots in the United States. Another noteworthy aspect is the marked predominance of female and non-binary names.

This year’s Venice Biennale also presents eighty national pavilions. The Danish pavilion features Uffe Isolotto, while the Nordic pavilion presents Sámi artists for the first time in history: Máret Ánne Sara, Anders Sunna and Pauliina Feodoroff.

The 59th Venice Biennale will officially open on April 23.

The full list of artists is:

1. Noor Abuarafeh b. 1986, Jerusalem. Lives in Jerusalem and Maastricht, the Netherlands
2. Carla Accardi b. 1924, Trapani, Italy – 2014, Rome, Italy
3. Igshaan Adams b. 1982, Cape Town. Lives in Cape Town, South Africa
4. Eileen Agar b. 1899, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 1991, London, UK
5. Monira Al Qadiri b. 1983, Dakar, Senegal. Lives in Berlin, Germany
6. Sophia Al-Maria b. 1983, Tacoma, USA. Lives in London, UK Pavilion of Applied Arts
7. Ozlem Altın b. 1977, Goch, Germany. Lives in Berlin, Germany
8. Marina Apollonio b. 1940, Trieste, Italy. Lives in Padua, Italy
9. Gertrud Arndt b. 1903, Ratibor (Racibórz), German Empire (present-day Poland) – 2000, Darmstadt, Germany
10. Ruth Asawa b. 1926, Norwalk, USA – 2013, San Francisco, USA
11. Shuvinai Ashoona b. 1961, Kinngait. Lives in Kinngait, Nunavut
12. Belkis Ayón b. 1967 – 1999, Havana, Cuba
13. Firelei Báez b. 1981, Santiago de los Caballeros, Dominican Republic. Lives in New York City, USA
14. Felipe Baeza b. 1987, Guanajuato, Mexico. Lives in New York City, USA
15. Josephine Baker b. 1906, Saint Louis, USA – 1975, Paris, France
16. Djuna Barnes b. 1892 – 1982, New York City, USA
17. Mária Bartuszová b. 1936, Prague, Czechoslovakia (present-day Czech Republic) – 1996, Košice, Slovakia
18. Benedetta b. 1897, Rome, Italy – 1977, Venice, Italy
19. Mirella Bentivoglio b. 1922, Klagenfurt, Austria – 2017, Rome, Italy (In collaboration with Annalisa) Alloatti 1926 – 2000, Turin, Italy
20. Merikokeb Berhanu b. 1977, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Lives in Silver Spring, USA
21. Tomaso Binga b. 1931, Salerno, Italy. Lives in Rome, Italy
22. Cosima von Bonin b. 1962, Mombasa, Kenya. Lives in Cologne, Germany
23. Louise Bonnet b. 1970, Geneva, Switzerland. Lives in Los Angeles, USA
24. Marianne Brandt b. 1893, Chemnitz, Germany – 1983, Kirchberg, Germany
25. Kerstin Brätsch b. 1979, Hamburg, Germany. Lives in New York City, USA and Berlin, Germany
26. Dora Budor b. 1984, Zagreb, Croatia. Lives in New York City, USA
27. Eglė Budvytytė b. 1981, Kaunas, Lithuania. Lives in Vilnius, Lithuania and Amsterdam, the Netherlands
In collaboration with Marija Olšauskaitè and Julija Steponaitytė b. 1989, Vilnius. Lives in Vilnius, Lithuania and New York City, USA b. 1992, Vilnius. Lives in Vilnius, Lithuania and Amsterdam, the Netherlands
28. Liv Bugge b. 1974, Oslo. Lives in Oslo, Norway
29. Simnikiwe Buhlungu b. 1995, Johannesburg. Lives in Johannesburg, South Africa and Amsterdam, the Netherlands Biennale College Arte
30. Miriam Cahn b. 1949, Basel, Switzerland. Lives in Stampa, Switzerland
31. Claude Cahun b. 1894, Nantes, France – 1954, Saint Helier, Jersey, UK
32. Elaine Cameron-Weir b. 1985, Red Deer, Canada. Lives in New York City, USA
33. Milly Canavero 1920 – 2010, Genoa, Italy
34. Leonora Carrington b. 1917, Clayton-le-Woods, UK – 2011, Mexico City, Mexico
35. Regina Cassolo Bracchi 1894, Mede, Italy – 1974, Milan, Italy b. 1981, Kaunas, Lithuania. Lives in Vilnius, Lithuania and Amsterdam, the Netherlands
