The award will be presented to the two artists on June 4th, 2011 during the opening and award ceremony
Sturtevant and Franz West will be the recipients of the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement of the 54th International Art Exhibition – ILLUMInations (Venice, Giardini and Arsenale, June 4th – November 27th, 2011).
The decision, made by the Board of la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, under director Bice Curiger’s proposal, finds its motivation in “the uniqueness of their topical contribution to Contemporary Art and for having developed a forceful and rich oeuvre, which invites to see the artistic production in connection with other intellectual discourses”.
The award will be officially presented to the two artists on June 4th, 2011, at noon during the opening and award ceremony of the exhibition.
Sturtevant, born 1930 in Lakewood, Ohio, USA, lives and works in Paris.
Her artistic career is unique and fascinating in developing an extremely coherent oeuvre literally in the “shadow” of the most important artistic experiments and movements of the twentieth century. Her works are raising questions about originality and authorship long before these topics have become intensely discussed in philosophy and literary theory.
A precursor of conceptual art, Sturtevant has created replicas of works by artists like Marcel Duchamp, Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Joseph Beuys and more recently by Felix Gonzalez-Torres or Paul McCarthy. It is only since the 1980s that her work has entered the art discourse, and has gained an incredible reputation in the last years, particularly through her recent development of her oeuvre – presented in 2010 at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la ville de Paris – which includes also film and performances.
Franz West was born in Vienna in 1947, where he is currently based.
He is one of the most important contemporary artists working in sculpture, but also in collage and installation. His earliest works were created around the idea of “Passstücke” (or “Adaptives”), small sculptures to be held by a person near the body to become “complete”. The interpretations of these sculptures were seen in between “neurosis” and “prostheses”. At the same time his works took up an aesthetic language aiming towards the vague and the decrepit, relating to discourses around the body, to psychoanalysis, literature and philosophy in an often grotesque and “messy” way.
Franz West has been a great innovator in sculpture by developing it like a meta language, aiming towards its affinities to the body and to furniture. In 1992 Franz West showed in the Austrian Pavilion at la Biennale di Venezia. In 2010 he had a big travelling exhibition at the Museum Ludwig, Köln, at the MADRE – Museo d’Arte contemporanea DonnaREgina, Napoli and at the Kunsthaus Graz.
by Ilaria Rebecchi