Second Chances for Artists in Venice

The Wall Street Journal highlights some of the artists whose careers are getting a second look at Venice this year. For octogenarian Sam Gilliam, the return to Venice after half a century later comes at a time that his reputation and market are in recrudescence:
Along with giving younger artists their breakout moment, Venice gives curators a chance to validate older artists who may have been overlooked. Expect a reassessment of Irma Blank, an artist born in Germany in 1934 who now lives in Italy and is known for transcribing entire books and newspapers into slender script that’s unreadable—a gesture that turns language into line. Her dealer Alison Jacques said Ms. Blank will show some of her earliest pieces from the late 1960s. Sam Gilliam, a Washington-based painter, is also making a return appearance 45 years after he became the second African-American artist to show in the biennial. This time, his dealer Kurt Mueller said Mr. Gilliam is making a “spectacular” new painting that nods to his earlier Color Field breakthroughs.


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