36. Ambra Castagnetti b. 1993, Genoa, Italy. Lives in Milan, Italy Biennale College Arte
37. Giulia Cenci b. 1988, Cortona. Lives in Cortona, Italy and Amsterdam, the Netherlands
38. Giannina Censi b. 1913, Milan, Italy – 1995, Voghera, Italy
39. Gabriel Chaile b. 1985, San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina. Lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and Lisbon, Portugal
40. Ali Cherri b. 1976, Beirut, Lebanon. Lives in Paris, France
41. Anna Coleman Ladd b. 1878, Bryn Mawr, USA – 1939, Santa Barbara, USA
42. Ithell Colquhoun b. 1906, Shillong, India – 1988, Lamorna, UK
43. Myrlande Constant b. 1968, Port-au-Prince. Lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
44. June Crespo b. 1982, Pamplona, Spain. Lives in Bilbao, Spain
45. Dadamaino 1930 – 2004, Milan, Italy
46. Noah Davis b. 1983, Seattle, USA – 2015, Ojai, USA
47. Lenora de Barros b. 1953, São Paulo. Lives in São Paulo, Brazil
48. Valentine de Saint-Point b. 1875, Lyon, France – 1953, Cairo, Egypt
49. Lise Deharme b. 1898, Paris, France – 1980, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
50. Sonia Delaunay b. 1885, Odessa, Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine) – 1979, Paris, France
51. Agnes Denes b. 1931, Budapest, Hungary. Lives in New York City, USA
52. Maya Deren b. 1917, Kyiv, Ukraine – 1961, New York City, USA
53. Lucia Di Luciano b. 1933, Syracuse, Italy. Lives in Formello, Italy
54. Ibrahim El-Salahi b. 1930, Omdurman, Sudan. Lives in Oxford, UK
55. Sara Enrico b. 1979, Biella, Italy. Lives in Turin, Italy
56. Chiara Enzo b. 1989, Venice. Lives in Venice, Italy
57. Andro Eradze b. 1993, Tbilisi. Lives in Tbilisi, Georgia Biennale College Arte
58. Jaider Esbell b. 1979, Normandia, Brazil – 2021, São Sebastião, Brazil
59. Jana Euler b. 1982, Friedberg, Germany. Lives in Frankfurt, Germany and Brussels, Belgium
60. Minnie Evans b. 1892, Long Creek, USA – 1987, Wilmington, USA
61. Alexandra Exter b. 1882, Białystok, Russian Empire (present-day Poland) – 1949, Fontenay-aux-Roses, France
62. Jadé Fadojutimi b. 1993, London. Lives in London, UK
63. Jes Fan b. 1990, Scarborough, Canada. Lives in New York City, USA and Hong Kong
64. Safia Farhat b. 1924 – 2004, Radès, Tunisia
65. Simone Fattal b. 1942, Damascus, Syria. Lives in Paris and Erquy, France
66. Célestin Faustin b. 1948, Lafond, Haiti – 1981, Pétion-Ville, Haiti
67. Leonor Fini b. 1907, Buenos Aires, Argentina – 1996, Paris, France
68. Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven b. 1874, Swinemünde (Świnoujście), German Empire (present-day Poland) – 1927, Paris, France
69. Katharina Fritsch b. 1956, Essen, Germany. Lives in Wuppertal and Düsseldorf, Germany
70. Ilse Garnier b. 1927, Kaiserslautern, Germany – 2020, Saisseval, France
71. Aage Gaup b. 1943, Børselv, Sápmi/Northern Norway – 2021, Karasjok, Sápmi/Northern Norway
72. Linda Gazzera b. 1890, Rome, Italy – 1942, São Paulo, Brazil
73. Ficre Ghebreyesus b. 1962, Asmara, Eritrea – 2012, New Haven, USA
74. Elisa Giardina Papa
1979, Medicina, Italy. Lives in New York City, USA and Palermo, Italy
75. Roberto Gil de Montes b. 1950, Guadalajara, Mexico. Lives in La Peñita de Jaltemba, Mexico
76. Nan Goldin b. 1953, Washington, D.C., USA. Lives in New York City, USA
77. Jane Graverol b. 1905, Ixelles, Belgium – 1984, Fontainebleau, France
78. Laura Grisi b. 1939, Rhodes, Greece – 2017, Rome, Italy
