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Awards since 1986

Prizes awarded at the International Art Exhibition since 1986
The Venice Biennale has awarded prizes to the artists participating at the Exhibition since the first edition back in 1895. Grand Prizes were established in 1938 and ran until 1968 when they were abolished due to the protest movement. Prizes were taken up again in 1986.

1986
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion for best artist to
Frank Auerbach and Sigmar Polke
Prize to Participating Countries - Golden Lion for best national participation to France, represented by Daniel Buren
Duemila Prize to the best young artist to Nunzio Di Stefano
Golden Lion to the memory of sculptor Fausto Melotti
 
1988
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion to Jasper Johns
Prize to Participating Countries - Golden Lion to the Padiglione Italia
Duemila Prize to the best young artist to Barbara Bloom
Special Mentions to Tony Cragg and Enzo Cucchi

1990
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion, to a painter, to Giovanni Anselmo
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion, to a sculptor, to Bernd and Hilla Becher
Prize to Participating Countries - Golden Lion, to the United States of America and to Jenny Holzer
Duemila Prize to the best young artist to Anish Kapoor
Honourable Mentions to: USSR Pavilion, African Countries Pavilion - Nigeria and Zimbabwe, Reinhard Mucha, and Alighiero Boetti
Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia Prize to Giuseppe Pulvirenti

1993
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion for painting
to Richard Hamilton and Antoni Tapies
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion for sculpture to Robert Wilson
Prize to Participating Countries - Golden Lion to Germany represented by Hans Haacke and Nam June Paik
Duemila Prize to the best young artist to Matthew Barney
Honourable Mentions to: Louise Bourgeois, Ilja Kabakov, Joseph Kosuth, and Jean Pierre Raynaud
 
1995
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion for painting to Ronald B. Kitaj
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion for sculpture to Gary Hill
Prize to Participating Countries - Golden Lion to Egypt
Duemila Prize to the best young artist to Kathy Prendergast
Honourable Mentions to: Nunzio, Hiroshi Senju, Jehon Soo Cheon, and Richard Kriesche
Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia Prize to Ignacio Iturria

1997
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion to
Marina Abramovic (performance art) and Gerhard Richter (painting)
Prize to Participating Countries - Golden Lion to France
Duemila Prize to the best young artists to Douglas Gordon, Pipilotti Rist, and Rachel Whiteread
Honourable Mentions to: Thierry De Cordier, Marie-Ange Guilleminot, Ik-Joong Kang, and Mariko Mori
"Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Venezia" Special Prize to Tobias Rehberger
2nd Premio Benesse award to Alexandros Psychoulis
Premio illycaffè award to Sam Taylor-Wood
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Emilio Vedova and Agnes Martin

1999
La Biennale di Venezia International Prize - Golden Lion to Doug Aitken, Cai Guo-Qiang, and Shirin Neshat
Golden Lion for best national participation to Padiglione Italia (Monica Bonvicini, Bruna Esposito, Luisa Lambri, Paola Pivi, and Grazia Toderi)
Honourable Mentions to: Georges Adéagbo, Eija-Liisa Ahtila, Katarzyna Kozyra, and Lee Bul
Golden Lion to two masters of contemporary art to Louise Bourgeois and Bruce Nauman

2001
“La Biennale di Venezia” Special Prizes to Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller, Marisa Merz, and Pierre Huyghe
Special Prizes for young artists to Federico Herrero, Anri Sala, John Pilson, and A1-53167
Golden Lion for best national participation to Germany
Mentions to Yinka Shonibare, Tiong Ang, Samuel Beckett / Marin Karmitz, and Juan Downey
“Domenico Chiesa” Panathlon Foundation Prize to Urs Lüthi
Golden Lion to two masters of contemporary art to Richard Serra and Cy Twombly
 
 2003
Golden Lion for the best work to Peter Fischli and David Weiss
Golden Lion for an artist under 35 years of age to Oliver Payne and Nick Relph
Prize for Young Italian Art to Avish Kheberhzadeh
Golden Lion for the best national participation to Luxembourg
Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement to Michelangelo Pistoletto and Carol Rama
 
2005
Golden Lion to an artist exhibited at the international exhibitions to Thomas Schütte
Golden Lion to a young artist (under 35) to Regina José Galindo
Golden Lion for best national participation to France
Prize for Young Italian Art to Lara Favaretto
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Barbara Kruger
 
2007
Golden Lion to an artist exhibited at the international exhibition to León Ferrari
Golden Lion to a young artist (under 40) to Emily Jacir
Golden Lion for best national participation to Hungary represented by Andreas Fogarasi
Honourable Mention to an artist to Nedko Solakov
Honourable Mention to a pavilion to the Lithuanian Pavilion represented by Nomeda & Gediminas Urbonas
Golden Lion to a critic or an art historian for his contribution to contemporary art to Benjamin Buchloh
Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement to Malick Sidibé

2009
Golden Lion for Best National Participation to the United States of America
Golden Lion for the Best Artist of the Making Worlds exhibition to Tobias Rehberger
Silver Lion for a Promising Young Artist in the Making Worlds exhibition to Nathalie Djurberg
Special Mentions to Lygia Pape; Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset; Ming Wong; and Roberto Cuoghi
Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement to Yoko Ono and John Baldessari

2011
Golden Lion for Best National Participation to Germany (Christoph Schlingensief)
Golden Lion for the Best Artist of the international exhibition to Christian Marclay
Silver Lion for a Promising Young Artist to Haroon Mirza
Special Mentions to Lithuania and to Klara Lidén
Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement to Sturtevant and Franz West