Purvītis Prize 2023


Nominees have been announced

The Purvītis Prize is awarded biennially (since 2007) to an artist or a group of artists representing Latvia who have produced outstanding work that has been deemed to be deeply connected to the developments of the current era and forms a bridge between contemporary life, spiritual ideals, and intrinsic values. The author rated highest by a panel of experts and a special international jury is selected as the winner and is awarded a prize amount of 28 500 EUR (pre-tax).

The independent expert working group (Līna Birzaka-Priekule, curator of exhibitions at the Latvian National Museum of Art; Zane Onckule, curator and Programme Director at the Kim? Contemporary Art Centre; Antra Priede, curator, art historian and Prorector in Study Work at the Art Academy of Latvia; Vilnis Vējš, art critic and Igors Gubenko, philosopher) for the Purvītis Prize has completed its period of evaluating the creative performances of the 21 artists / artist groups who were selected for consideration based on their contribution to Latvia’s visual arts scene from 1 January 2021 to 31 December 2022.

The finalists who will compete for the 2023 Purvītis Prize are:

Photo: Ansis Starks

EVELĪNA DEIČMANE for the exhibition Tanzorgan at the Kim? Contemporary Art Centre (04.11.2022–31.01.2023);

Photo: Ēriks Božis

KRISTAPS EPNERS for the work “Maslova” in the former Riga Stock Exchange bank building at the “Survival Kit 13” festival (03.09.–16.10.2022.);

Photo: Toan Vu-Huu

DAIGA GRANTIŅA for the solo exhibition “Lauka telpa” at the Art Museum RIGA BOURSE (07.05.–31.07.2022);

Photo: Līga Spunde

DARJA MEĻŅIKOVA for the exhibition The Anticipation at the gallery 427 (11.05.–05.06.2021.);

Photo: Kristīne Madjare

Photo: Kristīne Madjare

EVITA VASIĻJEVA and KASPARS GROŠEVS for the exhibition “Blue Lagoon House” at the Cēsis Contemporary Art Center, at the art festival “Cēsis 2022” (09.07.–14.08.2022.);

Photo: Kristīne Madjare

ANCE EIKENA for the solo exhibition “Our Heavenly Father” at the art space “Brīvība” (10.12.2021.–08.01.2022.).

In all, the panel of experts have discussed and analysed 36 exhibitions and art events, nominating 21 works for the prize. Head of the panel of experts Līna Birzaka-Priekule explains: ‘On this occasion, the decision was made by a considerable majority to shortlist works by 6 artists rather than the usual number of 8. However, comparison with previous years and prize cycles reveals that the total number of artists recommended for nomination has significantly decreased. There are several reasons that could account for it, such as the impact of the pandemic, the infrastructure available for the visual arts in general, as well as a distinct shortage of funding. Overall, we can conclude that all of the shortlisted artworks are expanded exhibitions which are site-specific spatial concepts combining a variety of media. The artists have found it important to construct around themselves an introspective space where an essential role is allocated to issues like physical and mental health, family, history, marginalised social groups and archaeology of the actual space.’

The exhibition featuring the works of the finalists for the award will be on view in the Great Hall of the Latvian National Museum of Art from March 31 untill June 11, 2023. The winner of the Purvītis Prize 2023 will be named on May 26.

The recipient of the Purvītis Prize will be decided upon by an international jury of seven professionals: Māra Lāce, Director of the Latvian National Museum of Art (LNMA); Jānis Zuzāns, patron of the LNMA and the Purvītis Prize, and Chairman of the Board of SIA ‘Alfor’; Udo Kittelmann, art theorist and curator, Director of the Berlin Nationalgalerie group of museums between 2008 and 2020;  Krist Gruijthuijsen, curator and art critic, Director of the KW Institute for Contemporary Art (Berlin); Ivana Goossen, Director of Kunsthalle Praha;  Christian Nagel, gallerist, co-owner of Galerie Nagel Draxler;  Laura Rutkutė, Art Director of the Vartai Gallery.

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