FAQ - FB

1.    Does the Florence Biennale have a theme?

The Florence Biennale is an opportunity of encounter and discussion about art, design and culture. In each edition a theme is proposed and developed through collateral events, conferences and educational projects. We welcome contributions from the artists and designers, who may present works relating to or inspired by the theme of the ongoing edition. Doing so, however, is not mandatory as the exhibitors can display works that are unrelated to the theme.

2.    What is the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” International Award?

The artists participating in the Florence Biennale compete for the “Lorenzo il Magnifico” International Award. The awards are conferred by an International Jury composed by outstanding personalities in the world of art and culture, who examine the artworks on display and decides about the prize conferral for each category. Aside from appointing the members of the International Jury, the President of the Florence Biennale has the right to give a special mention to one or more exhibiting artists. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday 22 October 2023.

3. What is the “Leonardo da Vinci” International Award?

With the 2019 edition, the Florence Biennale has introduced a new exhibition section dedicated to the world of design. The “Leonardo da Vinci” International Award is conferred to the best designers by an International Jury, composed of eminent personalities of the sector. Aside from appointing the members of the International Jury, the President of the Florence Biennale has the right to give a special mention to one or more exhibiting designers. The award ceremony will take place on Sunday 22 October 2023.

4.    What is the official catalogue of the Florence Biennale?

The official catalogue of the XIV Florence Biennale will be published by Giorgio Mondadori Editore. Each and every artist and designer participating to the Florence Biennale will have a dedicated page in this volume, which will feature an image of their work with the relevant caption as well as the artist’s or designer's name, country of origin, and biographical profile. Each exhibitor is entitled to have one free copy of the catalogue.

The catalogue will be distributed in Italy through Messaggerie Libri, Amazon.it, and the most important book fairs (such as those held in Bologna, Turin, Rome, and Frankfurt). Copies of the volume will also be sent to Italian libraries in London, Paris, Berlin, Madrid and other European cities. Furthermore, the Florence Biennale Catalogue will be made available at the bookshops of the Venice Biennale, Triennale di Milano, and Artefiera Bologna as well as in the museums of Padua, Bologna, Florence, Rome, and Verona.

Further information is set out in the documentation provided to the artists and designers admitted to partecipate in the Florence Biennale (Regulation, art. 7 and Form D).

5.    What about the selection/admission process?

In order to participate in the Florence Biennale, it is necessary to submit an application and receive the admission of the Curatorial Board, which evaluates the artistic curriculum and the works submitted. Artists and designers may apply spontaneously or after receiving an invitation from a member of the International Selection Committee (CIS) or the Curatorial Board itself. In any case, artists and designers who would like to be admitted, thus receiving the participation documents (including detailed information about conditions, costs, and services), are asked to submit their application at this link.

6.    I am an artist or a designer admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale, what should I do?​​​​​

After application, admitted artists and designers receive an email from the Florence Biennale including the documentation with the information needed to register for participation (General regulation, explanatory material and participation forms). Before registering, please read thoroughly the General regulation and all the attached forms, which should be filled out, signed and sent to the Organising Secretariat by email (info@florencebiennale.org).

7.    Which are the Florence Biennale deadlines?
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The final registration deadline is 30 April 2023 (or earlier, if the exhibition spaces are sold out).

Other deadlines are set out in the documentation made available to the artists and designers admitted to participate to the forthcoming edition of the Florence Biennale.

8.    Which are the Florence Biennale ART categories?​​​​​​

The Florence Biennale accepts all the techniques, currents and artistic tendencies. At present the Art categories (listed in alphabetical order) are: Ceramic Art, Drawing, Calligraphy and Printmaking, Installation Art, Jewellery Art, Mixed Media, New Media ArtPainting, Performance Art, Photography, Sculpture, Textile & Fiber Art, Video Art.

A brief definition of each category is set out in the documentation provided to the artists admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (Attached A.1).

9. Which are the Florence Biennale DESIGN categories?

Categories for the Design section are: Architecture and Town Design, Industrial and Product Design, Fashion and Jewellery Design, Interior Design, Communication and Graphic Design, Technology and Game Design.

10.    How many works can each participating artist or designer exhibit?

The number of works that can be displayed varies depending on the exhibition space chosen by the artist or the designer, and the dimensions of the works themselves.

Further information is set out in the documentation provided to the artists and designers admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (Form A).

11.    What types of exhibition space are available?​​​​​​

The artists can choose between different types of exhibition space, which are listed in brief below.

WALL SPACE: suitable for artworks to be hung as it consists of 2, 3, 4, or 6 one-metre-wide vertical panels.
FLOOR SPACE: suitable for artworks that have to be placed on the ground or on a base.
VIDEO STATION: video artworks will be projected on 50” LED screens.

Further information about the file format and aspect ratio required are set out in the documentation provided to the artists and designers admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (Regulation, Art. 4, and Form A).

In the case of special projects or needs other than those indicated in the Regulation, please send detailed information about the project and requests to the Organizing Secretariat. We will formulate a custom quote.

