Frequently Asked Questions

1. Does the Florence Biennale have a theme?

The Florence Biennale is an opportunity of encounter and discussion about art and culture. In each edition a theme is proposed and developed through collateral events, conferences and educational projects. We welcome contributions from the artists, who may present works relating to or inspired by the theme of the ongoing edition. Doing so, however, is not mandatory as the exhibiting artists 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. The International Jury’s decision shall be final. 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.

3. What is the official catalogue of the XII Florence Biennale?

The official catalogue of the XII Florence Biennale will be published by Fausto Lupetti Editore. Each and every artist 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 name, country of origin, and biographical profile. Each exhibiting artist 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 FB 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 admitted to partecipate in the Florence Biennale (FB Regulation, art. 8 and Form E).

4. What about the selection/admission process?

The artists who are interested in participating in the Florence Biennale have to submit their candidacy for admission to the International Selection Committee (CIS), who will examine their curriculum and proposed artworks. Submissions for can be made through our website, in the dedicated page.

5. I am an artist admitted to participate in the FB, what should I do?

The artists who receive a letter informing them about their admission to the FB are entitled to download the documentation with the information needed to register (the FB Regulation and explanatory material). Before registering please read thoroughly the FB Regulation and all the forms enclosed, which should be signed and sent to the FB Organising Secretariat, either by email at info@florencebiennale.org or posted to the address in Via delle Porte Nuove, 10 – 50144 Firenze, Italy.

6. Which are the FB deadlines?

The final registration deadline is 30 April 2019 (or earlier, if the exhibition spaces are sold out).

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

7. Which are the FB art categories?

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

A brief definition of each category is set out in the documentation provided to the artists admitted to participate in the FB (Form A).

8. How many artworks can the artist exhibit?

The number of artworks that can be displayed varies depending on the exhibition space chosen by the artist, and the dimensions of the artworks themselves.
Further information is set out in the documentation provided to the artists admitted to participate in the FB (Form A).

9. What types of exhibition space are available?

The artists can chose 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 40” LCD or LED screens equipped with two headsets.

Further information about the file format and Aspect ratio required are set out in the documentation provided to the Artists admitted to participate in the FB (FB Regulation, Art. 4, and Form A).

10. Is there a participation fee?

Yes. That is 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, 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 artwork 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 admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (FB Regulation, art. 6).

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

11. 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. Further information is set out in the documentation provided to the artists admitted to participate in the FB.

12. Which are the payment methods accepted?

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 admitted to participate in the FB (Form C).

13. Do the artists have to pay the VAT?

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

14. Are there any special promotions reserved to returning artists?

Yes, there are special offers reserved to the artists 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 entitled to benefit from these promotions (FB Regulation, Form A.2).

15. Can the artists have a sponsor?

The Florence Biennale welcomes sponsors who may enable one or more artists to participate in the Florence Biennale. The artists 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 FB. 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 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 2019.

Further information is set out in the documentation provided to artists admitted to participate in the Florence Biennale (FB Regulation, art. 9).

16. What about transport and customs clearance?

Transportation and customs clearance costs are not included in the participation fee. Participating artists shall provide for shipping, transportation, and customs clearance of their artworks at their expense. Artists 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. By May the 15th 2018, the Organiser will send to all participating artists a specific documentation about logistics, including recommended procedures and information about delivery/collection of artworks.

17. What about installation and dismantling of the artworks?

Participating artists can choose whether they (or their representatives) prefer to install/dismantle artworks 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.

18. Do the exhibiting artists have to attend the biennial?

All exhibiting artists 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, they are kindly requested to inform the FB Organising Secretariat about their decision no later than 18 September 2019.

19. What about hotel accommodation in Florence?

The Florence Biennale has entered a partnership agreement with the Firenze Convention & Visitors Bureau in order to allow the exhibiting artists to take advantage of special room rates during the days in which the biennial takes place.

20. Can I sell my artworks at the Florence Biennale?

The artworks on show at the Florence Biennale compete for the ‘Lorenzo il Magnifico’ Award, 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 are fully entitled to conclude the sale of their artworks privately. We highly recommend extra-EU artists to get information from their customs agent about VAT and duties applicable to artworks 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 to promote their work, accept reservations for the pieces on display and/or in their portfolios, and also enter agreements for work 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 work.