Dior Returns to Venice Biennale

PARIS — Reflecting its longstanding commitment to supporting the arts, Dior is planning a major presence at the Venice Biennale.

In addition to returning to the prestigious art event as an official donor, the French fashion house will sponsor a series of collateral exhibitions and collaborate with the Venetian Heritage Foundation on its charity ball for the third consecutive time.

“The history of our house has always been connected to the world of art, Monsieur Dior having been a collector, gallerist and friend of the greatest artists before becoming a couturier,” said Delphine Arnault, chairman and chief executive officer of Christian Dior Couture.

“Today, by reviving this exceptional collaboration with Venetian Heritage, Dior is more than ever perpetuating this passion and affirming its unwavering support for creation in all its forms, as well as for the preservation of Venetian heritage,” she added, dubbing the initiatives “a unique tribute to the invaluable cultural capital of Venice, eternally inspiring and so dear to our hearts.”

The 60th International Art Exhibition, scheduled to run from Saturday until Nov. 24, is organized by Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa and titled “Foreigners Everywhere” after a series of works by the feminist art collective Claire Fontaine, which has worked with Dior on several events, including its pre-fall show in New York City on Monday.

Founded by artist duo Fulvia Carnevale and James Thornhill, Claire Fontaine is set to unveil an installation of 60 neon lights under the arcades of the Venice Arsenale, a complex of former shipyards and armories, and two more located at the entrance of the central Giardini pavilion and the Arsenale general exhibition.

Dior is also backing a show of paintings and sculptures by Madhvi and Manu Parekh, as well as a series of new works created by the Indian artists in partnership with Karishma Swali and the Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai, which regularly collaborates with Dior womenswear designer Maria Grazia Chiuri on her show sets.

From the atelier separate room where the craftspeople are showing their craft.

The Chanakya School of Craft in Mumbai.

Giovanni Giannoni/WWD

Titled “Cosmic Garden,” the exhibition at the Salone Verde – Art & Social Club, located in the historic Rialto district, is presented by the Chanakya Foundation. The mixed media works, composed of organic materials such as linen, jute, silk and cotton, employ up to 32 handcraft techniques and take up to 16,000 hours to complete.   

In a similar vein, Parfums Christian Dior is supporting a show of Eva Jospin’s work at the Fortuny Museum. The French artist has also designed several show backdrops for Chiuri.

Dior will kick off proceedings with the Naumachia Ball, a fundraising dinner set to take place on Saturday at the Arsenale Vecchio, a section of the Arsenale that is still occupied by the Italian navy and is usually closed to the public.

The theme of the event is naumachia, the tradition of reenacting naval battles that began in the Roman Empire and was popular at European royal courts in the 17th and 18th centuries.

The gala is designed to fund the restoration of the Arsenale’s imposing Porta Magna main gate, as well as the ongoing renovation of the Ca’ d’Oro Museum on the Grand Canal, considered the best surviving palazzo in Venetian Gothic architecture.

The partners are linked by architect Peter Marino, who was named chairman of the Venetian Heritage Foundation, a philanthropic organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of Venice’s cultural treasures, in 2019. He has designed countless stores for Dior parent LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton.

Dior has nurtured its relationship with artists, namely through the collaborations initiated in parallel by Chiuri and Kim Jones, artistic director of menswear, inspired by founder Christian Dior’s original career as a gallerist who showed the work of avant-garde artists such as Salvador Dalí and Alberto Giacometti.

Eva Jospin.

Eva Jospin

© Masiar Pasquali

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