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Artists Awarded at the Venice Biennale


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Lions in Venice
Artists Awarded at the Biennale

Three of the coveted Lions at the Venice Biennale have gone to artists who are closely connected to Deutsche Bank and are represented in its collection. At the opening of the art show, Tobias Rehberger was awarded the Golden Lion for best artist, while John Baldessari received a Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. The Golden Lion for the best pavilion went to the US for the Bruce Nauman show Topological Gardens.

Tobias Rehberger, who teaches sculpture at the Städelschule in Frankfurt, is considered one of the most important contemporary German artists. His work is situated on the borderline between art, design, and architecture. For the Palazzo delle Esposizioni in Venice, he realized a cafeteria with a futurist atmosphere whose seating arrangements confront visitors with an overload of geometric and reflective surfaces. His environment, titled Was du liebst, bringt dich auch zum Weinen (The things you love also make you cry), oscillates between abstraction and psychedelic Op Art look. The jury's surprising decision in favor of a work of applied arts also reflects the agenda of this year's Biennial exhibition Fare Mondi/Making Worlds, which features numerous interdisciplinary projects. Since 1992, the Deutsche Bank Collection has acquired Tobias Rehberger's works on a continuous basis. In addition, he has created two editions for the bank on two separate occasions.

Together with Yoko Ono, John Baldessari received one of this year's two honorary Lions for being "one of today's most important visual artists." The Californian was distinguished for his oeuvre, which blends Pop Art with a conceptual approach. Baldessari combines mass media imagery, writing, and monochromatic color fields to inquire into the mechanisms of media representation. His large-scale series Somewhere Between Almost Right and Not Quite (With Orange), made as a commissioned work for the Deutsche Guggenheim, was on show at the Berlin exhibition hall in 2004/05. Bruce Nauman, whose award-winning pavilion represented the US, also had a solo exhibition at the Deutsche Guggenheim in 2003/04; Theaters of Experience offered a representative selection of works by the 1941-born artist. Nauman's provocative work explores bodily experience and inquires into the fundamental questions of human existence. Nauman's work encompasses a variety of media ranging from neon and wax sculpture to video performance, photography, and installation. At the very latest since his participation in Harald Szeemann's legendary documenta 5 (1972), Nauman has been considered one of the most influential American artists of the post-war era.

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