Germany Sweeps Venice's Golden Lions

BY Katrina Kufer / May 15 2017 / 15:19 PM

The 57th Venice Biennale announced the recipients of its coveted Golden Lion Awards on 13 May

Germany Sweeps Venice's Golden Lions
Photography by Jacopo Salvi. Image courtesy of La Biennale di Venezia.
Anne Imhof at the awards ceremony

Germany last won a Golden Lion six years ago with the posthumous exhibition of Christoph Schlingenseif’s work. This year, the country has done it again with Anne Imhof, whose work Faust at the German Pavilion has Venice all abuzz. Claiming the Golden Lion for Best National Participation (see a round-up of our pick of best national pavilions here, including Germany), the pavilion is described as “a powerful and disturbing installation that poses urgent questions about our time. It pushes the spectator to a state of anxiety,” said the jury in a statement. “An original response to the architecture of the pavilion, Imhof’s work is also characterised by precise decisions about objects, images, bodies and sounds.” Imhof also just received the 2017 Absolut Art Award, a $20,000 cash prize with an additional $110,000 to fund a new artwork. The formal award ceremony will take place in Stockholm in September.

The Golden Lion for Best Artist in the Christine Macel-curated central show Viva Arte Viva, went to Franz Erhard Walther, another German artist known for pioneering wearable fabric sculptures and whose work currently inhabits the Arsenale venue halls.

Additional awards included the Silver Lion for Most Promising Young Artist going to Egyptian artist Hassan Khan, who has a complex sound installation in the gardens of Arsenale, as well as the previously announced Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement, which went to the renowned US body art artist, Carolee Schneemann. Special mentions included Brazilian Cinthia Marcelle for national participation, and Charles Atlas and Petrir Halilai for their works in Viva Arte Viva.

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