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International Studio & Curatorial Program announces winner of the 2022 Ritzau Art Prize

The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair are pleased to announce the recipient of the 2022 Ritzau Art Prize, Johanna Mirabel (b. 1991), a painter and sculptor whose work explores the contradictions and complexities of cultural identity.

The Ritzau Art Prize provides global visibility, professional development, and career-enhancing residencies in New York City to promising visual artists from the African continent and of African descent. Starting in 2020 and continuing annually for three years, the prize was initiated by ISCP in collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and is funded by Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy (TRIP). 

Johanna Mirabel, represented by Véronique Rieffel Gallery, Paris, France, was competitively selected by the 2022 jury of distinguished contemporary African art experts: Evelyn Owen, Associate Curator at the Africa Center; Stephanie Baptist, the Founder and Director of the gallery Medium Tings; and Dodji Gbedemah, co-founder and director of Kente Royal Gallery.

“Mirabel has really good command of the medium,” said Baptist, “There is storytelling and historical relevance, but the work stands on its own without narrative.” Owen added, “ Each work could occupy one’s thoughts for hours.”

Mirabel will participate in ISCP’s arts residency program from October to December, 2022. She will benefit from 24-hour access to a private studio, participation in the program’s well-attended Open Studios, meetings with visiting critics, opportunity to speak about her art and practice in an ISCP public talk, and field trips alongside 34 peers from at least 25 different countries at any given time, among other program offerings. ISCP’s residencies focus on building community and professional discourse among residents. With an open-door policy and monthly events including lunches, internal critiques, and gallery walks, residents are provided a space and platform to share their work. After leaving the residency, Mirabel will join an even broader network of over 1,800 ISCP alumni in over 90 countries and a growing cohort of recipients of the Ritzau residency at ISCP. 

Mirabel states, “I am honored and thrilled to receive the Tauck Ritzau Prize, as it represents an unique opportunity. I am excited to start working in the ISCP residency in an environment that will be so relevant to my artistic practice.”

The shortlisted artists for the 2022 Ritzau Art Prize were Ayo Akínwándé and Leila Rose Fanner, represented by 50 GOLBORNE and Band of Vices respectively.

Born in 1991, Johanna Mirabel is a French artist from Guyana and the West Indies. Through her paintings and sculptures, the artist explores pictorial representation that oscillates between abstraction, expressionism, and realism. Using lush vegetation, partially present and disparate objects, she stages contradictions and juxtapositions that evoke the inherent complexity of life between different cultures. Mirabel has exhibited work at Véronique Rieffel Gallery, Paris, France; L’Orfèvrerie, Saint-Denis, France; Août Gallery, Beyrouth, Lebanon; and The Hoax Gallery, Milwaukee, United States; among other venues. She is also the recipient of the 2021 Prize Hatvany & Fondation de France, as the member and president of the collective La Marge, and the 2019 Prize of Excellence/Grand International Prize, Takifuji Art Award, Tokyo, Japan. Mirabel is represented by Véronique Rieffel Gallery, Paris, France.
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