Brazilian curator Adriano Pedrosa has been announced as the organizer of the 2024 Venice Biennale, becoming the first Latin American to oversee the storied event. Pedrosa, the director of the Museu de Arte de São Paulo Assis Chateaubriand (MASP), will have care of the Biennale’s sixtieth iteration, to take place April 20–November 24.
“I am honored and humbled by this prestigious appointment, especially as the first Latin American to curate the International Art Exhibition of La Biennale di Venezia, and in fact the first one based in the Southern Hemisphere,” said Pedrosa.
Since taking over as director of MASP, Pedrosa has increased the number of works by women in the museum’s collection and inaugurated the “Histórias” exhibition series, which brings to the fore previously overlooked artists and movements. In 2018, he cocurated the exhibition “Histórias Afro-Atlânticas,”which centered on Brazil’s role in the transatlantic slave trade taking place from the sixteenth through the nineteenth centuries. Elevating the practices of underseen artists of African descent, the show traveled to the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, earlier this year as “Afro-Atlantic Histories.” Pedrosa is an experienced biennial curator, having served as curator of the São Paulo pavilion at the Ninth Shanghai Biennale in 2012; cocurator, with Jens Hoffmann of the Twelfth Istanbul Biennial in 2011; and adjunct curator of the Twenty-Fourth Bienal de São Paulo in 1998.
The 2022 edition of the Venice Biennale, “The Milk of Dreams,” organized by Cecilia Alemani, pushed the envelope in its unprecedented emphasis on women and gender nonconforming artists. “It is essential to build on what emerged from the previous exhibition to direct our next choice,” Cicutto said.
Biennale president Roberto Cicutto praised Pedrosa as “known for the competence and originality he has shown in conceiving his exhibitions with a vision open to the contemporary, working from an observation point of the world that cannot disregard the nature of its place of origin.” Cicutto noted that under Pedrosa’s leadership, “now more than ever La Biennale might address contemporary art not to provide a catalogue of the existing, but to give form to the contradictions, dialogues and kinships without which art would remain an enclave devoid of vital sap.”