à la Biennale de Venise
This richly illustrated book has been published with the intention of creating a detailed record of the vicissitudes of the Canada Pavilion built in 1958 in the gardens of the Venice Biennale and thus provide an authoritative reference book on this topic. It examines the various figures and interests involved in the design and construction of the building and explores how it was used over the past sixty years to exhibit the work of Canadian artists and architects. This publication intends not only to underline the pavilion’s importance in the broader context of modern architecture, but also to highlight its role as an early example of cultural diplomacy.
The book is fully endowed with archive material, such as photographs, drawings, and maps, along with a portfolio created by contemporary photographers (Francesco Barasciutti and Andrea Pertoldeo), showing the building before, during, and after the restoration.
The essays of the various contributors to the book analyse the cultural and political context in which the Canada Pavilion committee worked (Cammie McAtee); the concept and construction of the building and the links with the architect Enrico Peressutti and the BBPR partnership (Réjean Legault); the pavilion’s role in the postwar Italian cultural context (Serena Maffioletti) and its fortunes from its inauguration in 1958 to the restoration in 2018 (Josée Drouin-Brisebois); the restoration project itself (Susanna Caccia Gherardine), and, lastly, the relationship between the Canada Pavilion and the Biennale Gardens (Franco Panzini).
Réjean Legault is Associate Professor at the École de design of the Université du Québec à Montréal. He was the guest curator of the National Gallery of Canada’s exhibition Canada Builds/Rebuilds a Pavilion in Venice, presented at the Canada Pavilion during the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, and continues to lend his expertise to the production of the upcoming publication and documentary film (a collaboration with the National Film Board of Canada) on the Pavilion.
Susanna Caccia Gherardini is a full professor of fine art restoration at the Università di Firenze and cooperates with both Italian and international institutions for the preservation of contemporary art.
Karen Colby-Stothart has spent over 30 years in the visual arts sector, holding key positions at major Canadian museums including the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts and the National Gallery of Canada. In 2013 she was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the National Gallery of Canada Foundation.
Josée Drouin-Brisebois is Senior Curator of Contemporary Art at the National Gallery of Canada. She has been highly involved in Canada’s participation at the Venice Art Biennale since 2011.
Serena Maffioletti is an architect and professor of Architecture and Urban Design at Università IUAV di Venezia, where she has taught since 1992. She is also the director of the IUAV’s Archivio Progetti, an archive and documentation centre of modern and contemporary architecture and design.
Cammie McAtee is a Montreal-based historian and curator. She was the lead researcher for the National Gallery of Canada’s exhibition on the Canada Pavilion at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale and provided key research for the accompanying publication.
Franco Panzini is an architect and landscape historian and guest lecturer at Università IUAV di Venezia and at the School of Architecture of Roma Tre University.