The XIV Florence Biennale. International Exhibition of Contemporary Art and Design is about to be concluded. This afternoon at the Fortezza da Basso the last act - that of the Award Ceremony - of an edition marked by the success of both the public (almost 13 thousand visitors, representing a 25% increase compared to the last edition held in 2021), critics (the average review is impressive), and participants: more than 600 participants from 84 countries from all five continents.
"I believe that this edition," says Jacopo Celona, General Director of the Florence Biennale, "is one of the most satisfying in recent years, including the pre-Covid era, as it marked a moment of effective restart for contemporary art. The increase in audiences, the participation of artists from all over the world, and the great adherence to the theme of this edition have impressed us. We are particularly pleased that the two 'Lifetime Achievement Awards' to David LaChapelle and Santiago Calatrava were appreciated by the public and the media, as were all the other awards presented during the eight-day exhibition. Some projects in particular had an impact on all of us, such as Giammarco Sicuro's exhibition and the presence of Iranian and Ukrainian artists who contributed significantly to dialogue through art and culture in general. As of tomorrow, we will be at work preparing the XV Florence Biennale," he concluded, "the 30th anniversary edition scheduled for October 2025, a milestone that we hope to celebrate with a great new exhibition, full of beautiful proposals, interesting and possibly taking place in a world of peace and respect between peoples".
But let's see, category by category, who won the 'Lorenzo il Magnifico' Award for Art and the 'Leonardo da Vinci' Award for Design.
For Painting, the Argentinian-Portuguese artist and designer Maria Pacheco Cibils won with an abstract work, ahead of the Russian Alex Bras; Video Art was the prerogative of Alla Chiara Luzzitelli, who was born in Russia but lives permanently in Turin, while in the New Media Art category it was 71-year-old Belgian Lode Coen who won with a work from the 'own personal renaissance' gallery. For Photography, the prize went to American (but Hungarian by birth) Mati Gelman, while for Textile Art, the International Jury awarded the prize to Wang Qin from China, who teaches at the University of Shanghai. For Jewellery Art and Design, New Zealand-born Stacey Whale won, while Drawing, Calligraphy and Printmaking was won by Moscow-born Anna Plavinskaya, who had come third in the same category at the XII Florence Biennale in 2019. In the Installation Art category, the winner was Matteo Zamagni from Rimini (but who lives permanently in London), who has been working for years in the art world connected to technology; the Iranian Atefeh Majidi Nezhad followed, presenting a work taken from the Zero-G Columns collection inspired by Iranian architecture, in particular that of Isfahan, her hometown. In Ceramic Art the first prize went to Faentine (but Bari-born) ceramist Carlo Zoli who presented I sacri fratelli, a work dedicated to Castor and Pollux. In the Mixed Media category, the German artist Patrizia Casagranda repeated her success of two years ago, while in the Sculpture category, the South African artist Marco Olivier won first prize with his resin masks. Then for Design the 'Leonardo da Vinci' Award went to the Greek MockinBird Studio by Maria and Konstantinos Chadoulos.
Then there is the award decided by the public at the XIV Florence Biennale: scan.art, the revolutionary guide that allowed visitors to the exhibition to scan works of art with their smartphones to receive digital, contactless information on the work and the artist, also took place at this edition of the exhibition. Each scan of an artwork was counted towards the Visitor Award, which, among all the scanned works, went to The Last Flight by Peruvian (but Spain-based) artist Héctor Acevedo.
Lastly, the Winners' Exhibition: as in the previous edition, this time too the Florence Biennale offers the winning artists and designers in the various categories the opportunity to exhibit their winning work in a prestigious space in the city of Florence. From Thursday 11 to Sunday 28 January 2024, the works of the winners of the XIV Florence Biennale will be on display in the Exhibition Hall of the Accademia delle Arti del Disegno in Florence (Via Ricasoli, corner of Piazza San Marco) and can be visited every day (excluding Mondays), from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., Sundays only from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Florence Biennale Media Office