Slide Show: Scenes from the Venice Biennale

BY Arts Desk  June 10, 2009 at 12:51 PM EST

Held every two years, the Venice Biennale is the oldest and one of the largest contemporary art exhibitions in the world. This year’s biennial, “Making Worlds,” is the 53rd exhibition.

There are some 90 artists in the main exhibition, and a record 77 countries are participating, with exhibitions in their own pavilions. Forty-four other events from international institutes and organizations are exhibited in various places across Venice.

Said Venice Biennale Director Daniel Birnbaum: “The title of the exhibition, ‘Making Worlds,’ expresses my wish to emphasize the process of creation. A work of art represents a vision of the world and if taken seriously it can be seen as a way of making a world.”

Click here for a slide show; photo by Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty ImagesArtist Bruce Nauman, the subject of this year’s American pavilion, won the Golden Lion prize for best national pavilion. His mini-retrospective titled “Topological Gardens” spreads to two other Venetian venues, the first time for any artist at the Biennale, reported the Washington Post’s Blake Gopnik.

The Venice Biennale opened to the public June 7 and runs through Nov. 22.

Click here for a slide show of some of the works on display.