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BIENNALE2011

The Australia Council for the Arts today announced that artist Hany Armanious has been selected to represent Australia at the 54th International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale in 2011.

The prolific Sydney-based artist best known for his innovative sculptural work will be the sole artist exhibiting at the Australian Pavilion in the Giardini in June 2011. Hany has exhibited extensively in Australia, USA, New Zealand and Europe. His most recent solo shows include Running Man, Galleria Raucci/Santamaria, Italy in 2009, Uncanny Valley, Roslyn Oxley9 Gallery, Sydney in 2009 and The Oracle, Contemporary Art Museum St Louis in 2008.

Hany won the prestigious Moet and Chandon Fellowship in 1998 and completed residencies in New York and Auckland. His work is held in private and public collections in Europe, USA, Australia and New Zealand. He will also be exhibiting at the forthcoming 2010 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art in late February.

ëRepresenting Australia at the Venice Biennale is an absolute honour. I am thrilled with being given an opportunity to showcase my work at what is considered the most prestigious arts event in the world’, said Hany.

A five-member selection panel of esteemed peers selected Hany from a shortlist of artists invited to apply for the opportunity to exhibit at the Biennale. The panel consisted of the Commissioner Doug Hall AM; Professor Ted Snell, Chair of the Australia Councilís Visual Arts Board; Dr Chris McAuliffe, Director of the Ian Potter Museum of Art in Melbourne; Yuko Hasegawa, Chief Curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Tokyo; and Elizabeth Ann Macgregor, Director of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.

ëHanyís work is provocative and enigmatic,í said Venice Biennale Commissioner, Doug Hall. ëIt confronts the traditional notions of sculpture. The richness and depth of Hanyís work is greatly admired both here and internationally. Iím confident that international audiences will respond to it with keen interest. It will build on the strong presence of Shaun Gladwell and the other artists represented in the Once Removed exhibition presented in Venice in 2009.í

ëThe Venice Biennale is a crucial high-profile platform for visual artists the world over,î said Australia Council CEO Kathy Keele. ëOf the reported 375,000 visitors to the 2009 exhibition, over 220,000 of them visited our Australian pavilion. Presenting to such a large audience is an immense opportunity for any artist. This time that honour falls on just one Australian artist, and Iím confident that Hany will build on Australiaís long presence at Venice and impress our international audiences with his unique and engaging works.í

The next stage will involve Hany and the Commissioner appointing a curatorial team to support the development of his installation in Venice. The Australia Council continues to manage and fund Australiaís participation in the International Art Exhibition of the Venice Biennale 2011.

The Biennale is considered the most important and prestigious event on the international contemporary arts calendar, and the oldest and largest established biennale in the world. Australia has been consistently represented in the Venice Biennale for more than three decades, through the financial support and management of the Australia Council.

Media contact:

Victoria McClelland-Fletcher

02 9215 9008 or 0409 223 719

v.mcclelland@australiacouncil.gov.au

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Brianna Roberts

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