5 Dec 2013
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New Zealand’s pavilion at the 2013 Venice Biennale attracted a record 218,000 visitors during its six-month exhibition, Creative New Zealand announced today. Front Door Out Back, Bill Culbert’s dazzling light installations in the New Zealand pavilion, drew close to 2,000 visitors a day during the opening week alone.
The exhibition also gained praise from the art press, critics and collectors alike. London’s Sunday Times’ art critic Waldermar Januszczak named Front Door Out Back his pick of the 2013 Biennale, while ArtInfo wrote of Culbert: “His place in the history books should be reappraised and this stunning pavilion could well do just that’’.
New Zealand’s Commissioner for the 2013 Biennale and Director of Christchurch Art Gallery, Jenny Harper, was delighted with the response to this year’s presentation: “Each time we go to Venice, we add to a subtle but strong impression of the variety and excellence of visual art made by New Zealanders. The benefits of participation on this international stage have a habit of flowing on through cultural and economic food chains. And Christchurch Art Gallery is pleased to have secured the delightful and uplifting work Bebop to show in the foyer when we re-open in 2015.”
“Bill’s exhibition has attracted hugely positive responses nationally and internationally,” said Arts Council Chairman, Dr Dick Grant. ‘’While visitor numbers are just one measure of success, it is pleasing to see so many people engaged with the work.’’
A total of 1,163 visitors completed Creative New Zealand’s audience survey at the New Zealand Pavilion. Of these, 84% had never visited a New Zealand exhibition in Venice before. As a result of their visit, 78% were interested or curious to experience more New Zealand contemporary art and 72% rated the exhibition either above average or excellent.
The 2013 Biennale closed on 24 November, with news from la Biennale di Venezia that they will exceed 475,000 visitors to the 55th International Art Exhibition, an increase of 8% on 2011’s total of 440,000.
“The success of this exhibition shows that art is something we do together and is a part of many people's lives,” said la Biennale di Venezia artistic director Massimiliano Gioni.
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Creative New Zealand
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