The International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara was born in 1957 thanks to Antonio Bernieri, an MP and citizen of Carrara who was deeply attached to his native town. The Carrara Biennale is unique in its kind by completely concentrating on sculpture. It was initially organised in the form of an international competition, and its regulations were modelled on those of the Venice Biennale and the Rome Quadriennale.
The original intention of the Biennale was to confirm the role of Carrara as world marble capital and, by purchasing the prize-winning works, to create the nucleus of a town art heritage, now kept in the Marble Museum. At the same time there was a desire to “rejuvenate” marble, which as an expressive means had been closely bound up with fascist rhetoric; a desire to adapt it to the new demands of contemporary art. Today the International Sculpture Biennale of Carrara, functions as a Biennale focused on sculpture in the widest sense of the word.
Many important artists participated in the various editions to date, amongst which: Pablo Picasso, Ossip Zadkine, Henry Moore, Jean Arp, Louise Bourgeois, De Chirico, Enzo Cucchi, Daniel Spoerri, Joan Mirò, Fernando Botero, Robert Morris, Sol LeWitt, Lucio Fontana, Yiannis Kounellis, Piero Manzoni, Pistoletto, Mario Merz, Gilbert & George, Bernd and Hilla Becher, Huma Bhabha, Monica Bonvicini, Carlos Bunga, Cai Guo-Qiang, Maurizio Cattelan, Sam Durant, Urs Fischer, Yona Friedman, Cyprien Gaillard, Antony Gormley, Daniel Knorr, Terence Koh, Paul McCarthy, Gustav Metzger, Deimantas Narkevicius, Santiago Sierra, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Ohad Meromi, Gillian Wearing, and Artur Żmijewski.