Mike Nelson Prepares British Invasion Of Venice Biennale 2011

Mike Nelson, the Loughborough born Artist, known for his atmospheric installations is this years British representative at the Venice Biennale. This is the first installation artist to be invited by the British Council to create a new work for the UK Pavilion. The Venice Biennale provides a barometer for contemporary art worldwide and this choice is both popular and groundbreaking. Nelson will be in Venice for the next three months completing the project which will be launched during the official Biennale press days on 1st , 2nd  and 3rd  June, and open to the public for the duration of the exhibition from 4th  June – 27th  November 2011. We are looking forward to seeing what  he’ll create out of the rather dated  pavilion architecture, located in the Giardini in Venice. He joins Damien Hirst (1993), Henry Moore (1948), Bridget Riley (1968), Frank Auerbach (1986), Anish Kapoor (1990) Richard Hamilton (1993) Tracey Emin (2007), Chris Ofili (2003) and Steve McQueen (2009) in a long line of illustrious names to have been chosen for this prestigious commission.

“The attention to detail, historical accuracy and physical nature of Mike Nelson’s sculptural practice guarantee that his new installation for the British Pavilion will be one of the most challenging solo presentations ever mounted in over 70 years of exhibitions organised by the British Council in Venice.” – Richard Riley, Curator of the British Pavilion, 2011

As the UK’s leading cultural relations organisation, the British Council has been responsible for the presentation of the exhibition at the British Pavilion for the Venice Biennale of Art since 1938.  During this period, the pavilion has hosted exhibitions by many of the most significant artists of the day, providing successive generations with one of the most important platforms for the showcasing of contemporary art to an international audience.

Born in Loughborough in 1967, Mike Nelson has already received considerable international acclaim for his meticulous installations and his work has been presented in major group and solo exhibitions throughout the world. These  include: The Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2001); 49th Venice Biennale (2001); 13th Sydney Biennale (2002); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2002); 8th International Istanbul Biennale (2003);  Modern Art Oxford (2004); 26th São Paulo Biennale (2004); Statens Museum for Kunst, Copenhagen (2008); Creative Time, New York (2008); Tate Triennial (2009); and 3rd  Singapore Biennale (2011). 

A recipient of a Paul Hamlyn Award in 2001, Nelson has twice been short-listed for the Turner Prize. One of his large-scale installations, The Coral Reef, originally conceived for Matt’s Gallery, London in 2000, was acquired by Tate in 2008 and is currently on show as part of the Collection Displays at Tate Britain, London.

The UK’s presentation at the Venice Biennale is selected by a panel of arts experts drawn from across the UK. The members of this panel change for every edition of the biennale. Mike Nelson lives and works in London. He is represented in the UK by Matt’s Gallery, London, and internationally by Galleria Franco Noero,  Turin, and 303 Gallery, New York. It is a breath of fresh air to see an installation artist of this caliber representing Britain at what may be deemed the most prestigious exhibition on the world arena.