The Olympics of the Art World – Wall Street Journal (subscription)

The Venice Biennial is trying to lighten up. Organizers of the century-old exhibition of contemporary art, which opens to the public May 13, encouraged artists in its main show to steer clear of geopolitical conflict and focus instead on playful themes—joy, fear, color, time and sexual freedom.

The tenor of the exhibition, which takes place in pavilions and piazzas all over town, is largely determined by the biennial’s sprawling main show, “Viva Arte Viva.” This round-up of 120 new and established artists was picked by…

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