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Absolut Art Award 2017

Absolut is delighted to announce the nominees for the 2017 Absolut Art Award.

This year’s Nominators have selected a total of 49 artists and art writers across both the Art Work and Art Writing categories, and they are diverse in terms of country of origin, age and gender.

Each member of the 2017 Jury invited two Nominators with experience across multiple artistic backgrounds to nominate five artists and one art writer, generating a maximum of 50 nominees for the Art Work category and a maximum of ten nominees for the Art Writing category.

39 nominees have been selected in the Art Work category by the 2017 Nominators. The 2017 list includes artists from emerging contemporary art hubs such as India, Ghana, Iran, South Korea and Bangladesh as well as areas with firmly-established art scenes. Nominees range in age from 24 to 52, and comprise recognised artists who are established in their field, as well as young emerging artists.

Ten art writers from across seven countries have been selected in the Art Writing category, with ranging backgrounds, experience and research interests. This element of the prize continues our longstanding support of the development of critical theory and nurturing artistic discourse.

A shortlist of five finalists from both the Art Work and Art Writing category will be revealed in January 2017, selected by the 2017 Jury – led by Jury President Daniel Birnbaum, Director of the Moderna Museet, Stockholm.

“We are thrilled by the range, calibre and diverse artistic practices of the 2017 nominees in both categories, and we look forward to the 2017 Jury’s selection of the finalists in January”, says Saskia Neuman, Global Art Manager, Absolut.

For 2017, Absolut launches a new strand of the Award – the Emerging Artist Award – which will sit alongside the Absolut Art Award for Art Work and Art Writing. Individuals under the age of 40 who have collaborated with the brand creatively from January 2015 to February 2017 are eligible to be nominated by their local Absolut teams. The winner of the Emerging Artist Award will be selected directly from a list of nominees by the 2017 Jury.

The winners of the three Absolut Art Award strands – Art Work, Art Writing, and Emerging Artist Award – will be announced during the Vernissage of La Biennale di Venezia – 57th International Art Exhibition in May 2017, followed by an award ceremony in September 2017 in Stockholm, Sweden.


Art Work Category
Shumon Ahmed b.1977 Bangladesh
Mehraneh Atashi b.1980 Iran
Monika Baer b.1964 Germany
Neïl Beloufa b.1985 France
Katinka Bock b.1976 Germany
Dineo Seshee Bopape b.1981 South Africa
Sol Calero b.1982 Venezuela
Neha Choksi b.1973 USA
Serge Attukwei Clottey b.1985 Ghana
Simon Denny b.1982 New Zealand
Cao Fei b.1978 China
Samara Golden b.1973 USA
Irena Haiduk b.1982 Serbia
Tamara Henderson b.1982 Canada
Anne Imhof b.1978 Germany
Maryam Jafri b.1972 Pakistan
Hassan Khan b.1975 Egypt
Yaw Brobbey Kyei b.1991 Ghana
Ibrahim Mahama b.1987 Ghana
Corey McCorkle b.1969 USA
Shahryar Nashat b.1975 Switzerland
Otobong Nkanga b.1974 Nigeria
Katja Novitskova b.1984 Estonia
Yuri Pattison b.1986 Ireland
Falke Pisano b.1978 Netherlands
Lucy Raven b.1977 USA
Willem de Rooij b.1969 Netherlands
Cameron Rowland b.1988 USA
Nora Schultz b.1975 Germany
Cally Spooner b.1983 UK
Elisabeth Sutherland b.1991 Ghana
Martine Syms b.1988 USA
Asim Waqif b.1978 India
Munem Wasif b.1983 Bangladesh
Liu Wei b.1972 China
Ming Wong b.1971 Singapore
Haegue Yang b.1971 South Korea
Anicka Yi b.1971 South Korea
Samson Young b.1979 China

Art Writing Category
Karen Archey b. 1985 USA
Lee Weng Choy b.1963 Malaysia / Singapore
Anna Colin b.1981 France
Huey Copeland b.1976 USA
Johanna Fateman b.1974 USA
Orit Gat b.1984 Israel
Isabelle Graw b.1962 Germany
Ranjit Hoskote b.1969 India
Shanay Jhaveri b.1985 USA
Missla Libsekal b.1975 Ethiopia


2017 Jury President:
Daniel Birnbaum has been the Director of Moderna Museet, Stockholm since autumn 2010. He was the Rector of Städelschule in Frankfurt from 2000 – 2010, and Director of the Kunsthalle Portikus. He is contributing editor of Artforum in New York and has curated exhibitions including ’Airs de Paris’ at Centre Pompidou in Paris (in co-operation with Christine Macel) in 2007. In 2009, Daniel was the Director of the 53rd Venice Biennale.

2017 Jury Members:
Simon Castets is the Director and Curator of Swiss Institute, New York and co-founder of 89plus. In addition to exhibitions at Swiss Institute, recent curatorial work includes ‘Rachel Rose’ at Aspen Art Museum, ‘Champs Elysées’ at Palais de Tokyo, Paris (with Julie Boukobza and Nicola Trezzi), ‘Poetry will be made by all!’ at Moderna Museet, Stockholm, and ‘Filter Bubble’ at LUMA Foundation, Westbau (both together with Hans Ulrich Obrist for 89plus).

Elena Filipovic is Director and Chief Curator of Kunsthalle Basel. She was Senior Curator at WIELS Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels from 2009-2014, and in 2008 co-curated the 5th Berlin Biennial with Adam Szymczyk.

Polly Staple has been Director of Chisenhale Gallery, London since 2008. She was formerly Director of Frieze Projects and Curator at Cubitt Gallery, London. Staple has written for numerous catalogues and publications; she was formerly Editor-at-Large of frieze magazine.

Jack Bankowsky is a critic, curator, and Editor-at-Large at Artforum. He served as Editor-in-Chief of Artforum from 1992 to 2003, and is the founding editor of Artforum’s sister publication, Bookforum, where he was editor from 1996 to 1998.

2017 Absolut Art Award Nominators:
Philippe Pirotte, Director of the Staatliche Hochschschule für Bildende Künste – Städelschule and of the Kunsthalle Portikus, Germany
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator, The Studio Museum in Harlem, New York
Nana Oforiatta-Ayim, writer, filmmaker, and cultural historian based in Accra, Ghana
Venus Lau, Artistic Director of OCAT Shenzhen and Beijing
François Quintin, Managing Director, Fondation d’entreprise Galeries Lafayette
Solveig Øvstebø, Executive Director and Chief Curator, Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago
Bart van der Heide, Chief Curator, Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
Diana Campbell Betancourt, Artistic Director, Samdani Art Foundation and Chief Curator of the Dhaka Art Summit
Sohrab Mohebbi, Associate Curator, REDCAT
Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief, Artforum

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2017 absolut art award jury member elena filipovic. photo zlatko micic 2015

2017 absolut art award jury president daniel birnbaum.  photo moderna museet  asa lunden

2017 absolut art award jury member polly staple. photo by mark blower

2017 absolut art award jury member simon castets.  photo bruno zhu

2017 absolut art award jury member jack bankowsky. photo by timothy greenfield sanders

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