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Francis Alys Awarded Biennial Award for Contemporary Art
Francis Als has been awarded the Biennial Award for Contemporary Art. Photo: EFE/Paco Torrente.
MAASTRICHT.- The jury, comprised of Enrico Lunghi, Dirk Snauwaert and Alexander van Grevenstein, has decided unanimously to award the BACA 2010 to Francis Als (B - 1959). For over twenty years, he has lived in Mexico City, and recently also in Casablanca. The BACA, the Biennial Award for Contemporary Art, is intended as a tribute to an artist for his or her adventurous oeuvre and visible influence on other (younger) artists.

Francis Als meets these criteria in exemplary fashion, adding to them a personal world brimming with poetic accents and enormous involvement with his neighbours from non-Western cultures. It is precisely this poetic and humanist side that gives his work such an exceptional power of expression. He is a 'visual poet', focusing on small situations with big implications on deeply-rooted levels of meaning. His work consists of photos, video, film, and painted works on paper and canvas, in which a striking element is the way he regularly commissions others to execute these paintings.

Francis Als was born in Antwerp as Francis de Smedt. He studied architecture in Doornik and Venice, but eventually decided not to take up a career as an architect. In the eighties, Als moved to Mexico City. He is internationally acclaimed as a visual artist, and his work has been exhibited in the LACMA, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2009, Schaulager Basel, 2006, and Tate Modern, 2001. In the autumn of 2010, there will be a solo exhibition of Francis Als work at Wiels, Center for Contemporary Art, in Brussels, and the BACA 2010 presentation will take place in the Bonnefantenmuseum in November.

The Bonnefantemuseum also announced that Francis Als will also be giving a Masterclass. The work of a few young artists from the Jan van Eyck Academy, in Maastricht, will be included in the exhibition. The names of these artists will be announced after the summer of 2010.

About the Jury
Enrico Lunghi is the director of MUDAM Luxembourg – Muse d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, in Luxembourg City ( Dirk Snauwaert is the director of WIELS – Center for Contemporary Art, in Brussels ( The BACA initiator and chairman of the jury is Alexander van Grevenstein, director of the Bonnefantenmuseum Maastricht (

The award ceremony and the opening will take place on Saturday 6 and Sunday 7 November 2010.

Biennial Award for Contemporary Art | Francis Alys | Enrico Lunghi | Dirk Snauwaert | Alexander van Grevenstein |

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