Since 1938 the British Council has managed the British Pavilion in Venice, commissioning British artists at the longest-running international art biennial in the world: the Venice Biennale of Art. From 1991 the British Pavilion has also been home to Architecture exhibitions in the alternate years to the Visual Arts.
The International Art Exhibition - La Biennale di Venezia is one of the most prestigious cultural institutions in the world. Established in 1895, it invites an attendance today of over 300,000 visitors at the Art Biennale and over 129,000 visitors at the Architecture Biennale, which runs in alternate years.
The British Council commissions artists from the advice of a professional selection committee made up of prominent art world figures. The selection committee is different each year, to reflect changes in the international artistic networks.
The committee focuses on cutting-edge contemporary artistic practice to suggest artists of national importance who are at a stage in their career where this international opportunity would significantly raise the profile of the artist and the UK. During the mid-1960s it was decided to select only one artist or artist practice to show in the British Pavilion, and this has continued so far.
To find out more about the UK at the Venice Biennale, visit our "UK at the Venice Biennale" site