LONDON.- Iwona Blazwick OBE, Director Whitechapel Gallery and Chairwoman of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, has announced artist Andrea Büttner as the winner of the third Prize. Büttner, who lives and works in London and Frankfurt, was honoured at the prize giving ceremony at Londons Whitechapel Gallery on 23 March. Shortlisted artists Becky Beasley and Elizabeth Price were also in attendance.
The Max Mara Art Prize for Women celebrates the diversity and dynamics that female artists brings to the contemporary art scene in terms of aesthetics and discourse and provides them with a platform in which to reach a widespread audience. It is a unique initiative set up to promote and nurture female artists based in the United Kingdom, enabling artists to develop their potential through the conception of a new work. Shortlisted candidates are asked to develop a proposal for their desired projects, which is then judged by an all female panel. The judging panel for the third Prize, of which Iwona Blazwick is Chairwoman, included artist Fiona Banner; gallerist Alison Jacques; art collector Valeria Napoleone; and art critic Polly Staple.
This years winner, Andrea Büttner, will take a 6 month residency in Italy, where she can realise her vision. Büttners residency will be divided into two locations. The first section will take place from 26 April 2010 at the American Academy in Rome and the second part at the Pistoletto Foundation in Biella. The work will then be offered to the Collezione Maramotti for acquisition and presented at the Whitechapel Gallery in an exhibition in Spring 2011.
Andrea Büttner works in a variety of media, sometimes using old-fashioned items such as woodcuts and pressed flowers, and is especially interested in the area where art and religion overlap. In the last five years Büttner has held solo exhibitions at Pawn Shop in Los Angeles, Crystal Palace in Stockholm, Goethe-Institute in Dublin, the ICA in London, and in 2009 at Croy Nielsen in Berlin, amongst others. She has studios in East London and in Frankfurt.
Andrea Büttner said: "I am very grateful for this opportunity and for the support & trust the Max Mara Art Prize judges show in my work. I look forward to my residency in Italy, and the time it affords me to concentrate on developing a new body of work.
The Maramotti family, owners of the Max Mara Fashion Group, are pre-eminent contemporary art collectors. The Max Mara Art Prize for Women is the first time the fashion house has established an arts prize in the UK and reflects the companys strong association with art and women.
Dr. Luigi Maramotti said: I am delighted with the proposal that Ms Büttner has submitted and I am convinced that the scope of the work will be realised during the six month residency that the prize affords. I would also like to thank both Elizabeth Price and Becky Beasley for their excellent contributions. I am sure that we will be hearing a lot more about them in the near future as they are both extremely talented artists. What gives me most pleasure about this prize is that it allows the winner those rare commodities that we all seem to lack nowadays: time, freedom and the opportunity to create a body of work that lives up to its potential. I am really looking forward to seeing Ms Büttners work evolve, and the prospects she will gain as a worthy recipient of the third edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. I would also like to thank the judges and, in particular, the Whitechapel for their sterling efforts in making this such a significant and important prize.
Iwona Blazwick, OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Chairwoman, Max Mara Art Prize for Women, said: We are delighted to announce Andrea Büttner as the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. The calibre of work being produced by female artists working in the UK at the moment is incredible, but Andreas fascinating practice, which draws parallels between the rituals of religious belief and of making art, won the judges over.
It is absolutely of the moment; the range of media she uses references art from German Expressionist woodcuts to photography. We eagerly await the results of her 6-month residency in Italy and look forward to showing her work at the Whitechapel Gallery.