Biennale Fetes 'Museum of Everything'

Venice - The Museum of Everything makes its mark on the 55th Venice Biennale "Il Palazzo di Everything", on the 28th and 29th May, and 1st June with the presentation of over a dozen artists.

The Museum has been selected as an Official Collateral Event. Art collectors of Art Kabinett social media network will be among the first to enter the exhibition doorway.

The Museum of Everything (MoE) is a mobile London-based museum founded in 2009 by collector James Brett.

His brochure states, "As summer tumbles down upon us, you will find us prostrate on the grass at Il Palazzo di Everything, located at the famous Serra dei Giardini, that tranquil patch of grassy Venetian real estate next to the main pavilions".

Included in this year's line-up are : Morton Bartlett, Frédéric Bruly Bouabré, James Castle, Guo Fengyi, Emma Kunz, Achilles Rizzoli,Shinichi Sawada, Friedrich Schröder-Sonnenstern, Drossos Skyllas,Eugene Von Bruenchenhein and Anna Zemánková, plus legendary masterpieces by Hilma af Klint and Arthur Bispo do Rosário, and Carlo Zinelli.

Carlo Zinelli Retrospective

The museum plans to unveil its own al-fresco construction dedicated to Carlo Zinelli: a master of Italian self-taught vernacular. Carlo Zinelli’s life-story is as beguiling as the paintings he imagined.

Zinelli was conscripted into the army as a young man, and ended up on the front lines of the Spanish Civil War. He quickly became unbalanced, left after a few months, and spent time in various Italian hospitals. Eventually, he stopped talking.

Two local sculptors, Michael Noble and Pino Castagna, heard that Zinelli had been scribbling all over the walls and floors of a psychiatric hospital in Verona.

In the mid-1950s, they set up a studio for him, and he began painting and drawing for 8 or 10 hours a day, a schedule he kept up for the next 15 years.

Most of Zinelli's paintings, as shown above, feature a combination of figuration and his particular style of semi-legible text. "There are lots of animals, like birds and goats, and also bullet-riddled horses, guns, artillery and occasional explosions. And in the middle there will be scrawls of nonsensical text, almost like concrete poetry."

Jean Dubuffet, the French artist who coined the term "art brut," and the writer André Breton heard Zinelli's story and visited his hospital/studio in Verona in the mid-'60s.

According to Brett, Dubuffet was skeptical, finding Zinelli's work "too sophisticated". Breton, on the other hand, considered him a genius. Art Brut galleries in Europe started selling his work in the '70s.

Their certainty in his creative potential, and that of so many of his peers, are what led to an oeuvre of over two thousand artworks - fifty of which are presented by The Museum of Everything, in conjunction with the Zinelli family and the Fondazione Culturale Carlo Zinelli.

This year’s Venice Biennale celebrates over a dozen of the self-taught artists at The Museum of Everything.

Salon of Everything

Also presented will be The Salon of Everything: an informal philosophical hot-house with leading figures from the worlds of visual culture - artists, curators, writers, historians, and some handsome hangers-on with attitude.

Conversations at The Salon of Everything will ruminate upon private art-making practices, symbolic languages, self-taught obsessions, non-intentional making, as well as notions of otherness and difference in common or garden contemporary art.

Would-be radicals at the rolling round-table may include artists Jeremy Deller and Cindy Sherman, curators Jean-Hubert Martin and Hans Ulrich Obrist, and global shape-shifters aplenty.

The Salon of Everything will take place most afternoons and some mornings during the opening week(s) of the biennale.

All sessions will be documented to form an historic archive of ideas and opinions, in conjunction with the BBC.