Tomaso De Luca (Verona, born in 1988, living and working in Berlin) is the winner of the second edition of the MAXXI BVLGARI PRIZE, the project that brings together MAXXI the National Museum of 21st Century Arts and Bvlgari, which has been a symbol of Italian excellence for over 130 years, to support and promote young artists.
His work A Week's Notice renders all diversity a wealth for humanity and has been selected by the international jury for its subtle poetics, maturity and ethical, social and political involvement. A Weeks notice has also received a special mention from the audience.
The winner was announced today, Thursday 13 May, during a ceremony streamed at 7pm CET on www.maxxi.art
and attended by Giulia Cenci, Renato Leotta and Tomaso De Luca, the three finalists, Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari, Giovanna Melandri, President of Fondazione MAXXI, Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of MAXXI and member of the international jury, and Bartolomeo Pietromarchi, Director of MAXXI Arte and member of the international jury. Fashion content creator and Bvlgari Ambassador for Corporate Social Responsibility Tamu McPherson was the special guest and chairwoman of the event.
The other three members of the jury, Manuel Borja-Villel, Director of the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, Emma Lavigne, President of the Palais deTokyo in Paris, and Victoria Noorthoorn, Director of the Museum of Modern Art in Buenos Aires, participated in the ceremony by sending video messages in which they expressed their appreciation of all three artists, who, by means of different points of view and languages witness De Luca's ode to freedom and diversity, Cenci's apocalyptic sculptures, and Leotta's silence and suspended time have created "powerful works that shed light on our time and reflect on the future" and, as Hou Hanru says, "bring art closer to life".
A Weeks Notice by Tomaso De Luca has been selected for the maturity and the ethical, social and political stand expressed by the work; for the subtle, calibrated and cultured poetics and the open dimension of the work, which leaves ample space for the viewer's interpretation; for the synthesis and the ability to narrate a portion of history that has been forgotten but is central to understanding the importance of contemporary values such as emancipation and gender politics; for the promotion of all diversities conceived as a wealth for humanity.
The jury's choice also coincided with that of the visitors, who were invited to express their preference by filling in a postcard to be returned to the Museum's ticket office. Despite the two shutdowns due to anti-Covid-19 regulations and the subsequent short duration of the exhibition, many people showed enthusiasm and 'voted', thereby showing their appreciation for all three works on display in the exhibition curated by Giulia Ferracci, as demonstrated by the very few votes that separated the finalists.
The 2020 MAXXI BVLGARI PRIZE has also seen an important change of plans; as Bartolomeo Pietromarchi pointed out: In recognition of the commitment, perseverance and professionalism demonstrated by the three finalists and in order to give a concrete signal of support to young contemporary artists in a period of extreme emergency and fragility, we have chosen to extend the acquisition process to all three finalists for the MAXXI Arte Collection.
Giovanna Melandri, President of Fondazione MAXXI, said, The MAXXI BVLGARI PRIZE is one of the Museum's most important events. Supporting young talent means investing in the creativity of our time and our future, which is a mission shared by MAXXI and our valued partner Bvlgari. This year, I am particularly pleased to acquire all three of the finalists' works, which reflect on our time, the anxieties of today's society and the future. Now, more than ever, it is important to be close to the artistic community. Moreover, at a time when we all feel so disempowered, young artists are rekindling our critical thinking and speaking about freedom, diversity as a form of wealth, respect for nature, memory and the future.
Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bvlgari, said, I warmly congratulate the winner Tomaso De Luca for his artwork that stimulates an enthralling dialogue between History and contemporary values. Anyway, my thanks go to all three artists for offering us their powerful reflections on the reality we live in and on future scenarios. I am particularly pleased that this year the public was also able to express preferences, thus confirming the vocation of a prize focused on the value of connection and experience. The positive synergy between BVLGARI and MAXXI thus continues to foster the universe of young artists and to give all of us the privilege of being inspired by their ideas and visionary talent.
The installations by Tomaso De Luca, Giulia Cenci and Renato Leotta will remain on display until 23 May 2021.