That morning, Max Mara chairman Luigi Maramotti hosted a breakfast for the first Max Mara Art Prize for Women and announced the name of its curator: Iwona Blazwick, director of London's renowned Whitechapel Gallery, which pioneered artists such as Frida Kahlo and Cristina Iglesias. The prize grants an emerging artist a six month residency in Italy, and her resulting work will be acquired by the Maramotti Collection. "Iwona is extremely dynamic and really believes in this initiative," said Maramotti, whose family owns Max Mara and who is involved in art restoration projects and is a major collector of contemporary art.
Maramotti and his wife, Michela, were also on hand Friday night, when Angela Missoni hosted a dinner for the curator of the Chinese pavilion on her family's boat, a traditional burchio named Timoteo. Missoni was joined by Chloe designer Phoebe Philo, artist Anish Kapoor and his wife Susanne, and Michael Chow and his wife Eva. In honor of her Chinese guests — who are participating in the Biennale for the first time — the boat's decor had been redone in Asian style. But it was the art in Venice that had Missoni swooning.
"This is all very exciting. I'm in a daze looking at all the installations," she said.