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Adrián Villar Rojas, winner of the 2015 Prix Canson®

8 July 2015

After the jury's deliberation, under the presidency of Tunga, the Prix Canson® was awarded on 22 June to Argentinian artist Adrián Villar Rojas during an event at the Palais de Tokyo.

The selection was made from among 5 finalists, narrowed down from a pool of 41 artists selected by the jury. The work of these artists, who have chosen drawing to express their ideas, attests to the freedom that paper provides.



Adrián Villar Rojas, laureate 2015 Prix Canson®, born in 1980, lives and works in Rosario in Argentina.

Adrián Villar Rojas made a name for himself for monumental works. With concrete sculptures that chill like post-apocalyptic visions. Like the forest of monstrous pylons or giant mushrooms that he imagined in 2011 for the Venice Biennale, where he represented his country. Or this enormous cone he left beached in the Tuileries gardens in Paris the same year, like a rocket that had crashed to the ground. Or those concretions of cement, rubbish and weeds he scattered along overgrown sections of the High Line in New York in 2014. When he takes hold of the pencil or ink jet, the result is just as sombre. Even though, on paper, in the turn a disquieting form, colour makes an appearance. Even though, behind the cracks he sketches, we catch a glimpse of utopia. In these works we can make out parallel worlds in the style of Antoine Volodin, ruins full of promise that are reminiscent of Mad Max. As if the lightness of the drawing authorised this great fan of science fiction bursts of imagination that sculpture would seem to prohibit.




©Nicolas Khayat

And, it’s by his drawings and graphic creations, inkjet and watercolours on paper, perpetuating, echo and inventing, via an autonomous practice, figures and landscapes congruous with scenes of an apocalyptic world, that he convinced the jury of this 5th edition of the Prix Canson® chaired by Tunga.

The winner of the 2015 Prix Canson®, Adrián Villar Rojas, will receive a stock of Canson® paper worth €10,000 and in addition will be given an exhibit at the International Contemporary Art Fair in Paris, providing international media visibility.

Discover his work along with the work of the other finalists in the Prix Canson® exhibition from 24 June to 1 July 2015 in the of the Palais de Tokyo (13 avenue du Président Wilson, 75016 Paris, open every day except Tuesday, from noon to midnight).

The jury of this edition is composed of Christine Macel, chief curator in charge of the Contemporary creation and Prospective department, Mnam, Centre Pompidou (Paris, France); Natalie Bell, curator at New Museum (New York, USA); Bala Starr, director of the Institute of Contemporary Arts (Singapore); Catherine Lampert, curator and art historian (London, UK); Staffan Ahrenberg, art collector and owner of « Cahiers d’Arts » (Sweden); Mia Locks, curator at MoMA PS1 (New York, USA); Jean de Loisy, president of the Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France); Claire Gilman, curator at The Drawing Center (New York, USA); and chaired by Tunga (absent from picture).

From top to bottom , left to right:
Serie ‘Una Persona Me amo', 2013, inkjet print and watercolor on paper, 29.53 x 20.96 cm
Serie ‘Return the World', 2013, inkjet print, watercolor and pencil on paper, 29.53 x 20.96 cm
Serie 'Return the World', 2013, inkjet print, watercolor and pencil on paper, 20.96 x 29.53 cm
©Adrián Villar Rojas, courtesy Marian Goodman Gallery
Trophy and Jury photo : ©Nicolas Khayat