INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE BIENNALE OF CARRARA
The International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara was born in 1957 thanks to Antonio Bernieri, an MP and citizen of Carrara who was deeply attached to his native town. It was one of the first worldwide biennale exhibitions.
The Venice Biennale had been on the international scene since 1895, the Carnegie International of Pittsburgh since 1896, the Whitney Museum Biennale since 1932, the San Paolo Biennale since 1951 and the Documenta exhibition of Kassel since 1955; but the Carrara Biennale was unique and specific, completely concentrated as it was on sculpture.
It was organised in the form of an international competition, and its regulations were modelled on those of the Venice Biennale and the Rome Quadriennale. The intention was to confirm the role of Carrara as world marble capital and, by purchasing the prize-winning works, to create the nucleus of a town art heritage, now in fact kept in the Marble Museum.
This was not however the only aim. There was a desire to “rejuvenate” marble, which as an expressive means had been so closely bound up with fascist rhetoric; a desire to adapt it to the new demands of contemporary art.