79. Karla Grosch b. 1904, Weimar, Germany – 1933, Tel Aviv, Mandatory Palestine (present-day Israel)
80. Robert Grosvenor b. 1937, New York City, USA. Lives in East Patchogue, USA
81. Aneta Grzeszykowska b. 1974, Warsaw. Lives in Warsaw, Poland
82. Sheroanawe Hakihiiwe b. 1971, Sheroana, Venezuela. Lives in Mahekototeri and Caracas, Venezuela
83. Florence Henri b. 1893, New York City, USA – 1982, Compiègne, France
84. Lynn Hershman Leeson b. 1941, Cleveland, USA. Lives in San Francisco, USA
85. Charline von Heyl b. 1960, Mainz, Germany. Lives in New York City and Marfa, USA
86. Hannah Höch b. 1889, Gotha, Germany – 1978, Berlin, Germany
87. Jessie Homer French b. 1940, New York City, USA. Lives in Mountain Center, USA
88. Rebecca Horn b. 1944, Michelstadt, Germany. Lives in Odenwald, Germany
89. Georgiana Houghton b. 1814, Las Palmas, Canary Islands, Spain – 1884, London, UK
90. Sheree Hovsepian b. 1974, Isfahan, Iran. Lives in New York City, USA
91. Tishan Hsu b. 1951, Boston, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
92. Marguerite Humeau b. 1986, Cholet, France. Lives in London, UK
93. Jacqueline Humphries b. 1960, New Orleans, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
94. Kudzanai-Violet Hwami b. 1993, Gutu, Zimbabwe. Lives in London, UK Biennale College Arte
95. Tatsuo Ikeda b. 1928, Saga, Japan – 2020, Tokyo, Japan
96. Saodat Ismailova b. 1981, Tashkent. Lives in Tashkent, Uzbekistan and Paris, France
97. Aletta Jacobs b. 1854, Sappemeer, the Netherlands – 1929, Baarn, the Netherlands
98. Geumhyung Jeong b. 1980, Seoul. Lives in Seoul, South Korea
99. Charlotte Johannesson b. 1943, Malmö, Sweden. Lives in Skanör, Sweden
100. Loïs Mailou Jones b. 1905, Boston, USA – 1998, Washington, D.C., USA
101. Jamian Juliano-Villani b. 1987, Newark, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
102. Birgit Jürgenssen 1949 – 2003, Vienna, Austria
103. Ida Kar b. 1908, Tambov, Russia – 1974, London, UK
104. Allison Katz b. 1980, Montreal, Canada. Lives in London, UK
105. Bronwyn Katz b. 1993, Kimberley, South Africa. Lives in Johannesburg, South Africa
106. Kapwani Kiwanga b. 1978, Hamilton, Canada. Lives in Paris, France
107. Kiki Kogelnik b. 1935, Graz, Austria – 1997, Vienna, Austria
108. Barbara Kruger b. 1945, Newark, USA. Lives in Los Angeles, USA
109. Tetsumi Kudo b. 1935, Osaka, Japan – 1990, Tokyo, Japan
110. Gabrielle L’Hirondelle Hill b. 1979, Comox, Canada. Lives on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil- Waututh peoples
111. Louise Lawler b. 1947, Bronxville, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
112. Carolyn Lazard b. 1987, Upland, USA. Lives in New York City and Philadelphia, USA
113. Mire Lee b. 1988, Seoul, South Korea. Lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
114. Simone Leigh b. 1967, Chicago, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
115. Hannah Levy b. 1991, New York City. Lives in New York City, USA
116. Tau Lewis b. 1993, Toronto, Canada. Lives in New York City, USA
117. Shuang Li b. 1990, Wuyi Mountains, China. Lives in Berlin, Germany and Geneva, Switzerland
118. Liliane Lijn b. 1939, New York City, USA. Lives in London, UK
119. Candice Lin b. 1979, Concord, USA. Lives in Los Angeles, USA
120. Mina Loy b. 1882, London, UK – 1966, Aspen, USA
121. Antoinette Lubaki b. 1895, Bukama, Congo Free State (present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo) – ?
