Susanne Ghez is the recipient of a Special Golden Lion for Services to the Arts. The decision was made by the Board of Directors of la Biennale chaired by Paolo Baratta, alwaysupon recommendation of the Curator of the 56th International Art Exhibition Okwui Enwezor, stating that with the following motivations:
“Susanne Ghez (USA) is undeniably one of the most distinguished personalities in international contemporary art. Renowned for her analytical eye, conviction in the importance of experimentation and innovative practices, over the last forty years Ghez has played a pioneering role in the field by introducing and giving young artists such as Jeff Wall, Mike Kelley, Isa Genzken, Thomas Struth, and Kara Walker their first museum exhibitions. Modest and accessible, Susanne Ghez is known as the artists’ museum director and curator, by consistently supporting, mentoring and championing art across the globe.
Now in her seventies, throughout her illustrious career Ghez eschewed ostentation and self-promotion. She worked with a firm belief that the spotlight should focus on the artist not the curator, and in so doing she played an influential role in educating the public and numerous younger curators on the importance of belief and total commitment to the vision of the artist. From 1974 until her retirement from Renaissance Society in 2013, Susanne Ghez curated over 160 exhibitions and spearheaded countless artistic and educational programs that remain till today the hallmarks of her important legacy. Her work at the Renaissance Society – the oldest contemporary art institution in the United States – located at the University of Chicago, transformed the institution into an internationally recognized exhibition space and as one of the most original and ambitious contemporary art museums in the United States.
Ghez was Educated at Bryant College, the University of California, Berkeley, and Columbia University in New York, and has received numerous awards and honors for her distinguished service to the field of contemporary art. In 2014, Ghez received the prestigious Benton Medal for Distinguished Public Service from the University of Chicago, awarded to those who have contributed in a systematic and distinguished way to shaping minds and disseminating knowledge. Nominated by members of the University of Chicago faculty and voted on by the Council of the University Senate, the Benton Medal has also been awarded to historian Timuel Black and U.S. Senator Paul Simon. Ghez is the 12th recipient of the award, which was created in 1967 to honor Senator William H. Benton.”
The acknowledgment will be awarded to Susanne Ghez on Saturday May 9th 2015 at Ca’ Giustinian, the historic headquarters of la Biennale di Venezia, during the awards ceremony and inauguration of the 56th Exhibition.
- Susanne Ghez