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Prestigious annual FNB Art Prize awarded to Bronwyn Katz

FNB Art Joburg is proud to announce that this year’s winner is Bronwyn Katz represented by blank projects. Katz says, ‘I’m both honoured and excited to receive the FNB Art Prize for 2019. Thank you to FNB and FNB Art Joburg for making it possible, to the jury for choosing me as the recipient, and to my gallery, blank projects, for their support.’

Bronwyn Katz FNB Art Prize winner fair week
Bronwyn Katz PHOTO Nokuthula Mbatha

As the most recent winner of the FNB Art Prize, Katz joins a prestigious list of winners since the launch of the FNB Art Prize in 2011. The prestigious FNB Art Prize has since become one of the coveted visual art prizes on the African continent. As well as the opportunity to showcase their work at FNB Bank City, media interest and coverage of the fair helps to catapult the artist and their work to the centre of contemporary art discourse. This in turn helps to build popular investment into the winner’s budding career; helping to make it sustainable.
     Bonga Sebesho, head of sponsorships at FNB says, “We remain committed in supporting and growing the arts and creative industry in South Africa and the rest of Africa. FNB’s 12-year involvement as a sponsor of the exhibition demonstrates our commitment to be a trusted partner to empower artists from inspiration to creation of their artworks. At FNB we pride ourselves of being innovative and creative. As a result, art plays a crucial role in coming up with new ways of doing things.  We would like to congratulate Bronwyn Katz for winning the 2019 FNB Art Prize.”
     Born in 1993, in Kimberley, South Africa, Bronwyn Katz lives and works in Johannesburg. Incorporating sculpture, installation, video and performance, Katz’s practice engages with the concept of land as a repository of memory, reflecting on the notion of place or space as lived experience, and the ability of the land to remember and communicate the memory of its occupation. 

Bronwyn Katz FNB Art Prize winner fair week
Bronwyn Katz, Droom boek, 2017, Salvaged bed springs and mattress, 180 x 150cm

Using found materials as the departure point for her works, Katz’s approach to making is driven foremost by formal concerns such as composition and line, expressed in an abstract minimalist language. Conceptually, her sculptures refer to the political context of their making, embodying subtle acts of resistance that draw attention to the social constructions and boundaries that continue to define those spaces. 
     Katz has held five solo exhibitions to date, most recently at blank projects in Cape Town (2019) and A Silent Line, Lives Here at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2018). She has participated in numerous group exhibitions, including The Empathy Lab (Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco, 2019); Material Insanity (Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Marrakech, 2019); Road to the Unconscious (Peres Projects, Berlin, 2019); Sculpture (Institute of Contemporary Art Indian Ocean, Port Louis, Mauritius, 2018); Tell Freedom (Kunsthal KAdE, Amersvoort, 2018); Le jour qui vient (Galerie des Galeries, Paris, 2017); and the 12th Dak’Art Biennale (Senegal, 2016). Katz is a founding member of iQhiya, an 11-women artist collective which has performed across various spaces, including Documenta (in Kassel and Athens), Greatmore Studios, and Iziko South African National Gallery.
     blank projects owner Jonathan Garnham says, “We are extremely proud of Bronwyn for being awarded the FNB Art Prize. Her unique practice speaks to a singular vision that is both compelling and breaks new ground. The prize is not only a well deserved acknowledgement of her exceptional talent and hard work, but will hopefully also inspire young practitioners to be adventurous and pursue their careers with conviction.”

Bronwyn Katz FNB Art Prize winner fair week
Bronwyn Katz, Markings of buried gold, 2017, Salvaged wire and mattress lining, 186 x 151 x 25cm

Over the years, the FNB Art Prize has not only celebrated the work of rising South African artists, but has also been awarded to ground breaking artists from around the African continent. This has allowed both the fair and the FNB Art Prize to enhance important conversations within the growing contemporary African art markets. 
     The continental wide focus continues to guide the underlying principle of the FNB Art Prize in its 9th anniversary, and this year, for the first edition of FNB Art Joburg, the drive to champion winners, remains.
     Coinciding with the launch of FNB Art Joburg, the FNB Prize has been reformatted to best support the selected artist’s growth and practice, namely through the addition of an international residency and a long-term public art installation at FNB Bank City.
     For the 2019 edition of the prize there will be no installation at the fair itself, however the cash prize of R100,000 continues.
     The 2019 FNB Art Prize recipient was selected by a committee made up of Nicole Siegenthaler (fair manager FNB Art Joburg), Alissa Jenkins (collector) and Ashraf Jamal (art critic). The committee looked for innovative proposals that demonstrate new explorations in the artists’ practice and proposals were required to be based in the realm of 3D, sculpture and/or installation work. Each main section and Lab exhibitor could nominate one artist from their stable, including a brief exhibition/project outline indicating what the artist would work towards during residency if selected, along with images of the artist’s work.
     FNB JoburgArtFair has been renamed FNB Art Joburg after it was officially acquired by its former director Mandla Sibeko, taking over from previous owners Artlogic. With Sibeko taking full ownership, the art exhibition is now 100% black-owned and FNB’s 12-year tenure as a sponsor continues.

To keep up-to-date with the latest arts and culture news in South Africa, purchase the September 2019 issue of Creative Feel or subscribe to our monthly magazine from only R180.00 to R365.00 per year! SUBSCRIBE HERE!

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