17-08-2020

Special Golden Lion Awards for Calvesi, Celant, Enwezor and Gregotti

Vittorio Gregotti,

Venice, Italy,

Exhibitions,

Venice Biennale,

Maurizio Calvesi, Germano Celant, Okwui Enwezor and Vittorio Gregotti, the four former Artistic Directors of the Venice Biennial Visual Arts Department who recently passed away, are to receive Special Golden Lions 2020 from the Italian Biennale’s Board of Directors. The awards will be presented at the exhibition "Le Muse Inquiete (The Disquieted Muses). When the Biennale meets History" to celebrate the 125th anniversary of the institution’s foundation, and is curated for the first time by the artistic directors of all the Biennale’s six departments.



Special Golden Lion Awards for Calvesi, Celant, Enwezor and Gregotti

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and restrictions on travel and activities, this year the Venice Biennale International Architecture Exhibition, like many international events, has been rescheduled and will now take place from May 22 to November 21, 2021. The current program now features new projects of great public interest, including the exhibition "Le Muse Inquiete (The Disquieted Muses). When the Biennale meets History", which opens in the Central Pavilion of the Giardini from August 29. The special event celebrates the 125th anniversary of the institution’s foundation, and is curated for the first time by the Artistic Directors of all the Biennale’s six departments. Drawing on unique resources from the Historical Archives (ASAC) and other national and international archives, the aim is to revisit salient moments when, through its innovative projects, the Biennale converged with the history of the twentieth century.
To coincide with the exhibition, which continues until December 8, the Board of the Venice Biennale decided to present four Special Golden Lions 2020. Awarded to four former artistic directors of the visual arts sector of the Venice Biennale, who passed away recently. Maurizio Calvesi, Germano Celant, Okwui Enwezor and Vittorio Gregotti, were selected because each in their own way witnessed particularly significant moments in the history of major exhibitions and the Venice Biennale itself. President of the Venice Biennale, Roberto Cicutto, declared that the Biennale’s international standing today is due to the work and originality of its Artistic Directors. "The Biennale was the studio where Calvesi, Celant, Enwezor and Gregotti expressed their original and visionary critical thinking which looked to, and often anticipated, the future. Le Muse Inquiete highlights them as key figures of an exhibition which marks the beginning of a permanent dialog with contemporary arts in the spirit of common research. Leaving aside the respective titles and merits of the four former directors, and projects they curated, we highlight their association with the Venice Biennale.
Maurizio Calvesi (Rome, 1927 – 2020) was a member of the Venice Biennale Board of Directors from 1980 to 1982. In 1984 and 1986 he was Director of the Visual Arts Department and curated the 41st and 42nd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibitions.
Germano Celant (Genoa, 1940 – Milan, 2020) was Director of the 47th Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition. He also organized the exhibition Environment/Art at the Central Pavilion of the Giardini in 1976.
Okwui Enwezor (Calabar, Nigeria, 1963 – Munich, Bavaria, 2019) was Artistic Director of the Visual Arts Department in 2015 and curated the 56th International Art Exhibition, All the World’s Futures.
Vittorio Gregotti (Novara, 1927 – Milan, 2020) was Artistic Director from 1974 to 1977 and, in fact, introduced architecture as a discipline in the Biennale, organizing several exhibitions. The Special Golden Lions will be presented on September 1 in the Giardini of the Biennale.

(Agnese Bifulco)

Images courtesy of  Archivio Storico della Biennale di Venezia, ASAC


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