In total, the award will be posthumously received by four art directors of the international exhibition of past years: Okwui Enwezor, Maurizio Calveci, as well as Germano Celant and Vittorio Gregotti, who died as a result of COVID-19.
The organizers of the Venice Biennale decided to award the Golden Lions to four deceased art directors of the international exhibition. The ceremony will be held on September 1 at the Giardini Pavilion after the opening of the exhibition Excited Muses. When the Biennale meets History (August 29 – December 8). It was organized this year instead of the traditional Architecture Biennale and is dedicated to the 125-year history of the most prestigious international exhibition.
Okwui Enwezor curated the 2015 Venice Biennale; in addition to him, the Golden Lion was awarded to Germano Celant (art director of the 1997 Biennale, in recent years he was art director of the Prada Foundation), Maurizio Calvesi (1984 and 1986) and Vittorio Gregotti (1975 and 1976). Chelan, who became famous as a popularizer of poor art, passed away last spring as a result of COVID-19. Gregotti, the Italian architect who designed the Biennale of Architecture, who designed the Olympic Stadium in Barcelona, also died from complications caused by the coronavirus. Futurism specialist Kalvezi passed away in July at the age of 92. The Biennale became the laboratory where Calvesi, Chelant, Enwezor, and Gregotti embodied their original, visionary critical vision, forward-looking and often ahead of time.
Usually, the Golden Lions are awarded to artists: at each biennale, a prize is awarded for the best national pavilion and for the contribution to art.
However, in 2005 the Swiss curator Harald Zeeman, who was in charge of the 48th and 49th Biennials in 1999 and 2001, was also posthumously awarded a special Golden Lion.