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Tuesday 22 November 2011

Max Mara Art Prize for Women 2011 Winner Announced

Laure Prouvost has been announced as the winner of the Whitechapel gallery's Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Iwona Blazwick, OBE, Director of the Whitechapel Gallery and Chair of the Jury announced the winner this evening at the Italian Embassy in London.

French artist, Prouvost (b.1978) was chosen from a distinguished shortlist of artists which included Spartacus Chetwynd, Christina Mackie, Avis Newman and Emily Wardill. Prouvost graduated from Central St Martins in 2002 and was part of the Lux Artist Associate Programme, an initiative for artists working with the moving image that aims to provide an intensive development focused on critical discourse, extending to the practical and infrastructural issues that present challenges for artists working with the medium. Her work includes film, performance and installation and has been part of group shows at Tate Britain, the ICA, Serpentine and BFI Galleries. The Max Mara Prize is an addition to her collection of accolades,which include the EAST International Award (2009) and a FLAMIN commission in 2011.

The Max Mara Art Prize for Women in collaboration with the Whitechapel Gallery celebrates the aesthetic and intellectual contribution that women artists bring to the contemporary art scene. The unique initiative set up to promote and nurture female artists based in the United Kingdom, enables artists to develop their potential with the gift of time and space. The winning artist is given the opportunity to create a new work of art inspired by a six month residency in Italy. The resulting work is then shown in Britain and Italy.

The Judging panel for the fourth Max Mara Art Prize for Women was chaired by Iwona Blazwick and included Lisa Milroy, artist; Muriel Salem, collector; Amanda Wilkinson, gallerist; and Gilda Williams, critic and lecturer. Laure Prouvost will embark on an all expenses paid six month residency that is divided between an urban and a rural environment. The first part will be located at the British School in Rome; the second at the Pistoletto Foundation in Biella founded by the great Italian artist Michelangelo Pistoletto. The work that results from this commission will be exhibited at the Whitechapel Gallery in 2013 and at the Maramotti Collection in Reggio Emilia, Italy.

Iwona Blazwick, OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Chairwoman, Max Mara Art Prize for Women, said: "Prouvost's gripping short films and intriguing environments unhinge the connection between language and comprehension to open out for us surreal horizons of meaning. It will be of immense interest to see how the literary, cinematic and visual cultures of Italy will impact on her work."

Laure Prouvost said "Ideally these few words would express how pleased I am to win this award - it will be very interesting for me to work in another cultural environment and for the work to be challenged and grow out of this context. It will give me a really long period away from distractions to build on and develop new work. It is a real endorsement of what I do and I am very glad that the judges are supporting my practice."


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1. Laure Prouvost Idealy This Sign Would Take You In Its Arms (2010)
Courtesy the artist
2 & 4. Laure Prouvost The Wanderer (Betty Drunk) (2011)
Courtesy the artist and MOTINTERNATIONAL
3. Laure Prouvost It, Heat, Hit (2010)
Courtesy the artist and MOTINTERNATIONAL

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