The top 5 collateral exhibitions to see in Venice

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Tabish Khan, the @LondonArtCritic, chooses his favorite exhibitions to see in the wider Venice to complete his top 5 pavilions at the Venice Biennale – each comes with a concise review to help you decide if it’s for you.

Anselm Kiefer @ Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace)
Anselm Kiefer’s large-scale paintings overshadow visitors and yet even they met their match in the lavish interior of the magnificent Doge’s Palace, which makes it doubly overwhelming. This piece was designed to be impressive and that just adds to Kiefer’s trademark style of incorporating objects into these truly massive paintings referencing the history of Venice. It’s breathtaking. Until October 29.

Anish Kapoor @ Gallerie dell’Accademia & Palazzo Manfrin
A cannon blasted the walls with chunks of red wax, the walls bulge to disrupt our senses and its trademark Vanta black creates stunning optical illusions. It’s a best of Kapoor at the Gallerie dell’Accademia and he’s kicking into high gear across town at the Palazzo Manfrin he’s bought. Here, his large-scale sculptures, a rotating pool of red liquid, and distorting mirrors play with the palace’s fantastical architecture. Until October 9.

Surrealism and Magic: Enchanted Modernity @ Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Nightmarish scenarios, animal-human hybrids and distorted visions – this is surrealism at its best in an excellent exhibition on the subject which acts as an excellent companion to the main Venice Biennale exhibition. With masterpieces by Salvador Dali, Dorothea Tanning, Max Ernst and Leonora Carrington, it’s a must-see for all surrealism fans. Until January 29, 2023.

Raqib Shaw: Palazzo della Memoria @ Galleria Internazionale d’Arte Moderna, Ca’ Pesaro
In his signature style inspired by miniature painting, Raqib Shaw has created a collection of superbly detailed works inspired by Italian masters such as Tintoretto and the level of detail is superb. A real highlight is his “retrospective” painting which includes his other works recreated in a larger painting, this is the strongest display of his work I have seen. Until September 25.

Zinaida: Without women / Made in Ukraine @ Spiazzi
Shot in the Carpathian Mountains, this intimate film series tells the stories of men who must leave their families behind for the intensive process of milking cows and making cheese. Filmed in black and white, it seems ritualistic as we observe a rural life that seems far removed from our own. Until November 27.

Those looking for more Venice content should also check out his interview with Wallace Chan who has an exhibit in Venice.

Kiandiron photography Georges Poncet. Kapoor image © Anish Kapoor Photo © David Levene. Surreal image © Leonora Carrington, by SIAE 2022. Image by Raqib Shaw courtesy of White Cube. Without women photo: Andrea Rossetti.

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Tabish Khan

Art critic for FAD and Londonist. Visit as many exhibitions as possible and write reviews, opinion pieces and a weekly top 5 for FAD.

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