Venice Biennale round-up: a rainbow thread of optimism
The Financial Times
Jackie Wullschlager
12 May 2017

This edition is politically light and playful, a riposte to the sombre tone of 2015


Best of the rest in Venice 

There are nearly 30 pavilions off-site from the Giardini and Arsenale at this year’s Biennale, and as many collateral and independent exhibitions. Best of these is the Philip Guston show; here are five more worth crossing the city for.

James Lee Byars: Golden Tower Campo San Vio

Rising above the Grand Canal between the Accademia and the Guggenheim, Byars’ 66ft “Golden Tower” is a thing of beauty, audacity and craziness. Byars, an American sculptor-performer who died in Cairo in 1997, wanted to outdo the Lighthouse of Alexandria. His tower achieves its inaugural outdoor showing here, and its gilded surfaces wonderfully echo the gold mosaic façades on the adjacent Palazzo Barbarigo. A single armed guard, Lilliputian in scale, underlines the absurd element.