In Search of Surprises

Is it true what Henry James said about Venice? "There is nothing left to discover or describe, and originality of attitude is utterly impossible." Certainly there's no point in trying to think of something new to say about the canals, the gilded palaces or the fat pigeons in San Marco. But every two years — this is one of them — Venice itself comes up with something new, the Venice Biennale, founded in 1895 and now the world's oldest international art fair.

The current edition, which opened on June 10, is more international than ever, with 76 participant...

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