Renowned Luxembourgish artists honored worldwide
The trajectory of an artist is often shaped by the attainment of an award. Financial support and, above all, peer recognition—whether one desires it or not—being adorned with a prize is an essential step in an artistic career. Luxembourg knows how to reward the uniqueness, innovation, and excellence of its artists. However, if Luxembourgish artists truly wish to see their careers soar, it is crucial for them to reach out and embrace one or more international accolades. The most prestigious ones are steadfast gateways, such as the Turner Prize, which offers £25,000 to the anointed winner chosen from the shortlist consisting of Heather Phillipson, Ingrid Pollard, Veronica Ryan, and Sin Wai Kin. The victor will be announced in December during the ceremony at Tate Liverpool. The fruitful Hugo Boss Prize, administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, has been honoring artists with groundbreaking work every two years since 1996. Selected by a jury composed of curators and art critics, it comes with a generous grant of $100,000 and greatly influences the nascent or enduring reputations of international artists, as demonstrated by American artist Deana Lawson, who won the prize in 2020.
Today, awards are multiplying, thanks to corporate foundations and philanthropists who compete in their efforts to reward contemporary art in all its forms. These awards naturally enhance their own reputation, such as the Fondation Ricard Prize, the HSBC Prize for Photography, the MAIF Prize for Sculpture, the Sciences Po Prize for Contemporary Art, and the revived "New Prix de Rome" awarded by the French Academy in Rome – Villa Medici. The latter was resurrected in 2014 from the ashes of the Prix de Rome, abolished in 1968 by André Malraux. Additionally, there is the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale, whose winners for its 59th edition will be announced in late November 2022. It previously honored Luxembourgish artist Su Mei Tsé for the Best National Participation in 2003. This is just one example among many that demonstrate the presence of contemporary artists from the country in the highest "critical" spheres of the art world. So let us take an overview of these internationally recognized artists from the Grand Duchy, who are national sources of pride. »
Represented by Nosbaum Reding Gallery, Su-Mei Tse received the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale in 2003 for the Best National Participation with her exhibition Air Conditioned at the Luxembourg Pavilion. This is one of the most significant accolades that a Luxembourgish artist has ever received. Since then, she has embarked on an extraordinary professional and artistic journey, showcasing her installations, videos, and sculptures across the globe, from Asia to the United States, and of course, Europe. Her work, infused with humor, poetry, and introspection, delves into questions of time, memory, musicality, and language. In addition to the Golden Lion, she received the Edward Steichen Award in 2005, the International Contemporary Art Prize of Monaco in 2009, and a residency at the prestigious Villa Medici in Rome in 2014. Her works are featured in prestigious public collections.
Jean Bechameil & Martine Feipel
Represented by Zidoun-Bossuyt Gallery, Jean Bechameil and Martine Feipel have been collaborating since 2008 to challenge our perception of space. After starting their careers individually, it has been nearly fifteen years since they joined forces to showcase "the complexity of ideas hidden within the traditional ways of constructing space and time" through their artistic work. They represented Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale in 2011 and have been invited by numerous international institutions such as the Kunstmuseum Bonn, the Pavillon de l'Arsenal in Paris, and the Beaufort Triennial. In 2012, Martine Feipel and Jean Bechameil were selected for an artist residency at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris. In 2017, Casino Luxembourg dedicated a monographic exhibition to their work. They are among the 22 artists selected by Tisséo Collectivités to create an artwork that will be displayed at the Parc Technologique du Canal station, part of the future third metro line in Toulouse.
Represented by Art Attitude Hervé Bize Gallery, Marco Godinho has been exploring the subjective perception of time and space for over fifteen years. His artistic research is conceptualized and complemented by his reflective affinity for literature, philosophy, and poetry. Through mediums such as sculptures, installations, videos, photos, performances, and books, Godinho delves into themes of wandering, exile, memory, and "lived time," using his experience as a nomadic artist to inform his work. He represented Luxembourg at the Venice Biennale in 2019 and has accumulated grants, awards, and nominations from around the world. For instance, he was nominated for the Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography in 2018 by the Israel Museum and has been shortlisted for the Zurich Art Prize and the Salomon Foundation Residency Award in 2015.
David Brognon & Stéphanie Rollin
Since 2004, David Brognon & Stéphanie Rollin have been described by Hélène Guenin, the director of Mamac Nice, as "explorers of the abyss" attentive to the "small epiphanies of life." It is challenging to find better words to describe this duo, which excels in utilizing tools such as video, sculpture, performance, drawing, and installation. Their works, infused with sensitivity and toughness, employ minimalism to give power to debates surrounding confinement, control, and drugs. In 2013, they received the prestigious Pirelli Prize, awarded for the best solo show at the Brussels contemporary art fair. In 2015, the Marina Abramovic Institute presented their work.
Sophie Jung works and resides between London and Basel, constantly returning to her home country to showcase her textual, sculptural, and performative work. An astonishing personality in the art world, Sophie Jung consistently challenges through her vibrant, spontaneous, and explosive work. Blending form and affect, pragmatism and romanticism, precision and whimsy in her artwork, the artist playfully engages with shape and perception. Her artistic journey takes her around the world, exhibiting in places such as the Swiss Institute in Milan (2020), the Kunstmuseum Basel (2018), and Blain Southern in London (2018). In 2016 and 2019, she was awarded the Swiss Art Awards, and in 2018, she received the Manor Kunstpreis.
Located between Luxembourg and Perugia, Italy, Claudia Passeri is a conceptual artist who uses photography to tell stories through the images she captures. Questioning their reality and power, these images depict a context as well as the social, political, and environmental current events from which they arise. In 2016, she participated in a research residency at Fonderie Darling in Montreal, Canada. In 2019, the jury of the Modigliani Prize awarded her a special mention for her work "Butterflies of Resistance" due to its connection with a new narrative of Italian historical and political memory, particularly in the city of Livorno. The same year, she represented Luxembourg at the Rencontres de la photographie in Arles through the Luxembourgish association Lët'z Arles. Her work "Zeitgeist - Karl Cobain" is permanently installed at the café of Casino Luxembourg. Her work is regularly exhibited in Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, and the United States.
Karolina Markiewicz and Pascal Piron
Collaborating as a duo since 2013, following an exhibition at the Kiosk of Aica for their first joint project Everybody should have the right to die in an expensive car, Karolina Markiewicz and Pascal Piron develop their artistic research through documentary film, virtual reality, visual arts in the broadest sense, and theater. The breadth of their aesthetic and psychological universe is vast, placing the individual, "as part of a human community oscillating between resignation and hope", at the center of their artistic concerns. Traveling with their works worldwide, in 2020, their film My Identity is this expanse! received the Best Sound Award at the 360° Film Festival in France, and in 2021, their documentary The Living Witnesses received the Grand Prize at the FLICKERS' Riiff 2021 in Rhode Island, United States.
Selected to represent Luxembourg at the 57th Venice Biennale, Mike Bourscheid works and resides in Vancouver, Canada, but regularly showcases his extravagant performances in Luxembourg. In his approach, he focuses on subverting familiar objects to create costumes and deliver pieces and performances that explore themes such as gender identity, family heritage, and history. His recent exhibitions at Access Gallery Vancouver, Centre d’art Œil de Poisson in Quebec City, and Centre d’art Nei Liicht in Dudelange reflect his artistic presence. In 2010, he received the IBB Prize for Photography, and in 2015, he was nominated for the Robert Schuman Art Prize.
Represented by Aeroplastics, Filip Markiewicz is a multidisciplinary artist who primarily works in drawing but also engages in various fields such as painting, installation, performance, video, live shows, and music under his project RAFTSIDE. Obsessed with the everyday trials of our lives, his work explores the "omnipresence of the image". Markiewicz is sharply incisive on political and social themes, drawing inspiration from the incredible current events of our world. He represented Luxembourg at the 56th Venice Biennale in 2015. In 2020, he exhibited at the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Bucharest and won the Pierre Werner Prize. In 2021, he participated in the Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin. His works are found in several public and private collections (Mudam, MNHA, BPS22, etc.).
Represented by Nosbaum Reding Gallery, Tina Gillen has been continuously evolving her pictorial work since the 1990s. Interested in the shifts and creaks that exist between figuration and abstraction, her paintings flirt with fictional and real narratives. In her canvases, while Gillen removes human silhouettes and figures, their presence is felt through highly graphic and geometric urban and architectural elements, immersing the viewer in an enigmatic universe. Her recent interests lead her to question "natural phenomena that escape human control," establishing connections with current climate issues. In this vein, Tina Gillen was selected to present her monumental exhibition Faraway So Close, consisting of pictorial installations, at the Luxembourg Pavilion for the 59th Venice Biennale, postponed to 2022.
Represented by Baronian Xippas Gallery in Brussels and Nosbaum Reding Gallery in Luxembourg City, Aline Bouvy, through a multidisciplinary approach, challenges the norms and values of our society. In her pieces, Bouvy employs what is considered "dirty" or "ugly" to disrupt all forms of categorization. Completely and consciously "out of the box," Aline Bouvy is a free-spirited artist who provokes powerful societal questioning through works that resonate beyond mere provocation, evoking the notion of the "abnormal." After solo projects between 2013 and 2014, following collaborative works with the TALE collective (The After Lucy Experiment) and with Belgian artist John Gillis, Bouvy has gained substantial independence, showcasing her work around the world. In 2020, she received a special mention from the jury for the Robert Schuman Prize. Recently, she was awarded the Francis-André Grant by the National Cultural Fund for her project Potential for Shame, exhibited in early 2022 at MAC's Grand-Hornu in Mons, Belgium.