122. LuYang b. 1984, Shanghai. Lives in Shanghai, China
123. Zhenya Machneva b. 1988, Leningrad (present-day Saint Petersburg), Russia. Lives in Saint Petersburg, Russia
124. Baya Mahieddine b. 1931, Fort de l’Eau (present-day Bordj El Kiffan), Algeria – 1998, Blida, Algeria
125. Maruja Mallo b. 1902, Viveiro, Spain – 1995, Madrid, Spain
126. Joyce Mansour b.1928, Bowden, UK – 1986, Paris, France
127. Britta Marakatt-Labba b. 1951, Idivuoma, Sápmi/Northern Sweden. Lives in Övre Soppero, Sápmi/Northern Sweden
128. Diego Marcon b. 1985, Busto Arsizio, Italy. Lives in Milan, Italy
129. Sidsel Meineche Hansen b. 1981, Ry, Denmark. Lives in London, UK
130. Maria Sibylla Merian b. 1647, Frankfurt am Main, Free Imperial City of the Holy Roman Empire (present-day Germany) – 1717, Amsterdam, Dutch Republic (present-day the Netherlands)
131. Vera Molnár b. 1924, Budapest, Hungary. Lives in Paris, France
132. Delcy Morelos b. 1967, Tierralta, Colombia. Lives in Bogotá, Colombia
133. Sister Gertrude Morgan b. 1900, LaFayette, USA – 1980, New Orleans, USA
134. Sandra Mujinga b. 1989, Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo. Lives in Oslo, Norway, and Berlin, Germany.
135. Mrinalini Mukherjee b. 1949, Bombay (present-day Mumbai), India – 2015, New Delhi, India.
136. Nadja b. 1902, Saint-André-lez-Lille, France – 1941, Bailleul, France
137. Louise Nevelson b. 1899, Pereiaslav, Poltava Governorate of the Russian Empire (present-day Ukraine) – 1988, New York City, USA
138. Amy Nimr b. 1898, Cairo, Egypt – 1974, Paris, France
139. Magdalene Odundo b. 1950, Nairobi, Kenya. Lives in Farnham, UK
140. Precious Okoyomon b. 1993, London, UK. Lives in New York City, USA
141. Meret Oppenheim b. 1913, Berlin, Germany – 1985, Basel, Switzerland
142. Ovartaci b. 1894, Ebeltoft, Denmark – 1985, Risskov, Denmark
143. Virginia Overton b. 1971, Nashville, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
144. Akosua Adoma Owusu b. 1984, Alexandria, USA. Lives in New York City and Cambridge, USA
145. Prabhakar Pachpute b. 1986, Sasti, India. Lives in Pune, India
146. Eusapia Palladino b. 1854, Minervino Murge, Kingdom of the Two Sicilies (present-day Italy) – 1918, Naples, Italy
147. Violeta Parra b. 1917, San Fabián de Alico, Chile – 1967, Santiago, Chile
148. Rosana Paulino b. 1967, São Paulo. Lives in São Paulo, Brazil
149. Valentine Penrose b. 1898, Mont-de-Marsan, France – 1978, Chiddingly, UK
150. Elle Pérez b. 1989, New York City. Lives in New York City, USA
151. Sondra Perry b. 1986, Perth Amboy, USA. Lives in Newark, USA
152. Solange Pessoa b. 1961, Ferros, Brazil. Lives in Belo Horizonte, Brazil
153. Thao Nguyen Phan b. 1987, Ho Chi Minh City. Lives in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
154. Julia Phillips b. 1985, Hamburg, Germany. Lives in Chicago, USA and Berlin, Germany
155. Joanna Piotrowska b. 1985, Warsaw. Lives in Warsaw, Poland and London, UK
156. Alexandra Pirici b. 1982, Bucharest. Lives in Bucharest, Romania
157. Anu Põder b. 1947, Kanepi, Estonia – 2013, Tallinn, Estonia
158. Gisèle Prassinos b. 1920, Constantinople (present-day Istanbul), Ottoman Empire (present-day Turkey) – 2015, Paris, France
159. Christina Quarles b. 1985, Chicago, USA. Lives in Los Angeles, USA
160. Rachilde b. 1860, Cros, France – 1953, Paris, France
161. Janis Rafa b. 1984, Athens. Lives in Athens, Greece and Amsterdam, the Netherlands
162. Alice Rahon b. 1904, Chenecey-Buillon, France – 1987, Mexico City, Mexico
163. Carol Rama 1918 – 2015, Turin, Italy
164. Paula Rego b. 1935, Lisbon, Portugal. Lives in London, UK
165. Edith Rimmington b. 1902, Leicester, UK – 1986, Bexhill-on-Sea, UK
