The Venice Biennale is a place where you can go in search of the familiar (this year that includes Jeremy Deller, Mark Leckey, Helen Marten, Paul McCarthy, Ed Atkins). Yet the real pleasure of wandering the streets of Venice is often discovering artists you never knew. Here are ten exhibiting this year that may not have crossed your path before.
1 Ron Nagle
This 70-something San Francisco ceramicist on show at Gioni’s Encyclopedic Palace is one of the best artists you’ve never heard of. His strange textured alien day glo objects are some of the most weird and incredible mini sculptures you’ll ever see.
2 Carlo Zinelli
The Museum of Everything is devoting their Venice Biennale debut to the fascinating World War I veteran artist Carlo Zinelli. His work walks the haunting line between post traumatic stress disorders and true war poetry.
3 Shinro Ohtake
This Japanese installation cum collage artist (who was one of the best things at last year’s Documenta). Whatever he makes for Venice expect it to be overwhelming.
4 Shary Boyle
Canada representative at this year’s Biennale is an intuitive artist who blends drawing, installation, sound, shadow and porcelain in her fantastical world.
5 Eva Kotátková
One of the shortlisted artists in the Future Generation Art Prize, Czech artist Kotátková has a wide, varied conceptual practise where arrangements take on their own brilliant life.
6 Richard Mosse
Wartorn countries are completely reinvented under Irish artist Richard Mosse’s lens - from infrared images of the landscape of the Congo to the crumbling former palaces of Iraq.
7 Eko Nugroho
Indonesia has a surprisingly cool art scene – and Nugroho is one of the best. His graphic sensibility draws on everything from Indonesian politics to sci fi narratives
8 Stefanos Tsivopoulos
Greece’s Stefanos Tsvopoulos makes video, performance and investigative work that includes a very timely examination of the current financial crisis hitting his country.
9 Mark Manders
British ex-pat let blighty for Holland and set up one of the best art book publishers in the world – Roma Publications. His own art, which represents the Netherlands this year, focuses on inventive sculpture and installation that tingles brains.
10 Bedwyr Williams
Bedwyr Williams has been knocking around for a while but is having a second wind this year at Venice, with work that proves the Welsh can be very, very funny.