Tina Gillen's work exhibited at the Venice Biennale A Luxembourg artist represented at one of the most prestigious contemporary art events

Since 1988, Luxembourg has been a regular participant at La Biennale di Venezia. A different artist has represented the country at each edition of this large-scale international contemporary art event. Join us as we discover the exhibition "Faraway So Close" by Tina Gillen, a painterly installation at the Luxembourg Pavilion. 

© Tina Gillen, Mudam Luxembourg and Florian Kleinefenn
© Tina Gillen, Mudam Luxembourg and Florian Kleinefenn

A painterly installation

Luxembourg painter Tina Gillen is representing the country at the 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia in 2022. The exhibition "Faraway So Close" is a series of eight large-scale works in a painterly installation in the Luxembourg Pavilion

The artist is particularly interested in con­nec­tions between the inte­ri­or space and the out­side world, how we relate to the world around us and the themes of landscape and dwelling. The works, often inspired by photographic motifs, are compositions somewhere between abstraction and figuration, structure and improvisation, sur­face and representation of space.

The paintings evoke the four elements of the universe – earth, water, fire and air –, while also pointing to human-induced climate change. Tina Gillen takes her works out of their traditional framework, placing them into an installation, an architectural construction that conjures up painted film sets and inhabits the entire exhibition space. "Faraway So Close" also alludes to the history of the Sale d'Armi, which dates back to the 15th century and served as a former military storage in Venice. The sculpture "Rifugio", at the centre of the installation, was inspired by a seaside bungalow; it is a place where visitors can withdraw and observe the world around them.

Trailer of the exhibition “Tina Gillen. Faraway So Close”

Tina Gillen was born in Luxembourg in 1972. She lives and works in Brussels. She exhibits her work all over the world (Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Luxembourg, etc.). Two books have been published about her work: "Echo" (MER. Paper Kunsthalle, 2016) and "Necessary Journey" (Hatje Cantz, 2009).

© Tina Gillen, Mudam Luxembourg and Florian Kleinefenn
© Tina Gillen, Mudam Luxembourg and Florian Kleinefenn

A brief history (of art)

Luxembourg's first steps at the Venice Biennale were difficult – unfortunately its first participation in 1956 initially remained a one-off... It was only thirty years later, in 1988, at the initiative of the artist Patricia Lippert, that the Ministry of Culture made a further attempt to participate in the prestigious artistic event. Since then it has never looked back.

In 2017, the Luxembourg government signed a contract with the Fondazione La Biennale di Venezia that guaranteed Luxembourg's participation in the stunning Sale d'Armi for the next 20 years.

Exhibitions are organised alternately by Mudam – The Contemporary Art Museum of Luxembourg and Casino Luxembourg – Forum d'art contemporain. Every two years, the Ministry of Culture launches a call for proposals to select the artist and curator of its choice for the next edition of the Biennale.

List of participating artists

1956 / Joseph Kutter and Auguste Trémont

1988 / Patricia Lippert and Moritz Ney

1990 / Marie-Paule Feiereisen

1993 / Jean-Marie Biwer and Bertrand Ney

1995 / Bert Theis

1997 / Luc Wolff

1999 / Simone Decker

2001 / Doris Drescher

2003 / Su-Mei Tse

2005 / Antoine Prum

2007 / Jill Mercedes

2009 / Gast Bouschet & Nadine Hilbert

2011 / Martine Feipel & Jean Bechameil

2013 / Catherine Lorent

2015 / Filip Markiewicz

2017 / Mike Bourscheid

2019 / Marco Godinho

2022 / Tina Gillen