166. Enif Robert b. 1886, Prato, Italy – 1974, Bologna, Italy
167. Luiz Roque b. 1979, Cachoeira do Sul, Brazil. Lives in São Paulo, Brazil
168. Rosa Rosà b. 1884, Vienna, Austria – 1978, Rome, Italy
169. Niki de Saint Phalle b. 1930, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France – 2002, La Jolla, USA
170. Giovanna Sandri 1923 – 2002, Rome, Italy
171. Pinaree Sanpitak b. 1961, Bangkok. Lives in Bangkok, Thailand
172. Aki Sasamoto b. 1980, Kanagawa, Japan. Lives in New York City, USA
173. Augusta Savage b. 1892, Green Cove Springs, USA – 1962, New York City, USA
174. Lavinia Schulz and Walter Holdt b. 1896, Lübben (Spreewald), Germany – 1924, Hamburg, Germany 1899 – 1924, Hamburg, Germany
175. Lillian Schwartz b. 1927, Cincinnati, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
176. Amy Sillman b. 1955, Detroit, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
177. Elias Sime b. 1968, Addis Ababa. Lives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
178. Marianna Simnett b. 1986, London, UK. Lives in Berlin, Germany
179. Hélène Smith b. 1861, Martigny, Switzerland – 1929, Geneva, Switzerland
180. Sable Elyse Smith b. 1986, Los Angeles, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
181. Teresa Solar b. 1985, Madrid. Lives in Madrid, Spain
182. Mary Ellen Solt b. 1920, Gilmore City, USA – 2007, Santa Clarita, USA
183. P. Staff b. 1987, Bognor Regis, UK. Lives in London, UK and Los Angeles, USA
184. Sophie Taeuber-Arp b. 1889, Davos, Switzerland – 1943, Zürich, Switzerland
185. Toshiko Takaezu b. 1922, Pepeekeo, USA – 2011, Honolulu, USA
186. Emma Talbot b. 1969, Stourbridge, UK. Lives in London, UK
187. Dorothea Tanning b. 1910, Galesburg, USA – 2012, New York City, USA
188. Bridget Tichenor b. 1917, Paris, France – 1990, Mexico City, Mexico
189. Tecla Tofano b. 1927, Naples, Italy – 1995, Caracas, Venezuela
190. Josefa Tolrà b. 1880 – 1959, Cabrils, Spain
191. Tourmaline b. 1983, Boston, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
192. Toyen b. 1902, Prague, Austro-Hungarian Empire (present-day Czech Republic) – 1980, Paris, France
193. Rosemarie Trockel b. 1952, Schwerte, Germany. Lives in Berlin, Germany
194. Wu Tsang b. 1982, Worcester, USA. Lives in Zürich, Switzerland
195. Kaari Upson b. 1970, San Bernardino, USA – 2021, New York City, USA
196. Andra Ursuta b. 1979, Salonta, Romania. Lives in New York City, USA
197. Grazia Varisco b. 1937, Milan. Lives in Milan, Italy
198. Remedios Varo b. 1908, Anglès, Spain – 1963, Mexico City, Mexico
199. Sandra Vásquez de la Horra b. 1967, Viña del Mar, Chile. Lives in Berlin, Germany
200. Marie Vassilieff b. 1884, Smolensk, Russia – 1957, Nogent-sur-Marne, France
201. Cecilia Vicuña b. 1948, Santiago, Chile. Lives in New York City, USA
202. Nanda Vigo 1936 – 2020, Milan, Italy
203. Marianne Vitale b. 1973, East Rockaway, USA. Lives in New York City, USA
204. Raphaela Vogel b. 1988, Nuremberg, Germany. Lives in Berlin, Germany
205. Meta Vaux Warrick Fuller b. 1877, Philadelphia, USA – 1968, Framingham, USA
206. Laura Wheeler Waring b. 1887, Hartford, USA – 1948, Philadelphia, USA
207. Ulla Wiggen b. 1942, Stockholm. Lives in Stockholm, Sweden
208. Mary Wigman b. 1886, Hanover, Germany – 1973, Berlin, Germany
209. Müge Yilmaz b. 1985, Istanbul, Turkey. Lives in Amsterdam, the Netherlands
210. Frantz Zéphirin b. 1968, Cap-Haïtien, Haiti. Lives in Port-au-Prince, Haiti
211. Zheng Bo b. 1974, Beijing, China. Lives on Lantau Island, Hong Kong
212. Unica Zürn b. 1916, Berlin, Germany – 1970, Paris, France
213. Portia Zvavahera b. 1985, Harare. Lives in Harare, Zimbabwe