The best marine themed artwork from the Venice Biennale 2017

Jason deCaires Taylor

The 57th Venice Biennale opened to the public last month, transforming the floating city into the world's biggest art fair. Exhibitions and installations spilled out of grand buildings, pallazos, squares and churches, all showcasing artists and designers from across the globe.

In a city that is shaped by water, there was plenty of sea-inspired artwork on display, from sinking ships and underwater treasures to icy expeditions and stormy seas. Click through to see the best aquatic art on display at the Venice Biennale.

Jason deCaires Taylor

In 2006 Jason deCaires Taylor founded the world’s first underwater art gallery off the west coast of Grenada. The artist placed life-size sculptures at the bottom of the ocean to create his living installation. The statues were intended to create an artificial reef and provide new habitats for coral.

In the Grenada Pavilion at the Venice Biennale, deCaires Taylor displayed photographs of his underwater creations covered in beautiful brightly coloured sea life.

The show also has a moral message. The two central pieces, Bleached I and Bleached II, are completely white sculptures covered in ‘dead’ coral demonstrating the devastating effect of the coral bleaching epidemic.

Jason deCaires Taylor’s work will be on display in the Grenada Pavilion from May 12 – November 27, 2017.

Wolfgang Tillmans, The State We're In

The State We’re In by Berlin-based artist, Wolfgang Tillmans, was installed at the Palazzo delle Zattere for the Biennale. The photograph captures an expanse of steel grey sea, an empty ocean within which can be seen the smallest details in the waters surface.

The photograph of the ominous Atlantic Ocean was taken at the exact point where international boarders and timelines meet. The image is part of a collection that represents the visible and invisible lines that separate and define us.

The State We’re In can be seen in the V-A-C Foundation, Palazzo delle Zattere, from May 13 – August 25, 2017.

The Antarctic Pavilion

Earlier this year a group of artists, scientists, architects and philosophers left Argentina bound for the Antarctic Circle. On their voyage they made a number of stops during which those on board created artwork and installations in the icy landscapes. The work, that included a landscape photography exhibition and an installation that submerged giant lit up globes in the ocean, were to be part of the Antarctic biennale. Each piece was then dismantled and nothing was left behind.

The group’s exhibition in Venice presents documentation, including photographs and videos of the voyage, alongside work by the expedition’s participants.

The Antarctic Pavilion is open from May 12 – July 31, 2017.

Milton Williams

Milton Williams’ exhibition in the Grenada Pavilion is based around the idea of collecting. His installations are made up of everyday objects he has found whilst travelling around the world.

At the Biennale, the artist is presenting his collection of over one hundred sardine tins. Each one is suspended from the ceiling, creating a shimmering, multi-coloured cloud.

The sardine tins were collected by Williams and have come from across the globe, the artist also asked friends, family and even Facebook followers to send their empty tins to feature in the exhibition.

The Grenada Pavilion will be open from May 12 – November 27, 2017

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