2001 - Firenze: The Florence Biennial

About the Florence Biennial - Notes by JT

The Bad News:

The Florence Biennial 2001 took place in Firenze, Italy, a city which has produced some of the worlds greatest art, but it turned out to be an exhibition of almost no credibility. For a while I included it in my curriculum vitae (after all, it sounds pretty impressive on this side of the Atlantic) with the hopes that the exhibition would improve. But now, after seven years without any signs of improvement, I have removed it (and the award I won there) from my CV.

The Good News:

I met many artists at the Biennial who shared my frustration with the exhibition and some of them have continued to be my friends (see the snapshots below). In addition, Florence took hold of both Marsha and myself and we even started to "feel Italian" after just a few days in Florence (see picture at right).

Jonathan Talbot, 2007 & 2009


Marsha & Jonathan Talbot in Florence, Italy 2001

JT outside the entrance to the Biennial which was held at the Fortezza da Basso in Florence, Italy in December of 2001  
One of the great things about the Biennial was meeting artists from all over the world. JT and Russian friends artist Vladimir Petrov-Gladky and his wife Valentina do our best to discuss art. Since Vladimir has no languages other than Russian and JT has no Russian, Valentina, who speaks English, had to translate.

 At left: Spanish sculptor Fernando Heras Castan and JT created an evaluation form which allowed the artists to give feedback to the organizers of the Biennial.

At right: JT with Dr. Veronika Birke, Vice Director of the Albertina in Vienna and Dr. John Spike, Director of the Biennial.

Marsha and JT (right) at the opera with fellow artists sculptor Teo San Josť of Spain and Gabriella Mugica, the wife of photographer Diego Ortiz Mugica of Argentina. Ironically the opera was in English: Benjamin Britain's version of Thomas Mann's Death in Venice.

JT with some of the other award winners. From left to right: Nestor Luis Sarmiento, JT, Angel Luis Ferri, Alberto Gandsas, Nelida Beatriz Buratti, Gabriella Mugica.

  JT with Natxo Zenborain of Pamplona in front of JT display. Natxo is both a visual and a performance artist. You can see his work at

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