Venice Biennale Replaces Longtime Chairman Paolo Baratta

A recent shakeup at one of the world’s largest and most well-known art fairs is still making waves into this week, with the news that the Venice Biennale‘s chairman for the last four years (and for two years back at the end of the 1990s), Paolo Baratta, has been let go. The Art Newspaper writes that Baratta has been largely responsible for turning the exhibition around, making it not only more successful but more approachable as well, by providing and thinking through the necessary logistics to pull off such a large event that regularly pulls in more than 300,000 visitors. However, as of January 1st of next year, he’ll be replaced by Giulio Malgara, a food importer and founder of a successful company that tracks television ratings. Given Baratta’s legacy, this change hasn’t been received the most favorable of responses, with the AN reporting that Venice’s mayor has publicly criticized the move, claiming that it reeks of political lobbies in “this rotten system” and that “Giulio Malgara is an unsuitable person to carry out the role of chairman of the Venice Biennale.” As the next exhibition isn’t until 2013, we suppose we’ll just have to wait and see how it all pans out, or at least until the cracks start showing, if at all.