Germany took both of the top prizes at the Venice Biennale on Saturday, with Golden Lions going to Franz Erhard Walther as best artist and to the German Pavilion designed by Frankfurt artist Anne Imhof as the best National Participation.
Walther, 77, a concept artist from the central German city of Fulda, is showing a large-scale textile work at the show, which opened on Saturday. He is known for art works that allow viewer participation.
The German Pavilion, which features a some five-hour-long performance of Imhof's piece "Faust," has already proved to be a favorite during VIP previews at the Biennale. The pavilion is curated by Susanne Pfeffer from the Fridericianum museum in Kassel.
Major art show
The last time the German Pavilion won a Golden Lion was in 2011, when Christoph Schlingensief's version was honored posthumously after the artist died the year before.
The German-British artist Tino Sehgal received the award as best artist in 2013.
The 57th Venice Biennale, which this year is entitled "Viva Arte Via," will run until November 26 and is expected to attract half a million visitors. Its curator is Christine Macel of France, who has held the same position at the famous Centre Pompidou in Paris since 2000. Macel has in the past displayed a predilection for time-based art, which she tends to favor over painting or installations.
Some 120 artists from 51 countries are exhibiting their works, including three more German artists besides Walther. The show also features more than 80 national pavilions.