18th December 2012
Iman Issa (Cairo, 1979) has been unanimously named winner of the first Han Nefkens Foundation-MACBA Award for Contemporary Art. The award was set up in 2011 as an initiative of Barcelona-based Dutch arts patron and writer Han Nefkens, and the Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona. The aim of this new award is to help strengthen the careers of artists who have a solid body of work behind them but still require institutional support to gain full recognition from the international community.
In its deliberations, the jury stated that “this award will have an extremely positive effect at a crucial point in Iman Issa’s career, given that it poses a challenge in terms of rigour and creativity.” Furthermore, the jury believes that Issa has a visual and critical maturity that is rare in artists of her generation, that her artistic and intellectual trajectory testifies to a constantly evolving artistic practice and critical vision, a fertile imagination, and the capacity to involve, question and challenge the viewer.
Given that the Award aims to set up networks and promote mutual understanding among the five continents, a group of ten scouts based around the world were asked to submit a list of finalists to the jury. This group was made up of Defne Ayas (The Netherlands), Zdenka Badovinac (Slovenia), Abdellah Karroum (Morocco), Sylvia Kouvali (Turkey), Gabi Ngcobo (South Africa), Victoria Noorthoorn (Argentina), Manu Park (South Korea), Beatriz Pérez (Colombia), Christoph Storz (India) and Barthélémy Togo (Cameroon and Paris).
The members of the jury of the first Han Nefkens Foundation-MACBA Award are: art collector Han Nefkens (Barcelona) as founder; Iwona Blazwick (London), Director, Whitechapel Art Gallery; Adriano Pedrosa (São Paulo), independent curator, writer and art critic; Christine Tohmé (Beirut), curator and cultural activist, and Bartomeu Marí (Barcelona), Director, MACBA
►Iman Issa website: www.imanissa.com