The exhibition of the five finalists of the Mario Merz Prize will be on display at the Fondazione Merz in Turin. Lida Abdul (b. 1973, Kabul), Glenn Ligon (b. 1960, New York), Naeem Mohaiemen (b. 1969, London), Anri Sala (b. 1974, Tirana) and Wael Shawky (b. 1971, Alexandria) were shortlisted by members of the pre-selection judging panel, Marisa Merz, Beatrix Ruf (director of the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam) and Claudia Gioia (independent curator). Curated by Beatrice Merz, the exhibition project showcases two or more pieces by each of the finalists, selected among their most significant works.
The public is invited to vote for their favorite artist by visiting the exhibition or logging onto the website to view and judge the artwork online. The public vote will be added to the votes cast by the jury, whose members are Manuel Borja-Villel, Massimiliano Gioni, Lawrence Weiner, and Beatrice Merz.
“The Prize — which is not state-funded, but relies solely on private funding — originates from an idea of openness and participation,” say Beatrice and Willy Merz. “For this reason, and as we ask the public to actively participate by casting their vote, we chose, together with the Organizing Committee, not to charge an admission fee for the exhibition, nor the concert.”
The winning artist’s work will feature in a solo show to be set up in the exhibition spaces of the Fondazione Merz in Turin. The artist will also receive support to create a new project. The exhibition, accompanied by an extensive monograph, will subsequently travel to the recently established Merz Foundation Switzerland for its new project Nomade.
Also, on January 29 the call for applications for the second edition of the Mario Merz Prize will officially open again. The Art Prize addresses artists who have been recognized for the quality of their work in their home country and are launching their career on an international level. Candidates need to be nominated by curators, museum directors, art critics, gallery directors or members of other cultural associations. Artists cannot nominate themselves. Each artist can receive multiple nominations and there are no restrictions with regard to age, nationality or artistic medium.
The winner of this first edition of the Prize will be announced by the end of April.