Le Prix Canson® 2014
Since 2013, the Prix Canson® has been developing its reputation on an international level, by choosing a worldrenowned artist, Yan Pei-Ming, to head its jury, as well as a panel of experts who put forward candidates from several countries.
For its 2014 edition, the Prix Canson® underwent a few major changes: the Prix is now an annual event presented in Paris every other year and abroad. The award ceremony for the fourth edition takes place in Spain.
The 5 finalists
Born in 1965, Vanuatu, South Pacific
Lives and Works in Marseille, France
Sculptures, photographs, large-scale drawings and installations, the work of French artist Gilles Barbier is multi-disciplined and abundant. He does not identify his work as a critique of the world, « a painting of the world » and its problems, but as a work of fiction. For a number of years, he has been living a life of patient and stubborn asceticism, copying pages from old, highly illustrated dictionaries on large format paper, exploring writings, drawings, errors and corrections. « I try to distill language; to poke at it, graze it, chew it, ingest it. I like the idea of emulsion in my drawings and sculptures.
Born in 1972, London, UK
Lives and works in New York
An atypical figure in the world of contemporary art, the English artist Simon Evans was a skater before he began writing stories and songs. His drawings, graphs, charts, diagrams and plans, classifications and inventories are all graphic elements of concrete poetry and « psychography » or automatic writing. He explores a kind of emotional mapping between introspection and projection, ranging from the graphically illustrated aesthetic of early 20th century educational posters to the digital mapping of the 21st century. « I try to integrate the outside world with my inner vision. »
Born in 1968, Toronto, Canada
Lives and works in New York
Canadian artist Deborah Grant’s paintings, drawings and collages revisit politics, racial history and cultural identities. She uses images from magazines, comic books, science books and art books. She draws her references from Picasso, Bacon, Basquiat and Matisse, as well as other lesserknown artists such as Bill Traylor and William H. Johnson. Composed of silhouettes, complex drawings and photographs, her collages offer an alternative interpretation of modernist painting and its history.
Born in 1984, Oaxaca, Mexico
Lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico and Paris
From wall-sized graphic frescoes to works on paper, drawing forms the centre of Mexican artist Bayrol Jiménez’s approach. His sources are numerous, from murals of South American culture to images of religious iconography ; from horror films to images of pop music and underground comics. « My interest in drawing takes several directions. One is very formal, closely resembling the work of Renaissance painters. Another questions images created by mass media and a collective imagination, sometimes kitsch, surreal, absurd, fantastic or enchanted. »
Born in 1980, Bordeaux, France
Lives and works in New York
Playwriting, sculpture, drawing, collage and performance, the work of artist Alexandre Singh, born in Bordeaux to French and Indian parents, raised in the UK defies categorization. His graphic works are comprised of drawings and photographic collages. Through schemas and scientific findings, his works express the cognitive links of the mind, chance encounters and the density of memory. « I love telling stories. Tales which deliver rich characters or objects, gestures or actions; in short, a visual field. »
Yan Pei-Ming l President of the jury
Born in 1960 in Shanghai, Yan Pei-Ming is a Chineseborn, French painter.
He has lived and worked in Dijon since the 1980s. When he arrived in France he studied at Dijon’s École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts, and moved to Paris in 1988 to join the Institut des Hautes Études en Arts Plastiques. In 1993, he was a resident at the Villa Médicis in Rome.
In the past decades, Yan Pei-Ming’s work has been shown around the world in prestigious institutions such as the Louvre museum, Mannheim’s Kunsthalle, the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing, the Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Bergamo (GAMeC) or, more recently, QMA Gallery in Doha in 2012.
2014 will see two major exhibitions dedicated to Yan Pei-Ming, at Beijing’s Central Academy of Fine Arts and the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles.
• Jimena Blázquez Abascal - Director, NMAC
Foundation (Cadix, Spain)
Jimena Blázquez Abascal heads the NMAC Foundation and since 2003 she is also a curator for MOMA PS1. She is on the jury for several art prizes and contributes to various influential magazines.
• Philippe Cohen - French art collector
Philippe Cohen has collected contemporary art for over 20 years, with a particular focus on drawing and video. He exhibited part of his collection at the Passage de Retz in Paris, and at Moscow’s Modern Art Museum in 2014. He played an instrumental role in the creation of a committee dedicated to emerging French artists at the Israel Museum, and recently gifted his collection of 19th-century orientalist drawings to the museum.
• Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel - Curator, Palais de Tokyo (Paris, France)
Rebecca Lamarche-Vadel studied political science, history and history of art at the Sorbonne. She started her career as an independent curator in Germany before joining the Palais de Tokyo.
• Brett Littman - Executive director, Drawing Center (New York, USA)
Brett Littman worked for non-profit organisations such as Urban Glass, Dieu Donné Papermill and P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center before becoming Executive director of the Drawing Center in 2007. He also curates exhibitions, including Mariko Mori at the Japan Society Gallery in 2013 and David Lynch at the Kayne Griffin Corcoran Gallery in Los Angeles.
• Enrico Lunghi - General director, MUDAM (Musée d’art moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg)
Art historian Enrico Lunghi started his career as an assistant at the Musée national d’histoire et d’art de Luxembourg, before becoming artistic director of the Casino Luxembourg-Forum d’art contemporain. Since 2009 he has been the General director of the Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean.
• Rosa Maria Malet - Director, Joan Miró Foundation (Barcelona, Spain)
Rosa Maria Malet started her career at Barcelona’s Joan Miró Foundation in December 1975. From assistant curator and curator she went on to become director of the Foundation in 1980. She curated the major exhibition dedicated to American artist Roni Horn which will open at the Foundation in June 2014.
• Didier Ottinger - Deputy director, Musée national d’Art moderne and Head of programming, Centre Pompidou (Paris, France)
Didier Ottinger is a curator and an art critic. He is acclaimed for his work on exhibitions including Edward Hopper at the Grand Palais, Le Surréalisme et l’objet at the Centre Georges Pompidou and for his books on modern and contemporary painting.
• Jean-Marc Prévost - Director, Musée du Carré d’Art (Nîmes, France)
Jean-Marc Prévost heads Nîmes’s Carré d’Art since 2012 and acts as artistic consultant for the arts for the Festival d’Automne in Paris. Prior to that he was a curator at the Direction des Musées de Marseille, head of the Musée départemental d’Art Contemporain in Rochechouart, and artistic creation inspector at the French Ministry of Culture’s délégation des Arts Plastiques.