Johanna Mirabel wins the Ritzau Art Prize 2022 – Announcements

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

The Ritzau Art Prize provides global exposure, professional development, and career enhancement 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 award was launched 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 selected by competition by the 2022 jury of eminent experts in contemporary African art: Evelyn Owen, associate curator at the Africa Center; Stephanie Baptist, founder and director of the Medium Tings gallery; and Dodji Gbedemah, co-founder and director of the Kente Royal Gallery.

“Mirabel masters the medium very well,” Baptist said, “there is storytelling and historical relevance, but the work stands on its own without storytelling.” Owen added: “Each job could occupy his thoughts for hours.”

Mirabel will participate in the ISCP Art Residency Program from October to December 2022. She will enjoy 24-hour access to a private studio, participation in the program’s busy open studios, meetings with critics guests, the opportunity to speak about his art and practice in an ISCP public lecture and field trips alongside 34 peers from at least 25 different countries at any one time, among other program offerings. ISCP residencies focus on building community and professional discourse among residents. With an open house policy and monthly events including luncheons, in-house reviews and gallery walks, residents have a space and a platform to share their work. After leaving the residency, Mirabel will join an even broader network of more than 1,800 ISCP alumni in more than 90 countries and a growing cohort of Ritzau residency recipients at ISCP.

Mirabel says: “I am honored and delighted to receive the Tauck Ritzau Prize, as it represents a 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 Ritzau Art Prize 2022 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 his paintings and sculptures, the artist explores a 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 works at Galerie Véronique Rieffel, Paris, France; L’Orfèvrerie, Saint-Denis, France; August Gallery, Beirut, Lebanon; and The Hoax Gallery, Milwaukee, USA; among other places. She is also the recipient of the Prix Hatvany & Fondation de France 2021, as a member and president of the collective La Marge, and of the Prix d’Excellence/Grand Prix International 2019, Takifuji Art Award, Tokyo, Japan. Mirabel is represented by Galerie Véronique Rieffel, Paris, France.

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