Here’s Your Guide to the Most Important Art Biennials Taking Place Around the World in 2023, From São Paulo to Sharjah – artnet News

Here’s Your Guide to the Most Important Art Biennials Taking Place Around the World in 2023, From São Paulo to Sharjah – artnet News

Mark your calendars, folks, it’s about to be another busy 12 months in the art world.

Although 2022 was a banner year for these major events, with the triple threat of the Venice Biennale, the Whitney Biennial, and Documenta, this year is shaping up to be chock full of the agenda-setting exhibitions that have become an entire ecosystem unto themselves. (For a deep dive on biennial culture, from the most prolific artists that participate in them to the galleries that represent those artists, plus how the ambitious projects get funded in the first place, check out Artnet News’s full Biennial Artist Project.)

Details for the forthcoming events are still trickling in, so we’ll keep this list updated as we get more information.

Islamic Arts Biennale
January 23–April 23, 2023

Hajj Terminal of King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Photo: Karim Sahib/AFP via Getty Images.

This is the inaugural edition of the biennial which sets out to celebrate contemporary art and historical artifacts of Muslims around the world. Situated at the historic Hajj Terminal in Jeddah, the biennial is helmed by a team that includes Sumayya Vally, the cofounder and principal of architecture firm Counterspace, which was invited to design the Serpentine Pavilion in London in 2021.

Sharjah Biennial 15
February 7–June 11, 2023

Installation view of Joe Namy’s Libretto-o-o at the 2013 Sharjah Biennial, façade of the Sharjah Art Museum, Arts Square, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates.

Titled “Thinking Historically in the Present,” the 15th edition of the Sharjah Biennial was developed by the late curator Okwui Enwezor, and is curated by Hoor Al Qasimi, the director of the Sharjah Art Foundation. Before his death, Enwezor proposed the idea of commissioning 30 artworks to celebrate the biennial’s 30-year anniversary, and artists including John Akomfrah, Coco Fusco, Mona Hatoum, Doris Salcedo, and Kerry James Marshall have done just that. The show will take place across 16 venues in the emirate of Sharjah and will feature more than 150 artists from 70 countries.

Desert X
March 4–May 7, 2023

Xaviera Simmons, Because You Know Ultimately We Will Band A Militia, (2021). Desert X installation view, Palm Springs, CA. Photo: Lance Gerber. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo.

The 2023 edition of Desert X in California’s Coachella Valley will focus on water—and the lack of it—in the arid landscape of the desert and beyond amid global climate change. Per the press release, “Our structures in the survival of these extremes speak not just to the physical adaptations of climate, but to the social formations that give form to a world increasingly shaped by climate crisis and the political and economic migrations that follow in its wake.”

Gwangju Biennale
April 7–July 9, 2023

A visitor looking at the art installation “Outi Pieski” by Eeva-Kristiina Harlin during a preview of the 13th Gwangju Biennale on March 31, 2021. Photo: Jung Yeon-je/AFP via Getty Images.

For its 14th edition, the South Korea-based Gwangju Biennale is curated by Tate Modern chief curator Sook-Kyung Lee and …….