Held biannually since 1895, the International Art Exhibition — La Biennale di Venezia is one of the world’s most prestigious artistic events. Poland has participated since 1932. Construction of the pavilion was financed by the Polish government and it remains its property to this day. During the six months of the exhibition, projects from all over the world are presented in national pavilions in the Giardini area, the Arsenale and also spread all over the city. In 1999, Katarzyna Kozyra’s Men’s Bathhouse, exhibited at the Polish Pavilion, won a special mention from the Biennale’s Jury.
Alternating with the Art Biennale since 1980 is the International Architecture Exhibition, presenting the most important international realisations, designs and concepts in the field. Polish presentations have been awarded by the international Jury, including a Golden Lion, the top award, for Best National Participation in 2008 for Hotel Polonia. The Afterlife of Buildings, and a special mention in 2012 for Making the walls quake as if they were dilating with the secret knowledge of great power.
Zachęta — National Gallery of Art is the custodian of the Polish Pavilion and organizer of the exhibitions at the Biennale Arte and Biennale Architettura in Venice, selected through an open competition.