September 7, 2019 - The Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize - Finalists for 2019 edition announced
September 7, 2019

The Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize

Courtesy Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize.

Finalists for 2019 edition announced

Galeria Municipal do Porto
Rua D. Manuel II (Jardins do Palácio de Cristal)
4050-346 Porto

The jury has announced the six finalists of the second edition of the Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize: Basir Mahmood (Pakistan), Steffani Jemison (USA), Firenze Lai (Hong Kong), Lebohang Kganye (South Africa), Song Ta (China) and Shaikha Al Mazrou (UAE). 

The finalists exhibition 
The group exhibition will include works by the six artists and take place at Galeria Municipal do Porto, in June 2020. The winner will be selected and announced during the exhibition and awarded a cash prize of 25,000 EUR.

The jury of this edition—comprised by the artists Isabel Lewis and John Akomfrah and by the curators Margarida Mendes and Shumon Basar—analysed the portfolios of artists selected by a group of 16 curators, nominated by the four jurors: Aram Moshayedi, Claire Tancons, Daniel Blanga Gubbay, Elvira Dyangani Ose, Clémentine Deliss, Cliff Lauson, Elise Atangana, Zoé Whitley, Binna Choi, Christine Tohme, Natasha Ginwala, Ute Meta Bauer, Claude Adjil, Lara Khaldi, Marlies Wirth and Zhang Wei & Hu Fang. Each of the 16 curators nominated three artists for the prize and the jury selected the six finalists from the 48 shortlisted artists.

Jury Statement
Comparing artists from so many different geographical and cultural backgrounds is an inherent challenge. What does it mean to evaluate someone from New York versus someone from Harare? But this is an important challenge to take on, as the globality of art has become more apparent than ever. The established centres can no longer assume they are the only centres.

The jury focused on a number of simultaneous criteria. Firstly, an artist should be at a point in their trajectory where the PCS Award offers a new visibility to their practice, and not merely affirm a position of excellence already achieved. In this sense, the award is a kind of energy booster. Secondly, the jury was keen to discover voices — aesthetic, ethical, technical — that articulate the current moment, or, even, sense what is to come. Lastly, the jury was driven by the most ineffable criteria of all: being emotionally moved, be it through the articulation of beauty, tenderness, politics or the magical.

This list contains the breadth of what is possible, and relevant, today: from the reinvigoration of painting, to new media techniques that make possible deep visceral connection via technological mediation; from extending the traditions of formalist sculpture, to intricately personal narratives that contain national multitudes.

Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize Finalists Exhibition
Basir Mahmood, Steffani Jemison, Firenze Lai, Lebohang Kganye, Song Ta, Shaikha Al Mazrou
Galeria Municipal do Porto
June 9–August 18, 2020

About the Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize
The Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize, created by the Porto City Council in 2015 as a tribute to the former Councillor for Culture, Paulo Cunha e Silva, is biennial and aimed at artists under 40 who have held no more than one solo exhibition in an "internationally renowned" institution or art space. Paulo Cunha e Silva was a doctor, art critic and curator, and his professional activity was always linked to theoretical reflection on contemporary art. His critical and broad vision of culture and his remarkable ability to create connections and to mobilize agents from all artistic domains have left a permanent mark on the city of Porto.

The first edition of the Prize took place in 2017/2018, in which Christine Sun Kim (USA), Jonathas De Andrade (Brazil), June Crespo (Spain), Mariana Caló & Francisco Queimadela (Portugal), Naufus Ramírez Figueroa (Guatemala) and Olga Balema (Ukraine) were selected as finalists. 

The group exhibition took place from June 9 to August 19 2018, at the Galeria Municipal do Porto, during which the jury decided unanimously to award the Prize to Mariana Caló and Francisco Queimadela

The Paulo Cunha e Silva Art Prize
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