Winners's Circle

Ono, Baldessari, and the United States Earn Golden Lions in Venice

Yoko Ono was awarded a Golden Lion for lifetime achievement at the Venice Biennale this weekend. The jury cited her for being "a pioneer in performance and conceptual art." Conceptual artist John Baldessari also received a lifetime achievement citation for “an outstanding body of work that his inspired several generations of artists.” Other big winners included American Bruce Nauman and organizing institution Philadelphia Museum of Art, who were awarded the Biennale’s top prize for Best National Participation for Nauman’s exhibition “Topological Gardens.” The award marked the first time since Jasper Johns’ installation in 1990 that the United States won the coveted Golden Lion for best pavilion. Among the participants of the main exhibition “Making Worlds,” curated by Daniel Birnbaum, the Best Artist award went to German multi-media artist Tobias Rehberger (who won the Young Artist award at the 1997 edition and the Silver Lion for a Promising Young Artist was awarded to 30-year-old Swedish ingénue Nathalie Djurburg for her dark, Grimm-like fairytale installation “Experimentet” of stop-motion claymation videos shown in a brooding forest of flowers.