el anatsui awarded golden lion for lifetime achievement of the venice art biennale
(above) ‘fresh and fading memories’, 2007 © el anatsui




ghanaian artist el anatsui has been awarded winner of the golden lion for lifetime achievement of the 56th international art exhibition of the biennale di venezia, under the theme ‘all the world’s futures.’ the decision comes from the board of directors of la biennale chaired by paolo baratta, upon recommendation of the curator of this year’s edition okwui enwezor, acknowledging his choice by saying:


‘el anatsui is perhaps the most significant living african artist working on the continent today. the award for which I am recommending him is an important honor to an artist who has contributed immensely to the recognition of contemporary african artists in the global arena. it is also a worthy recognition of the originality of anatsui’s artistic vision, his long-term commitment to formal innovation, and his assertion through his work of the place of africa’s artistic and cultural traditions in international contemporary art. the golden lion award acknowledges not just his recent successes internationally, but also his artistic influence amongst two generations of artists working in west africa. it is also an acknowledgment of the sustained, crucial work he has done as an artist, mentor and teacher for the past forty-five years.’

el anatsui golden lion-for-lifetime-achievement-of-the-venice-art-biennale
portrait of el anatsui
photo © nash baker




the acknowledgment will be awarded to el anatsui on saturday may 9th 2015 at ca’ giustinian, the historic headquarters of la biennale di venezia, during the awards ceremony and inauguration of the 56th exhibition, the same day which the exhibition will open to the public.



if you are visiting the venice art biennale this year, please don’t forget to use the hashtag #veniceart2015 to help us make an interesting selection of shows not to miss.