12th Biennale de Lyon
12 September–29 December, 2013
Preview: 10–11 September, 2013
Artistic Director: Thierry Raspail
Curator: Gunnar B. Kvaran
Gunnar B. Kvaran, Astrup Fearnley Museum Director, was appointed Curator of the 12th Biennale de Lyon by Thierry Raspail, Biennale de Lyon Artistic Director.
The 12th Biennale de Lyon
With the coming of the post-media or post-conceptual age, artists have become more concerned with creating new narrative structures for their stories, whether real or imaginary, and for their experiences, whether major or minor. The starting point is no longer the matter and technique of traditional painting or sculpture, but a concept, an idea or a story which is then given concrete form. Up to a certain point, it can even be said that the originality of the artistic act hinges on the originality of narrative constructions marked by great diversity of materials and innovative forms of spatial organization.
Aware of the fact that our world is a world of stories and that a biennial should above all bear witness to its time, Gunnar B. Kvaran, curator of the Biennale de Lyon 2013, is proposing an exploration of contemporary international narrative art in its many forms. The accent is on the works of artists who, rather than settling for straightforward narrative or self-narrative, are committed to structuring their visual accounts and developing specific narrative systems—among others Matthew Barney (US), Tavares Strachan (US), Paulo Nazareth (BR), Anne Lislegaard (DK / NO), Yang Zhenzhong (CN), and David Douard (FR).
Gunnar B. Kvaran
Gunnar B. Kvaran was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, in 1955. He completed his PhD in the history of art in 1986 from the University of Provence in Aix-en-Provence. From 1983 to 1986, he was director of the Asmundur Sveinsson sculpture museum in Reykjavik; from 1986 to 1997, of the Museum of Modern Art in Reykjavik; and from 1997 to 2001 of the Museum of Art in Bergen, Norway. He was the curator of the Icelandic Pavilion at the Venice Biennale from 1984 to 1990. Since 2001, he has been director of the Astrup Fearnley Museum in Oslo.
Recent exhibitions Gunnar B. Kvaran has curated and organised include In the Name of the Artists: Exhibition from the Astrup Fearnley Collection at the São Paulo Biennial in 2011; exhibitions by Ernesto Neto, Nate Lowman, Charles Ray and Richard Prince; and Yoko Ono’s and Jeff Koons’s retrospectives. Gunnar B. Kvaran also co-curated the second Moscow Biennial; organized China Power Station, an exhibition of Chinese contemporary art, held in London and Oslo; and co-curated the tour exhibition Indian Highway in 2009 (Lyon, Rome, London, Beijing, and Copenhagen).
NB: 13th Istanbul Biennial from 14 September to 10 November 2013,
Preview 12–13 September 2013 / bienal.iksv.org
Daily direct flights from Lyon (eg. TK1810 Lyon (18.25) to Istanbul (22.25) on 11 September 2013).