press release

The Venice Biennale was founded in 1895 and is probably the most important international exhibition of contemporary art. For the first time in the history of Ireland's participation at Venice, the artists selected for exhibition have the opportunity to present their work in an Irish context.

Commissioner Sarah Glennie invited six artistic practices to represent Ireland at the 51st Biennale: Stephen Brandes, Mark Garry, Ronan McCrea, Isabel Nolan, Sarah Pierce and the collaborative artists Walker and Walker. These artists have reworked the site specific nature of their Venice installations at the Scuola di San Pasquale for the Lewis Glucksman Gallery.

Glennie's innovative curatorial approach re-evaluates the effects of identifying artists in relation to their nationality by selecting artists who look at the Venice Biennale and National Pavilion structure from a variety of perspectives, and who have each made considerable contributions to Ireland's cultural ecology. The seven artists represent an active contemporary art community that has made significant contributions to the Irish art scene over the past ten years. This exhibition extends the life of the Biennale into the Irish cultural arena and opens up the possibility of creating more fluid representations of national identity.

A full colour catalogue accompanies this exhibition with contributions by Sarah Glennie, Caoimhin MacGiolla Léith, Declan Long, Francis McKee and Mick Wilson. Order this book online from

As an additional project Visual Artists Ireland published a special “Biennale” issue of Printed Project, curated by Alan Phelan. This publication will be on sale in the Glucksman bookshop throughout the exhibition run.


only in german

Ireland at Venice
An Exhibition marking Ireland's participation
at the 51st Venice Biennale
Kurator: Sarah Glennie

mit Stephen Brandes, Mark Garry, Ronan McCrea, Isabel Nolan, Sarah Pierce, Walker & Walker