TAKING VENICE – Review by Valerie Kalfrin

Pitched as part heist film, part dissection of the machinations behind the year that an American painter won the top award at the world’s most influential art exhibition, the documentary Taking Venice proves most fascinating when it reveals how the U.S. government wanted to use art as Cold War propaganda. As someone notes here, art is not just about art but politics, reverberating throughout history. An epicenter for one such shock wave was 1964’s Venice Biennale, the year American Robert Rauschenberg won the top honor for painting to the surprise of and some disgust from the traditional art world. With previous winners including Henri Matisse, the accolades signified that the world’s arts center had shifted from Paris to New York City.

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