South African artist wins in the US

Ululations for South African artist Zanele Muholi, who has won the US$10 000 Fine Prize for an emerging artist at the 2013 Carnegie International in the US. This comes hot on the heals of last month’s announcement that she will receive a prestigious Prince Claus Award in December.

The Carnegie recognised the brave young Mzansi artist for her Faces and Phases project, which she began in 2006 to give visibility to the various faces of black LGBTI communities around the world. The series is currently showing on the South African pavilion at the Venice Biennale, and was previously shown on Documenta 13 in 2012 and on the 29th São Paulo Biennale in 2010. 

The 48 portraits on view in the exhibition “feature subjects in elegant yet assured postures, and announce a collective front of incredible magnitude”, said Carnegie Museum director and jury member Lynn Zelevansky. “Zanele Muholi’s rich and beautiful portraits portraying members of the LGBTI community in South Africa and around the world are both moving and brave. We are honoured to award her the Fine Prize,” Lynn continued. 

The Carnegie International is North America’s pre-eminent survey of contemporary art from around the world, presented by Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh since 1896 and held every three to five years. The Fine Prize, created in 2008 to honour an emerging artist in the survey, carries a $10 000 award, funded by The Fine Foundation.

The 2013 Carnegie International, curated by Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers and Tina Kukielski, “presents new voices rooted in history, a sense of place and play. The exhibition is guided by a shared passion for the individual and the exceptional; for art that celebrates dissonance and beauty; and for artworks that stay in touch with the everyday.” 

Blazing a trail this year, Zanele was also recently made Honorary Professor of the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen, in March won the Index on Censorship: Freedom of Expression art award in London, and in August she received South Africa’s Mbokodo Award for Creative Photography.

The Durban-born artist studied at the Market Photo Workshop before completing a Masters in fine art from Ryerson University, Toronto.

Congrats Zanele!

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