May 2019: a month in the art world

May is one of the busiest seasons in the art world calendar. Here are some highlights of the events taking place in the art world we are most excited for.

Street installation by Nic Fiddian Green at Madonna dell’Orto on May 7, 2019 (imone Padovani / Awakening / Getty)

Venice Biennale


There are hundreds of Biennials now, but Venice, the art world’s first biennial, remains the most prestigious. As Frieze, TEFAF, The Other Art Fair, Moniker, 1:54 and more art fairs come to a close in the beginning of May, the art world heads to Venice for the curated show. For its 58th edition, the theme May You Live In Interesting Times is curated by Ralph Rugoff, the director of the Hayward Gallery in London. Spanning the arsenale, pavilions, gardens (giardini) and the city itself, the show sets stage for each country to pick the artist to represent their nation on the international stage.

A performance by Body as Home (bottom left) on May 7, 2019. (Stefano Mazzola / Awakening / Getty)

Dates: The show opened its doors on May 7th and will run through mid November 2019.

Whitney Biennale


The first week of May in New York City was a flood of art fairs followed by the annual Met Gala, The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s opening of the Costume Institute’s newest exhibition. After the fairs come to an end and wallets get put away, the Whitney Museum of Art opens its summer biennial. The Whitney Biennial is the country’s longest running exhibition, first opening in 1932. The Biennial serves to showcase the themes, developments and artists of contemporary American Art. This year’s show is curated by Jane Panetta and Rujeko Hockley and showcases a multi-disciplinary line-up of over 75 artists, displaying paintings, sculpture, video, performance art and more.

Photo courtesy of Galerie Magazine

What we’re most excited about: The approach to this year biennial was choosing young, emerging and diverse artists. Additionally, last month, the Whitney launched an online platform with catalogues, artworks and PDFs from all previous exhibitions. The movement of traditional art world players embracing digital technologies is an exciting one.

Dates: May 17 — September 22

Tickets: Buy tickets for $25 for adults, $18 for students, seniors and people with disabilities, and free for kids 18 and younger.

Rare Art Festival 2


Organizers from the crypto art community are carrying on Rare Art Lab’s digital art festival with Rare Art Festival 2 (Rare AF2). Described as a “free art show” and a “create-a-thon”, Rare AF2 is a day packed with all things digital art. Meet the artists, see the art and listen to talks and panel discussions at this one day event. Covering topics from law to digital markets, this event will be a “can’t miss” for anyone interested in digital and crypto art.

What we’re excited about: The continued conversations and attention directed at the growth of the digital art market. And we will be there! Come meet Codex and some Codex featured artists.

Dates: Saturday, May 18 at the Bushwick Generator

Register: Register for free here.

The Shed, Open Call


The Shed is New York City’s newest addition to the art landscape. It opened last month and is an art institution that commissions original works of art across all disciplines for all audiences. Open Call is a large-scale commission program dedicated to developing and presenting new works from artists based in New York who have not yet received major institutional support. 52 emerging artists have been commissioned and given support and space to create ground-breaking works that reflect the world they live in.

The 52 selected artists. © Scott Rudd Events/The Shed. Photo: Scott Rudd.

What we’re excited about: The program is free! Many art institutions in NYC are expensive, with tickets up to $25 per person at museums like The Met and Guggenheim. Making this program free gives anyone the opportunity to see and engage with the diverse works and projects displayed. This gives the young artists an even larger and more diverse audience and gives the public a unique opportunity to see what is on the horizon in the contemporary art scene.

Dates: May 30 — August 25, 2019 at The Shed at: Level 2 Gallery, The Theater and The Plaza.

Tickets: Free, but making a reservation is suggested. Reservations will open here later this month.

The reoccurring theme we are seeing across the art calendar is an emphasis placed on emerging and diverse art and artists. As new institutions arise, traditional institutions are embracing the new and diversifying what is “main stream”. We believe it’s a market like this that will open its doors to digital art and leveraging blockchain technologies. As the art world looks to progression and emerging movements, the latest in technology and arts is sure to be a huge part of the change.

What events are you excited about this month? Tweet us @codexprotocol and let us know where you will be this May!

About Codex

Codex is the leading decentralized asset registry for the $2 trillion arts & collectibles (“A&C”) ecosystem, which includes art, fine wine, collectible cars, antiques, decorative arts, coins, watches, jewelry, and more. Powered by the CodexCoin native token, the Codex Protocol is open source, allowing third-party players in the A&C ecosystem to build applications and utilize the title system. Codex’s landmark application, Biddable, is a title-escrow system built on the Codex Protocol, which solves long-standing challenges in auctions: non-performing bidders, lack of privacy and bidder access. The Codex Protocol and CodexCoin will be adopted as the only cryptocurrency by The Codex Consortium, a group of major stakeholders in the A&C space who facilitate over $6 Billion in sales to millions of bidders across tens of thousands of auctions from 5,000 auction houses in over 50 countries.

To learn more about Codex initiatives, visit our white paper. To inquire about partnerships and developing dApps using the Codex Protocol, please contact us via Telegram or Twitter