The tenth anniversary of your Drawing Prize has recently been honoured with an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris. How do you explain the current enthusiasm for drawings?
The fact of having first shown our collection, and then our donation of one thousand, two hundred drawings to the Musée National d’Art Moderne-Centre Pompidou, proves that this medium is an art form in its own right. The museum received a number of works by artists who were still little-known at the time, but who are now much better-known. These artists’ works had not been purchased through lack of funds or, shall we say, because museums do not have the freedom that private collectors may allow themselves. But the reverse has also happened to us. Trough Jonas Storsve, curator of the Prints and Drawings Department at the Mnam-Centre Pompidou, we have been introduced to artists whose works we would never have thought of purchasing, but which are now in our collection, such as Marwan, who attracted attention in Berlin, and Etel Adnan, who came to light in Doha.
Do you have the feeling that themes take shape as you select your works? Can you, for that matter, detect a link that might unite all of the thirty nominees?
We cannot and do not want to limit ourselves to precise subjects or intentions, for that seems too reductive as regards our vision of the medium which remains very broad and eclectic. The link between these thirty artists is simply their talent!
Your Prize has always been open to the international art scene and has often highlighted women artists. Does this suggest that their work corresponds to a sensibility with which you identify more, as in that of the three nominees this year: Mamma Andersson, Leiko Ikemura and Juul Kraijer?
It is not up to us to reply to this question in our name only, since our selection committee is made up of six people from different backgrounds. Each brings dossiers on artists that he or she wishes to submit for selection and we look at twenty or so projects. After a series of several discussions, we go and visit the studios of seven artists who must be at a stage in their career where drawing is primordial, for all of them are potential award-winners. Our jury then makes an impartial decision. Three gifted woman have thus been selected this year: Leiko Ikemura, whose work we have liked for a long time; Mamma Andersson, whom we discovered when her companion Jockum Nordström became one of our prize-winning artists; and Juul Kraijer, whose work we explored in depth after seeing some of it at the Musée de Saint-Étienne. This is the first time that we have shortlisted three women and the decision was based solely on the quality of their art.
By Marie Maertens
Mamma Andersson was born in 1962 in Luleå, Sweden.
She studied at the Royal Institute of Art, Stockholm, where she lives.
Her first exhibition was held in 1985 at the Norrbottens Museum, Luleå, and in 2017 she has had shows in galleries such as Magnus Karlsson (Stockholm), Victoria Miro (London) and Stephen Friedman (London). She is also represented by David Zwirner (New York) and features in several museum collections: the Centre Pompidou (Paris), the Broad Foundation (Santa Monica), the Dallas Museum of Art (Dallas), the Museum of Modern Art (Stockholm), the Museum of Contemporary Art and UCLA Hammer Museum (Los Angeles) and the MoMA (New York).
Leiko Ikemura was born in 1951 in Tsu, Japan.
After studying sculpture in Ōsaka, she trained in Europe, notably in Seville in 1972.
She lived in Switzerland, then moved to Germany and now divides her time between Cologne and Berlin. In 1983, she had her frst solo show at the Bonner Kunstverein (Bonn) and has since exhibited in several museums, including, in 2017, the Kunstmuseum, Ahrenshoop (Germany) and the Nevada Museum of Art. Her works feature in the collections of the Centre Pompidou, Paris; the Kunstmuseums in Basel, Zurich and Bern; the Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo, and the Florence and Daniel Guerlain Collection. She is represented by the Karsten Greve (Paris) and Michael Fuchs (Berlin) galleries.
Juul Kraijer was born in 1970 in Assen, the Netherlands.
She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts, Rotterdam, where she lives and works. In 1995,
She had her first solo show at Gele Rijder, Arnhem. In 2017, her work has been seen at the Huis Marseille, Museum for Photography, Amsterdam; at the Galerie Papillon, Paris, and at Stedelijk Museum Schiedam. Her works feature in the Centre Pompidou, the Louis Vuitton Foundation and the Florence and Daniel Guerlain Collection (Paris), the MoMA (New York), and the Museum Moderner Kunst (Vienna).
She is represented by Galleria Monica De Cardenas (Milan et Zuoz) and Vadehra Art Gallery (New Dehli).