James Tarmy makes the astute point that the great value of the Venice Biennale isn’t the sales that might result from the exhibitions but the increased visibility for an artist that results from a strong showing in Venice.
Tarmy mentions a handful of artists—Carol Bove, Rachel Rose, Njideka Akunyili Crosby (most of whom happen to be women)—that are making their marks in Italy:
Because of the large number of global rich, not to mention the cadre of art dealers who cater to them, the Biennale has become an unofficial forum where consensus is formed about art market standouts. […] New artists are anointed as stars, and the status of existing art celebrities is reinforced.
“It doesn’t always make careers, but it definitely can make careers,” said Heather Harmon, a director of the New York-based art advisory KCM Fine Arts, which is helping to build billionaire Cirque du Soleil founder Guy Laliberté’s collection, Lune Rouge. “Take the Anne Imhof [performance installation] at the German Pavilion. That’s going to be one of the great takeaways from this Biennial, namely that she’s one of the people who need to be paid attention to on a global level.”