From left: Massimiliano Gioni, Stefano Rabolli Pansera, Edson Chagas, Paolo Baratta, Paula Nascimento, Rosa Cruz e Silva, Massimo Bray. Photo Italo Rondinella, courtesy Venice Biennale.

With the opening of the 55th Venice Biennale this past weekend, several countries and artists received Golden Lions and other awards and honors.

In the Giardini, the Angolan pavilion received the Golden Lion for best national participation for photographer Edson Chagas's "Luanda, Encyclopedic City," one of two exhibitions presented by the country. Chagas's project, of large photographic prints, takes its name from the southern African republic's capital city and from the Biennale's international exhibition, "The Encyclopedic Palace," curated by Massimiliano Gioni.

In the Arsenale, Tino Sehgal received the Golden Lion for best artist in the international exhibition for his untitled performance piece. New York-based Parisian artist Camille Henrot was awarded a Silver Lion as a promising young artist in the international exhibition for her work in video.

Lifetime achievement
 Golden Lions for Italy's Marisa Merz and Austria's Maria Lassnig were announced prior to the Biennale's opening.

The jury also designated four special mentions, to two pavilions and two individual participants in the "The Encyclopedic Palace." Lithuania and Cyprus were recognized for their joint presentation, two complementary pavilions titled "oO" and "Oo," curated by Raimundas Malašauskas. Japan was singled out for Koki Tanaka's "abstract speaking-sharing uncertainty and collective acts." From the international exhibition, Sharon Hayes of the U.S. and Italy's Roberto Cuoghi were also honored.

The jury, chaired by Jessica Morgan of Great Britain, included Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy of Mexico, Italy's Francesco Manacorda, Nigeria's Bisi Silva and Ali Subotnick of the U.S.