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Biennale cites Baldessari, Ono

February 25, 2009|Suzanne Muchnic

Artists John Baldessari and Yoko Ono will be awarded Golden Lions for Lifetime Achievement at this year's Venice Biennale.

Cited as "two of the most important artists of our time," they will be honored June 6 at the opening of the 53rd edition of the international contemporary art exhibition in Italy.

In a statement announcing the news Tuesday, Daniel Birnbaum, director of the Biennale, said that the artists' "groundbreaking activities have opened new poetic, conceptual and social possibilities for artists around the globe working in all media."

Baldessari, who lives in Los Angeles, is an enormously influential conceptual artist and teacher. Ono, who was born in Japan and has been based in New York for many years, is a pioneering conceptualist and performance artist.

-- Suzanne Muchnic

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