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Artists from Middle East stand out in women-dominated Venice Biennale

This year’s edition of the world’s longest-running art show corrects a history of gender inequality by putting female artists at its center.

VENICE, Italy — Sculptor Fusun Onur never laid eyes on her installation at the Turkey pavilion at this year’s Venice Biennale. Coronavirus restrictions forced her to cancel travel plans and to instead scout the setting and install the work over Zoom, exemplifying the challenge of staging the world’s premier art event during the pandemic. 

The Venice Biennale, which concludes this weekend, has attracted more than 300,000 visitors since it opened in April after a yearlong delay due to the coronavirus pandemic. This year’s show was a breakthrough, curated by an Italian woman for the first time, and overwhelmingly featured female artists from around the world, correcting a long record of overrepresenting male artists and curators. 

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