New Delhi, May 24 Indian contemporary artist Nalini Malani has won the Joan Miró Prize for 2019, the Barcelona-based Fundació Joan Miró has announced.
One of the most prestigious contemporary art awards in the world, it recognises present-day work by artists who show the same spirit of exploration, innovation, commitment and freedom that characterised Spanish painter and sculptor Joan Miró's life and work.
Malani, who is the winner of the seventh edition of the prize, was awarded for her impressive body of work that gave a voice to "the silenced and the dispossessed all over the world, most particularly women".
"The jury considers the Indian artist worthy of the prize for her longstanding commitment to the values of radical imagination and socio-political awareness, also dear to Joan Miró," the jury said in a statement on Thursday.
It added that her complex artistic quest was based on immersive installations and a personal iconography where a profound knowledge of ancient mythologies converged with a bold condemnation of contemporary injustices.
The award carries a cash prize of of €70,000 (Rs 54.5 lakh approx), and the production cost of a monographic exhibition by the winning artist, to be held at the foundation in Spain.
A pioneer in film, photography, installation, video art and performance, 73-year-old Malani was born in 1946 under the British Indian Empire and grew up between Kolkata and Mumbai, where her family sought exile after the Partition of India.
This personal background marked by the consequences of colonialism led to a firm socio-political commitment and a distinctly cathartic approach in her work, a reminder of the vulnerability of human existence and the exploration of female subjectivity.
Malani, who currently resides in Mumbai, is also the first Indian artist to receive the award.
The jury acknowledged that Malani's work, by "alluding to a myriad of cultural references from both East and West", engaged viewers through complex, immersive installations that present her vision of the battered world we live in.
The jury comprised of art critic Iwona Blazwick, curators Magnus af Petersens and Alfred Pacquement, artistic director João Ribas, and art historians Marko Daniel and Nimfa Bisbe. TRS MAH MAH
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