Lubaina Himid Wins $55,000 Maria Lassnig Prize for Mid-Career Artists - The World News

Lubaina Himid Wins $55,000 Maria Lassnig Prize for Mid-Career Artists

Lubaina Himid, an artist who has had a meteoric rise over the past several years, has won the Maria Lassnig Prize, which comes with €50,000 (about $55,000) and a major solo exhibition at the UCCA Center for Contemporary Art in Beijing, this edition’s collaborating institution.

With a career that spans some four decades, Himid has an influential practice that merges sculpture and installation with her training in set design, collage, and painting. Much of her work deals with the legacies of racism and the experiences of living in the UK as a Black person and an immigrant. She was born in Zanzibar and is now based in Preston, England.

Related Articles

A painting of an abstracted female figure on the floor in crating near a realistic sculpture of a man with a paint roller near a wall that has white paint on it. A stanchion-like element is in front of both works.

Beyond her work as an artist, Himid has also made important contributions as a curator, critic, and educator. She founded the influential Blk Art Group of Black British artists in the 1980s.

“Lubaina Himid’s bold formal innovations and trenchant historical explorations have established her as one of the most important voices in global contemporary art,” UCCA director Philip Tinari said in a statement. “UCCA is honored and thrilled to be able to present her work to audiences in China for the first time.”

Her art has featured in major biennials, including the Havana Biennale (in 1994), the Gwangju Biennale in South Korea (2014), the Istanbul Biennial (2015), the Berlin Biennale (2018), and the Sharjah Biennial (2019 and 2023), as well as in surveys like “The Place Is Here,” which debuted at Nottingham Contemporary in 2017 before traveling to London and Manchester, and “When We See Us” at the Zeitz Museum of Contemporary Art Africa in Cape Town. In 2021, she was the subject of a show at Tate Modern.

Despite her outsize influence, Himid came to greater international recognition only recently, after she won the Turner Prize in 2017, making her the first Black woman to do so. The following year, she was elected to the Royal Academy and made a Commander of the British Empire. Last year, she was also named the winner of 2024 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize, which comes with $200,000 and an exhibition at the Contemporary Austin in Texas.

Conceived of by its namesake, the artist Maria Lassnig, prior to her death in 2014 at 94, this prize is awarded every two years to a mid-career artist. In creating the prize, Lassnig, who had only received major recognition for her artistic contributions, hoped she would be able to give artists greater exposure at pivotal moments in their careers. The previous winners include Cathy Wilkes (2017), Sheela Gowda (2019), and Atta Kwami (2021).

“In just a few short years, the Maria Lassnig Prize has emerged as a prestigious award that honors artists in the midst of their careers, recognizing their exceptional talent and the need for greater recognition, according to the esteemed jury,” Maria Lassnig Foundation chair Peter Pakesch said in a statement.  

Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *