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Yoko Ono and John Baldessari to Receive Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale
Yoko Ono walks through her installation "Amaze" in Bielefeld, Germany. Photo: EFE / Bernd Thissen.
VENICE.- The 53rd International Art Exhibition’s (Venice, from 7th June to 22nd November 2009) Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement will be awarded to Yoko Ono and John Baldessari – two of the most important artists of our time.

As decided by the Board of the Venice Biennale, chaired by Paolo Baratta, on the proposal of the Director, Daniel Birnbaum, the award will be officially presented to the two artists on 6th June 2009 during the opening of the 53rd International Art Exhibition titled Making Worlds.

“The Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement are honouring two artists whose ground-breaking activities have opened new poetic, conceptual and social possibilities for artists around the globe working in all media,” commented Director Daniel Birnbaum also stressing that “Yoko Ono and John Baldessari have shaped our understanding of art and its relationship to the world in which we live. Their work has revolutionized the language of art and will remain a source of inspiration for generations to come.”

Yoko Ono, born in Tokyo 1933, is a key figure in post-war art. A pioneer in performance and conceptual art, she is one of the most influential artists of our time. Long before becoming an icon in popular culture and in peace activism, she developed artistic strategies that have left a lasting mark both in her native Japan and in the West.

John Baldessari, born in California 1931, is one today's most important visual artists. Often named the most important art teacher of our times, he has above all developed a visual language entirely his own. Since the 1960s, he has worked in many disciplines and has produced an outstanding body of work that has inspired several generations of artists.

The 53rd Exhibition, titled Making Worlds // Fare Mondi // Bantin Duniyan // 制造世界 // Weltenmachen // Construire des Mondes // Fazer Mundos… will take place from 7th June to 22nd November 2009 in the Giardini and the Arsenale and elsewhere in Venice. The press preview will take place on 4th, 5th and 6th June 2009.



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