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Johanna Unzueta Presented Named Recipient of PULSE Prize New York 2010
Johanna Unzueta, "Transition", 2010. Felt and thread, 12 x 12 ft. Installation view at PULSE New York 2010. Courtesy: The Artist and RJ Fine Arts.
NEW YORK, NY.- Johanna Unzueta, presented by RJ Fine Arts, was announced yesterday as the recipient of the PULSE Prize New York 2010. Unzueta was selected by the PULSE Committee as an emerging artist of distinction from her presentation in the IMPULSE section of the fair. The announcement was made by PULSE Executive Director Helen Allen at 2:00 pm in the IMPULSE Café, where the artist was presented with the $2,500 award.

Johanna Unzueta, a Chilean-born artist now living and working in Brooklyn, created the installation Transition for her booth in IMPULSE. Using handmade, sculptural elements formed from felt, the installation mimics the appearance of corrugated metal and recalls the improvised and patched structures that can be found in industrial urban areas. Unzueta has placed a group of felt pipes within the booth, which interact with each other as lonely figures in a barren space. The work aims to focus attention not only to the artist’s own labor, but also on the overall history of labor.

In attendance at the award presentation were Unzueta, several other artists presenting in IMPULSE and their dealers, as well as collectors and other visitors to the fair. Amy Rutledge Jebrine, Director of RJ Fine Arts, commented, “This is a reaffirmation of the quality and relevance of Unzueta’s work. Winning the PULSE Prize will bring her more attention from a larger and more international audience.” The two runners up for the PULSE Prize this edition were Laurent Cratse (Galerie SAS) and Megan Whitmarsh (Michael Rosenthal).

As winner of the PULSE Prize, Unzueta will also have the opportunity to design a limitededition PULSE tote bag for upcoming editions of the fair. Past PULSE Prize recipients include Duke Riley, Travis Somerville, Chris Natrop, Chen Chieh-Jen, Philip Gurrey, Emilo Chapela Perez, Eric Beltz, and Okay Mountain, several of whom have gone on to receive critical acclaim for their presentations at PULSE and beyond.

The People’s Choice Award, which debuted at PULSE Miami last December, will again be awarded in addition to the PULSE Prize. This prize will also be given to a solo artist project in the IMPULSE section, but is chosen by the public visiting the fair. The People’s Choice Award will be presented in conjunction with, through which visitors may vote for their favorite booth online. The winner will be announced after the close of the fair. Both prizes embody PULSE’s commitment to providing a platform for emerging talent and giving them due recognition in an international art fair context.

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