Artists Venice Biennale Italy

Golden Lion prizes given to Tino Sehgal and Angola at Venice Biennale

While the Qatar Museums Authority and Fondazione Prada team up to find the tomorrow’s curatorial talent

Tino Sehgal accepting the Golden Lion award

After the flurry of the last week’s opening, a jury selected the winners for the much-coveted Golden Lions awards at the 55th Venice Biennale.

The ceremony took place on 1 June at the Giardini, the beating heart of the Biennale, and was presided over by the board, led by its president Paolo Baratta.

Tino Sehgal was named best artist in Massimiliano Gioni’s “The Encyclopaedic Palace” exhibition, while the Paris-based artist Camille Henrot was recognised as the most promising young artist in the same show. Angola, at the Biennale for the first time, won the Golden Lion for best national participation with the exhibition “Luanda, Encyclopedic City”. Held in the Palazzo Cini, it was one of the pavilions that was most difficult to get in to once the Biennale opened to the public, with long queues snaking through Venice’s narrow streets.

Special mentions were made for the American Sharon Hayes and the Italian Roberto Cuogi, both of whom contributed works to “The Encyclopaedic Palace”, while Cyprus and Lithuania received a special mention for their collaboration, in which they shared both venue and artists.

As announced earlier this year, the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement were awarded to two female artists: Maria Lassnig, who represented Austria in the 1980 edition of the Biennale, and Marisa Merz, the Italian sculptor, member of the Arte Povera movement and widow of Mario Merz.

The search for tomorrow’s top curator

Meanwhile, also announced in Venice last week, the Qatar Museums Authority has teamed up with the Fondazione Prada to launch “Curate”, a new global competition to discover the next big curatorial talents.

The competition is open to any budding curators, whether or not they already work in the art world. All that is required from the candidates is a two-minute video accompanied by a one-page document outlining their concept for an exhibition. The winner, due to be announced next spring, will have their vision realised.

The jury is composed of: Shaikha Al Mayassa bint Hamad Al-Thani, who heads the Qatar Museums Authority; Miuccia Prada, the president of the Fondazione Prada; the architect Rem Koolhaas; the Lebanese film-maker Nadine Labaki; Nawal El Moutawakel, the first woman from a Muslim majority country to win an Olympic gold medal; and Hans Ulrich Obrist, the co-director of the Serpentine Gallery, London.

Applications close on 31 December and can be made at

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