Biennale Art 2022 | 2019 | 2017
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Ovartaci Venice Biennale Art Exhibition


The works of Ovartaci (1894-1985 Denmark) are exhibited in the central pavilion of the Biennale at the Giardini.

Born under the name of Louis Marcussen in 1894, this Dane, who began his artistic career as a decorator, emigrated to Argentina in 1923.

As circumstances did not allow him to remain in Argentina, he returned to Denmark in 1929, where he was diagnosed as schizophrenic.

His family committed him to a psychiatric institution, where he would spend the remaining 56 years of his life.

Since he was a teenager, Marcussen saw herself as a woman and wanted to change her gender.

While being interned, he tried to emasculate himself and then, by dint of supplications, the psychiatric hospital took charge of the surgery to make him a woman.

Once interned, the artist decided to choose a new name: “Ovartaci”.

“Ovartaci” is the union of the words Ovar and Tossi, “Ovar” was the name worn by the heads of the psychiatric departments and “Tossi” was the name given to the patients of these institutions.

“Ovartaci” is, therefore, an “alienated leader”, which on the part of the artist was also a way of making fun of the hierarchy of his psychiatric institution.

An establishment where, however, he was allowed, in addition to being able to change sex, to have the privilege of painting and developing his artistic passion with the support of the institution, hence the works that we can admire today at the Venice Biennale.

The creatures in Ovartaci's paintings are mostly feminine and slender with feline heads.

They are usually represented in groups, in a garden for tea, or in ancient places reminiscent of Egypt with a series of sarcophagi presenting her cat-women who have become musicians or in front of an Inca pyramid.

It should be noted that there is no violence visible in Ovartaci's paintings, her characters are serene, happy to live together, and all smiling.

One painting stands out from the others; it is the one that represents the psychiatric institution where Ovartaci was interned; we see male doctors busy in the alleys of the park while in the sky, a painter works in front of his easel.

Other feline-feminine silhouettes are represented transparently over the background of the painting; they are leaning against a chimney or, with butterfly wings, swirling above the buildings.

Finally, a transparent silhouette dominates the picture, occupying its entire height.

It shows a female cat with wings halfway between butterfly wings and bat wings.

She is not aggressive; she is standing and wears stilettos.

She exudes grace like all the feline-female characters in Ovartaci; she is a spirit being that protects the institution.

Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci
Ovartaci, Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition
Ovartaci

Artists Accardi | Adams | Altin | Andrade | Asawa | Ayon | Azoulay | Baeza | Bonnet | Cameron | Chaile | Cherri | Correa | Davis | Echakhch | Esbell | Euler | Fadojutimi | Fantin | Feodoroff | Fritsch | Ghebreyesus | Goldshmied Chiari | Goldwasser | Hill | Horra | Hovsepian | Humeau | Humphries | Hwami | Ikeda | Isolotto | Jurgensen | Katz A. | Katz B. | Keresztes | Kim | Knebl Scheirl | Kogelnik | Kudo | Leigh | Lewis | Ukraine | Mirga-Tas | Montes | Mukherjee | Ovartaci | Pachpute | Paulino | Pessoa | Pilotto | Qadiri | Rego | Saint-Phalle | Sara | Sedira | Sillman | Sime | Solar | Sunna | Talbot | Techno | Ursuta | Vicuna | Von Heyl | Wiggen | Zvavahera
2022 Artists | Countries | Map Address | Hours Tickets
Biennale Art 2022 | 2019 | 2017



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