The Ritzau Art Prize returns for 1-54 New York Online 2021

International Studio & Curatorial Program, New York, Courtesy of ISCP

1-54 New York 2021 returns in May alongside the Ritzau Art Prize, an award supporting extraordinary artists from the African continent with three-month career-enhancing residencies at ISCP in New York City. The residency award, developed by the ISCP in collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and supported by Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy, will afford global visibility and invaluable professional development opportunities to a chosen artist.

The Ritzau Art Prize winner will be announced during 1-54 New York Online 2021, week commencing 17 May 2021. The Prize will be open to late emerging and mid-career artists whose work is being exhibited at the fair, and who have expressed interest in being considered and meet the selection criteria. The selection criteria looks for excellence of work, and potential for impact on the artist and their greater community.

The jury will be comprised of distinguished contemporary African tastemakers and specialists. The 2021 cycle of jurors will include Natasha Becker, Curator of African Art at de Young Museum; Omar Kholeif, writer and Director of Collections and Senior Curator at Sharjah Art Foundation; and Nontobeko Ntombela, curator and Head of Department, History of Art, at Wits School of Arts.

For more information visit here.

Ritzau Art Prize 2020 Winner

Adjani Okpu-Egbe, Takumbeng’s Creed, Ambazonian Fortress (Diptych), 2019.
Photograph by Deniz Guzel; Courtesy Sulger-Buel Gallery

Cameroonian painter and installation artist Adjani Okpu-Egbe was the first recipient of the inaugural Ritzau Art Prize. Afro-Expressionist Okpu-Egbe, using a sensitive and energetic visual language that incorporates autobiography, explores the realm of social justice movements. His paintings and works investigate African colonial history and political activism reflective of and transcending Southern Cameroon’s Ambazonian movement through intersectional themes of feminism, patriarchy, and archeology among others. Okpu-Egbe often paints on found materials, leveraging their power to serve as metaphors for the larger topics around global social justice that he highlights throughout his practice.

The shortlisted artists for the 2020 Ritzau Art Prize are Anjel (Boris Anje), represented by Out of Africa Gallery, and Sungi Mlengeya, represented by Afriart Gallery.

Award winner Okpu-Egbe participated in a three-month virtual residency from October 1-December 31, 2020. During his virtual residency, he participated in ISCP’s programming and gained greater exposure for his work within the international art community.

“I have worked hard over the years to build a foundation for my practice. I was coming to a point where l knew that l was ready for more visibility, and an organization like ISCP would contribute to facilitating that. After 3 months, albeit a virtual residency, I’m pleased to say that I still harbor those thoughts. I am grateful for the platform, and for the many occasions ISCP went out of their way to support me towards my goals.” – Adjani Okpu-Egbe

To read the full interview with Adjani Okpu-Egbe visit here.


About ISCP

The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP) supports the creative development of artists and curators, and promotes exchange through residencies and public programs. Housed in a former factory in Brooklyn, with studios, galleries, and a project space, ISCP is New York’s most comprehensive international visual arts residency program, founded in 1994.

For more information visit here.


About Ritzau Prize

Since 2007 the Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy (TRIP) makes multi-year investments internationally towards economic development through cultural heritage. Committed to working in partnership with like-minded organizations and advocates to leverage strategies, technical skills and global networks in support of their core mission.

For more information visit here.

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