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Jean-Antoine Watteau, Five Studies of a Woman's Head, One Lightly Sketched (c.1716-17). Photo © The Trustees of the British Museum, London. Scenes from the 54th Biennale di Venezia. Photos: Meredith Sims.



Dear Readers,


This issue marks the fourth anniversary of The Art Section. Our second issue, for June 2007, focused on three of the major international art exhibitions that occurred that summer--the Venice Biennale, Documenta, and the Munster Sculpture Project. Since that time, The Art Section has regularly covered events of this magnitude; the 54th Biennale di Venezia is the third edition of the Venice Biennale to which our representatives have traveled.


Deanna Sirlin, our Editor-in Chief, offers an overview of the Biennale by tracing her own particular path through it. She notes the prevalence of performance and performative art works at the current Biennale, and suggests that this emphasis results from the long shadow cast by Marina Abramović, the self-declared grandmother of performance art.


Meredith Sims focuses on the work of Allora & Calzadilla, the US representatives to the Biennale, installed in the US Pavilion. She discusses their sculptural installations and performances in reference to the ways they explore US national identity and its relationships to the rest of the world. The Venice Biennale continues through 27 November 2011.


Finally, we move from the contemporary moment in art to another signal moment in the 18th century and the first glimmerings of modernism. Anna Leung writes of the current exhibitions devoted to Jean-Antoine Watteau (1684-1721), a painter strongly identified with the emergence of the Rococo in art whose drawings nevertheless hint at things to come. 


Please join us in celebrating our Fourth Anniversary, and enjoy the issue!


All my best,

Phil Auslander


The Art Section

Philip Auslander is the Editor of The Art Section.

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