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The 2013 Prix Canson® winner : Virginia Chihota


Virginia CHIHOTA (Zimbabwe) was born in 1983 in Zimbabwe.

She currently lives and works in Tripoli, Libya. She studied art from 2004 to 2006 and graduated in Fine Arts from the National Art Gallery Studios in Harare. Using techniques of engraving, painting, printing or screen printing, Virginia CHIHOTA self-imposes very strict discipline when creating her drawings. Her works from the Fruit of the Dark Womb series stage a number of different dramatic situations around a doll usually used to evoke fertility in the animistic rites in her country.

Her recent exhibitions have been Isolation, Gallery Delta, Harare (2012); Idea of Self, National Gallery of Zimbabwe, Harare (2012); Duo, Virginia and Portia, Gallery Delta, Harare (2012); Une terrible beauté est née, Lyon Biennale, Lyon (2011).


Visit Virginia Chihota' s gallery​



Virginia Chihota as seen by Yan Pei-Ming, French artist of Chinese descent and president of the Prix Canson® in 2013 and 2014 :

«When I found myself looking at Virginia’s work, just like the rest of the jury members, I was struck by the simplicity and power of it. We had a doubt in relation to her age, because it’s always difficult to award a prize to an artist in the making. The idea of giving encouragement is not enough to justify awarding a prize. It is more demanding than that. Virginia had to go back to work on a series of new drawings very much inspired by her life in Libya in order to confirm that she really had the potential for deep commitment, a desire to set free in her work the energy that comes from questioning life. It was from this emotion that she found a way to create and her determination confirmed that she was our choice for the award.»


As the 2013 winner, Virginia Chihota has in particular won a personal exhibition in an international contemporary art fair which has been organised by the Fonds Canson® pour l’Art et le Papier in the ARCOmadrid fair in February 2014. international contemporary art fair ARCOmadrid has been her first personal European show.