Baloise Art Prize

BY Katrina Kufer / Jun 18 2017 / 23:19 PM

Art Basel saw the annual Baloise Art Prize go to two artists earlier this week

Baloise Art Prize
Image courtesy the artist
Martha Atienza. Still from Our Island, 11°16’58.4” 123°45’07.0”E. 2017.

The 19th edition of the Baloise Art Prize, awarded annually to two artists at Art Basel since 1999, has been awarded to Martha Atienza (Philippines) and Sam Pulitzer (USA). In addition to a CHF30,000 cash prize, works by each artist are acquired for the Baloise Group’s art collection, as well as by two renowned European institutions. This year, they include the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin (Germany) and MUDAM (Luxembourg). 

Atienza’s video installation Our Island, 11°16’58.4” 123°45’07.0”E, depicting a traditional Philippine procession, but the cross- or political slogan-carrying participants followed by armed men ‘march along’ in an underwater setting. The piece garnered attention for the aquarium-like voyeurism that serves as a critical and humourous take on local society, while also tackling the country’s exposure to climate change.

Pulitzer’s exhibition booth presentation was noted for the “precision, depth and virtuosity” of his line drawing works. Exploring transparency and opacity, he delved into the connotations of popular images, logos and labels to outline how the images both bring the public together and keep it apart, which he mirrored through his hanging.

Previous winners include Sara Cwynar, Beatrice Gibson, Mathieu Kleyebe-Abbonenc, Simon Fujiwara and Jeroen de Rijke & Willem de Rooij, among others.

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