Francisco Souto at the 2024 Venice Biennale

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Thirteen of artist Francisco Souto's impeccable drawings, comprising seven works of art (triptychs alongside solo works), are to be featured in a section of the 2024 Venice Biennale curated by the European Cultural Centre entitled Personal Structures. The exhibition, along with Souto's works, is on view from April 20 - November 24, 2024.


The selection of Francisco Souto’s works appearing in Personal Structures is part of another series by the artist entitled On Beauty and Displacement, in turn derived from an earlier series called Diaspora. Both bodies of work are simultaneously responses to the political unrest and social urgency in the artist’s native Venezuela as well as human suffering and resilience writ large. 


Within the compelling narrative of On Beauty and Displacement II, Francisco Souto shows off his technical mastery with photo-real, colored-pencil drawings surrounded by custom frames that the artist has crafted.  The drawings and frames collectively resonate with the profound struggle and perseverance inherent to the human experience.  They transcend mere representation with their allegorical and anthropomorphic references.


Souto’s drawings amplify the voices of the unheard, shedding light on the enduring humanity of individuals navigating adverse realities. His highly varnished drawings, featuring depictions of dead birds, discarded clothing, fading flowers, and small stones, exist in a deliberate absence of contextual backgrounds.  However, when embedded in box frames, they gain visual weight and poetic beauty, intricately weaving a poignant visual narrative that invites deep reflection. Conceived as a direct response to contemporary events, these pieces distance themselves from the autobiographical, embracing a profound connection to political immediacy.