British-born artist receives award for his performance piece in which people hum and beatbox while moving on the floor
British-born Tino Sehgal has won the Golden Lion for best artist at this year’s Venice Biennale, the world’s oldest and most prestigious art event.
Seghal received the award, the art world equivalent of an Oscar, on Saturday for his performance piece in which a small number of people hum and beatbox while moving on the floor.
Naming him as the best artist in the Encyclopedic Palace show in the central pavilion of the 55th international art biennale, the jury praised Sehgal “for the excellence and innovation that his practice has brought opening the field of artistic disciplines”.
Seghal, whose piece in the Tate Modern Turbine Hall last summer saw performers telling intimate stories to visitors, creates art that has no physical form.
Trained in political economy and dance, the Berlin-based artist is also nominated for this year’s Turner prize for his Turbine Hall piece and a performance for Documenta, the five-yearly exhibition in Kassel, Germany, in which participants and the audience were plunged into darkness.
The Guardian’s art critic Adrian Searle has described Sehgal as a world-class artist whose practice is “an art of human interaction, situation and confrontation”.
He represented Germany at the 2005 Venice Biennale and had a show at the Guggenheim in New York in 2010.
Angola, which participated in the biennale for the first time this year, was awarded the Golden Lion for best national pavilion.
This year’s biennale features national pavilions from 88 countries and runs until 24 November.