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Burberry Fetes British Art at the 60th Venice Biennale

BRITS IN VENICE: Burberry brought a British spirit to the 60th Venice Biennale for a second consecutive year.

The luxury British brand is the headline sponsor of the British Pavilion at the international contemporary art exhibition that will run until Nov. 24.

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John Akomfrah, the British artist and writer, presented his work “Listening All Night to the Rain,” which was commissioned by the British Council to represent Great Britain at the fair. Memory, migration, racial injustice and climate change are the core focus of the artist’s work.

VENICE, ITALY - APRIL 18: John Akomfrah and Burberry Chief Creative Officer Daniel Lee attend the Burberry party at Harry’s Bar during the opening week of the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, on April 18, 2024 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry)VENICE, ITALY - APRIL 18: John Akomfrah and Burberry Chief Creative Officer Daniel Lee attend the Burberry party at Harry’s Bar during the opening week of the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, on April 18, 2024 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry)

Burberry celebrated with two events — the first was hosted by Russell Tovey and Robert Diament, founders of the “Talk Art” podcast where Akomfrah, curator Tarini Malik and Shane Akeroyd, the associate curator for the British Pavilion joined them on stage to discuss the commission and artistic practices.

In the evening, chief creative officer Daniel Lee hosted an intimate soiree at Harry’s Bar with Honey Dijon, Skye McAlpine, Sophie Hicks, Sydney Lima and Tim Marlow in attendance.

Lee had an artful year with Burberry in 2023.

The brand supported the Royal Academy of Arts Summer Exhibition, during which it handed out The Thomas Burberry Prize for Print to Christine Wilkinson.

VENICE, ITALY - APRIL 18: Robert Diament and Russell Tovey attend the Burberry party at Harry’s Bar during the opening week of the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, on April 18, 2024 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry)VENICE, ITALY - APRIL 18: Robert Diament and Russell Tovey attend the Burberry party at Harry’s Bar during the opening week of the 60th International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia, on April 18, 2024 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Dave Benett/Getty Images for Burberry)

Robert Diament and Russell Tovey

During Frieze London, Lee hosted a dinner celebration for artist Sarah Lucas at St. John in Clerkenwell for the opening of her exhibition “Happy Gas,” at Tate Britain, which Burberry supported.

The designer is a longtime fan of Lucas’ work, and the sponsorship is part of Burberry’s ongoing strategy to amplify British art.

Art seems to be pouring into the brand’s retail makeover too.

Burberry’s new store on Avenue Montaigne in Paris features fixtures inspired by British abstract art from the ‘60s and the ‘80s anti-establishment design movement, Creative Salvage.

Meanwhile, at the brand’s store at The Domain, a high-end shopping mall in Austin, British artist Tom Atton Moore, famed for his rugs, has been commissioned to produce pieces for the new space.

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