Han Nefkens Foundation MACBA Award for Contemporary Art
Han Nefkens and Bartomeu Marí, director of the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA), signed an agreement to establish the Han Nefkens Foundation MACBA Award for Contemporary Art. This award, established to encourage contemporary artistic creation, is aimed at artists of any age, nationality or gender that have established a solid trajectory but have not yet been given recognition by art institutions. The prize will be awarded every two years on November 28, coinciding with the date on which MACBA first opened its doors in 1995. The First Han Nefkens Foundation MACBA Award will be announced and awarded exactly one year from today’s date, that is to say, on 28 November 2012.

The bi-annual award is worth a total of 50,000 euros to the winning artist, 20,000 in the form of a fee and 30,000 to be used to produce a project in the city of Barcelona. Through this initiative, the co-organisers, Han Nefkens Foundation and MACBA, seek to help to consolidate the trajectories of artists who have forged consistent careers but that still require support in order to become known on the international scene. The work produced will be shown in Barcelona, in a space outside the MACBA site in order to promote diversification of the “exhibition vocabulary” that MACBA cultivates in order to disseminate outstanding works, in situ in close relation to the urban context, the public space and the metropolitan environment.

The winner of the First Han Nefkens Foundation MACBA Award will be announced on 28 November 2012 at a ceremony organised at MACBA. This event will be attended by the organisers, the jury and the winning artist, who will have a year to develop his or her artistic project ready for presentation in 2013. This dynamic will be continued for subsequent awards, with the result that the prize will be awarded one year and the resulting artistic project will be presented the following year.
One of the objectives pursued by the organisers of this new award is to establish networks on the five continents and raise the profile of art generated in countries considered “non-western”. To this end, a group of ten “scouts”, scattered all over the world, will each propose up to three artists from their geographical region to the selection committee. From amongst this list, the committee will submit a short-list of five to the jury. The international jury, which may be renewed for each bi-annual award process and composed by experts in contemporary art, will then select the winner from amongst these five artists.

The jury for the First Han Nefkens Foundation MACBA Award (2012) will be formed by: Iwona Blazwick (London), director of the Whitechapel Art Gallery; Adriano Pedrosa (São Paulo), independent curator, writer and art critic; Christine Tohmé (Beirut), curator and cultural activist; Han Nefkens (Netherlands and Barcelona), patron and collector; and Bartomeu Marí (Barcelona), director of MACBA (these last two will be permanent members of the jury, whilst the other three places will be renewed for each award).
Han Nefkens Foundation MACBA Award for Contemporary Art                              

The ArtAids foundation was set up in 2006 at Han Nefkens’ initiative. ArtAids fights AIDS with the power of art as its most important weapon. ArtAids invites leading artists to produce work that is inspired by AIDS and related problems. These works of art are used to raise the public’s consciousness and to encourage their involvement.

Fundació Han Nefkens

The Han Nefkens Foundation is a private non-profit organisation that was set up in Barcelona in 2009 with the aim of promoting the production of contemporary artworks. The mission is to stimulate artistic creation in Barcelona by offering international artists an opportunity to create artworks and interventions in the city, and to promote other fields of contemporary creation.


Han Nefkens started to collect art in 2000. The H+F Collection, named after himself and his partner Felipe, is in long-term loan to various museums in The Netherlands and abroad. Nowadays Han Nefkens is not only active as a collector but also as an initiator of international art projects, often in collaboration with museums and other art institutions.