Tobias Rehberger was awarded the Golden Lion as best artist at the 53rd International Art Exhibition, La Biennale di Venezia. Tobias Rehberger received the price for the cafeteria, for which he collaborated closely with Artek using customized Artek
furniture in an ingenious way. The cafeteria created by Rehberger is a complex scheme of geometric forms with contrasting colors, a visually disorienting environment that draws from a specific example from the past: razzle dazzle or dazzle painting a decorative style used on ships during the First World War.
The iconic Alvar Aalto pieces were reborn and reinterpreted by Tobias Rehberger in a highly impressive way. The dialogue between art and architecture does not allow any compromises in the space. Rehberger bridges the gap between the world of aesthetics and that of practical issues in everyday life in a fresh, contemporary way.
The Awards and Opening Ceremony of the 53rd International Art Exhibition took place on 6th June 2009 at 5 p.m. in the Giardini. Tobias Rehberger was awarded the Golden Lion as best artist for, as the jury puts it, "taking us beyond the white cube, where past modes of exhibition are reinvented and the work of art turns into a cafeteria. In this shift social communication becomes aesthetic practice".
The collaboration between the Biennale, the curator Daniel Birnbaum and the artists was for Artek an opportunity to re-interpret the multidisciplinary vision of Alvar Aalto and the other founders of Artek. The cafeteria and the terrace of the Palazzo delle Exposizioni della Biennale is open for the public during the 53rd Biennale Art Exhibiton and well beyond. The spaces will definitely find its audience and become a highlight at the Giardini not only during the Biennale but as a permanent space also in the future.
Selected pieces which Tobias Rehberger created for the Biennale café will be sold as an art furniture edition. All the pieces are handcrafted. The range includes tables painted in black-and-white camouflage as well as chairs and a lounge chair, which are produced using genuine Artek furniture components.