Vol 3 No 1 (2022)
Exhibiting Prints: The Role of Printed Matter in International, Large-Scale Exhibitions

Prints and Printmaking at the Venice Biennale, 1930s-1970s

Jennifer Noonan



− Abstract

This article examines the exhibition of prints at the Venice Biennale between the 1930s and the early 1970s. Drawing upon recently discovered archival material, this essay argues that the prints displayed and awarded prizes during this period offer a picture of the art world, biennial culture, and its socio-political milieu, including the ebbs and follows of nationalism and internationalism. Part of this study, therefore, includes an assessment of how the print exhibitions reveal the shifting aesthetic, cultural and at times political world in which they were situated. This essay also provides an extended analysis on the role graphics played at the 1970 Venice Biennale in the Italian and United States pavilions and will argue that the organisation and installation of these exhibitions mirrored contemporaneous, ephemeral aspects of avant-garde art and, in fleeting moments, transnational exchanges.

− Keywords
Nationalism, Internationalism, Chocolate Room, Print workshop, Lois Bingham