‘For many years women artists had worked under the radar. But due to this great prize artists of different generations have been given the opportunity to spend formative months exploring Italy; and the resources to create a major new commission that situates them on the world stage. The jury has nominated six outstanding artists for the prize this year – we look forward to seeing their proposals.’
– Iwona Blazwick, OBE, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery and chair of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women jury
The Max Mara Art Prize for women is a biannual award promoting the work of female artists based in the UK. It was established by The Whitechapel Gallery, Collezione Maramotti and Max Mara in 2005 with the aim of enabling female artists to develop their potential, alongside increasing visibility of artists working across a range of mediums.
The six shortlisted artists for the seventh edition of the prize include Helen Cammock (b. 1970), Céline Condorelli (b. 1974), Eloise Hawser (b. 1985), Athena Papadopoulos (b. 1988), Lis Rhodes (b. 1942) and Mandy El-Sayegh (b. 1985). Helen Cammock explores the relationship between individual and collective lived experiences as it relates to both the political and social in photography and moving image, whilst Papadopoulos’ practice encompasses a range of processes, including painting, collage, drawing and stitching, and unusual materials. Rhodes is a major figure in the history of artists’ filmmaking in Britain and was a leading member of the influential London Filmmakers’ Co-op and El-Sayegh’s research-based practice stems from an interrogation of the part-to-whole relation in the fields of science and philosophy.
The winning artist will be announced in early 2018 and is awarded a six-month residency in locations around Italy that will enable them to realise a new body of work and cover all costs (including childcare). The residency, organised by Collezione Maramotti is then presented as two major solo exhibitions, first at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and later travels to Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy. Prizes celebrating and supporting the work of female artists are still needed today given that women still account for such a marginal fraction of artists visible and successful in the art world. The Max Mara Art Prize for Women contributes to exposure and raising consciousness on such exclusions. Past winners of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women include Margaret Salmon (2005-2007), Hannah Rickards (2007-2009), Andrea Büttner (2009-2011), Laure Prouvost (2011-2013), Corin Sworn (2013-2015) and Emma Hart (2015-2017).
Featured Image: Celine Condorelli, Average Spatial Compositions