12.     Is there a participation fee?

Yes, because the Florence Biennale is an independent, ‘self-funded’ biennial. The participation fee, which varies depending on the exhibition space and services required by the artist or the designer, is destined to cover pro-quota the rental of the venue and related costs such as the mandatory insurance policy, utilities, cleaning service, fire protection service, security, and other expenses. Also covered are the exhibition space set up, and the work installation and dismantling services. On top of these, as included in the participation fee, are the advertising and promotional costs, direct and indirect costs born for the organisation of the biennial and the publishing of the catalogue.

A detailed list of goods and services included in the participation fee is set out in the documentation provided to the artists and designers admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (Regulation, art. 5).

The transport and customs clearance of the works, which shall be managed by the artists at their expense, is not included in the participation fee (see FAQ 16).

13.    What is the amount required as a participation fee?​​​​​​

The participation fee varies depending on the type of exhibition space and services required by the artist or the designer. Further information is set out in the documentation provided to the artists and designers admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale.

14.    What payment methods are available?

Two payment methods are accepted:
– online payment by credit/debit card;
– bank transfer.

Further information about payment methods are set out in the documentation provided to the artists and designers admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (Form B).

15.    Do the artists and designers have to pay the VAT

– The artists and designers resident in Italy must pay the VAT, which is included in the participation fees indicated in the documentation (Form A).

– The artists and designers resident in EU countries (excluding Italy) who have VAT number registered at the VIES (VAT Information Exchange System) as well as at their country’s tax office, may ask for exemption from paying the VAT amount of the participation fee.

– The artists and designers resident in Extra EU countries or in a country that is not bound by EU economic treatises who have a registered VAT number may ask for exemption from paying the VAT amount of the participation fee.

16.    Are there any special promotions reserved to returning artists and designers?

Yes, there are special offers reserved to the artists and designers who have already exhibited their work in one or more past editions of the Florence Biennale.

Further information is set out in the documentation available to the artists and designers entitled to benefit from these promotions (Regulation, Art. 3 and  Form A).

17.    Can the artists and designers have a sponsor?

The Florence Biennale welcomes sponsors who may enable one or more artists and designers to participate in the Florence Biennale. The artists and designers shall look for possible sponsors by themselves. Upon request, however, the Organiser will support them in their search by providing a sponsor-kit and issuing a document certifying the artist’s admission to the Florence Biennale. The name and logo of each sponsor will be published in the official catalogue and web site of the Florence Biennale. To such purpose the artists and designers receiving sponsorships are requested to provide the details of their sponsors (name, country, web site) as well as a H/R file with their logo to the Organising Secretariat no later than 30 April 2023 to sponsor@florencebiennale.org.

Further information is set out in the documentation provided to artists and designers admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (Regulation, Art. 8 and Form E).

18.    What about transport and customs clearance?

Transportation and customs clearance costs are not included in the participation fee. Participating artists and designers shall provide for shipping, transportation, and customs clearance of their artworks at their expense. Artists and designers are free to choose the means of transport and related companies at their sole responsibility; Florence Biennale is not obliged to act as an intermediary. Customs clearance can be a complex and lengthy process in Italy. Therefore, the Organiser does not recommend using express couriers, because they do not guarantee a correct management of customs clearance in Italy. On the contrary, the Organiser recommends using professional art logistic services. The Organiser will send to all participating artists and designers a specific documentation about logistics, including recommended procedures and information about delivery/collection of artworks.

19.    What about installation and dismantling of the works

Participating artists and designers can choose whether they (or their representatives) prefer to install (11-12-13 October 2023) and dismantle (23 October 2023) works personally or if they would like to ask the Florence Biennale Staff to take care of installation/dismantling. This service is included in the participation fee for simple setups (accrochage). Complex setups need to be submitted to the Organising Secretariat in order to evaluate their feasibility and cost. In any case, please send us a project or scheme about the installation of your artworks before 30 April 2023.

20.    Do the exhibiting artists and designers have to attend the biennial?

All exhibiting artists and designers are more than welcome to do so, of course, but it is up to them to decide whether they will be present or not. However, please inform the Organizational Secretariat of your presence by September 2023.

21.    What about hotel accommodation in Florence?

The Florence Biennale has entered a series of partnerships with hotels in the historic centre of Florence, close to the exhibition venue (Fortezza da Basso), with offers reserved for the stay of artists and designers during the exhibition days.

22.    Can I sell my works at the Florence Biennale?
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The works on show at the Florence Biennale compete for the ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ and the ‘Leonardo da Vinci’ Awards, and therefore must remain in the exhibition space at all times until the end of the biennial, whose aim is not the sale. However, once the Florence Biennale has ended, the artists and designers are fully entitled to conclude the sale of their works privately. We highly recommend extra-EU artists to get information from their customs agent about VAT and duties applicable to works that have been temporarily imported for exhibition purposes, but may end up being sold in Italy.

With its ten days of opening to a wide audience, the Florence Biennale represents a great opportunity for exhibiting artists and designers to promote their work, accept reservations for the pieces on display and/or in their portfolios, and also enter agreements for works on commission.

During the past edition several artists welcomed enquiries from collectors and aficionados, which thereafter ended up with a positive outcome. Many received proposals from art galleries and other organisations, mainly private, and eventually were commissioned works.
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