Anna Maria Maiolino And Nil Yalter Awarded Golden Lions For Lifetime Achievement  

Anna Maria Maiolino and Nil Yalter Awarded Golden Lions For Lifetime Achievement  

The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at the 60th International Art Exhibition have been bestowed upon two remarkable artists: Italian-born Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino and Paris-based Turkish artist Nil Yalter. This announcement celebrates the enduring contributions of Maiolino and Yalter to the global art landscape and was approved by the Biennale’s Board of Directors under the leadership of Roberto Cicutto.

The awards ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, 2024, alongside the inauguration of the 60th Exhibition at Ca’ Giustinian, the headquarters of La Biennale.

Curator Adriano Pedrosa underscores the significance of this decision, particularly in light of the theme and context of the Exhibition, which centres on artists who have traversed borders and cultures between the North and South, Europe, and beyond. In this context, the choice of two extraordinary and pioneering artists, as well as migrants, who in many ways embody the spirit of ‘Stranieri Ovunque – Foreigners Everywhere’, is particularly fitting.

Anna Maria Maiolino, born in Scalea, Italy, in 1942 and currently residing in São Paulo, Brazil, epitomizes this spirit through her migration from Italy to South America. After relocating to Venezuela and settling in Brazil, Maiolino’s artistic practice has been deeply influenced by her experiences of displacement and cultural adaptation.

Similarly, Nil Yalter, born in Cairo, Egypt, in 1938 and now based in Paris, France, has traversed continents and cultures throughout her life. A Turkish artist who migrated from Cairo to Istanbul before settling in Paris, Yalter’s multidisciplinary work reflects migration, identity, and cultural hybridity themes.

The recognition of Maiolino and Yalter with the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement underscores their pioneering contributions to the art world and their embodiment of the theme of migration and cultural exchange. As the art community gathers to celebrate their achievements, it serves as a poignant reminder of the transformative power of art in bridging divides and fostering understanding in an increasingly interconnected world.

The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award for Art is a prestigious honour bestowed upon artists whose contributions have left a mark on the art community. Established by the Venice Biennale, one of the most esteemed cultural institutions globally, the award aims to recognise artists’ outstanding achievements and enduring impact throughout their careers.

The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award, a product of the ever-evolving Venice Biennale, traces its roots back to the early decades of this cultural institution, which was established in 1895. Initially a platform for national pavilions showcasing contemporary art, the Biennale has grown to encompass special awards and recognitions for exceptional artists, including the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award.

The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award, a symbol of artistic excellence, has been bestowed upon a multitude of artists. These recipients, hailing from diverse artistic disciplines, styles, and cultural backgrounds, include painters, sculptors, photographers, performance artists, and conceptual artists. Each of them has significantly impacted the world of art, enriching it with their unique perspectives and contributions.

The criteria for selecting recipients of the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award typically involve considerations of artistic innovation, influence, and impact on the broader art world. The award is often conferred upon artists whose work has transcended geographical boundaries, cultural barriers, and artistic conventions, resonating with audiences worldwide.

The presentation of the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award is a highlight of the Venice Biennale. It draws attention to the enduring legacy of exceptional artists and celebrates their profound artistic vision and creative genius. As the Biennale continues to evolve and adapt to the changing landscape of contemporary art, the Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement Award remains a cherished tradition, honouring the extraordinary achievements of artists who have enriched the cultural fabric of our world.

Photos: Anna Maria Maiolino © Maycon Lima and Nil Yalter © Oliver Abraham

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