The MIT List Visual Arts Center has announced that the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation has pledged a gift of $200,000 in support of Joan Jonas’s presentation for the U.S. Pavilion at the Venice Biennale this year. This gift raises the List’s fundraising total to $1.5 million.
Together with the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, the List will present Jonas as the U.S. representative for the 56th Venice Biennale. Jonas will create new works for the five galleries of the U.S. Pavilion, transforming them into a “dynamically immersive environment,” as the press release says, by incorporating video, drawings, objects, and sound. As literature has been a constant source of inspiration throughout her career, Jonas will draw upon the spiritual writing of Halldór Laxness, as well as other literary sources.
Elizabeth Smith, executive director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, said in the release, “The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation is honored to provide support for Joan Jonas’s project for this year’s Venice Biennale. It is a particularly meaningful gift for us, because in 1966 Helen Frankenthaler, along with Ellsworth Kelly, Roy Lichtenstein, and Jules Olitski, represented the U.S. at the 33rd Venice Biennale. It seems fitting that, 49 years later, the foundation is able to support another pioneering artist at this major moment in her long and distinguished career.”