Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) have announced the 30 artists shortlisted as finalists for the second edition of The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize, an annual award for contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora.
The finalists were selected from 326 entries and represent 15 countries from across the continent. A board of independent arts professionals – comprising curators and academics who work closely with artists in their respective regions – nominated artists to enter the Prize. The 30 finalists were then shortlisted by a panel of five world-class art specialists, namely: artist and Grand Prize Winner of The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2022 Bonolo Kavula; writer, curator, and museum director David Elliott; independent exhibition producer, Janine Gaëlle Dieudji; exhibition curator and contemporary art consultant, Marie-Ann Yemsi; and Chief Executive and Director, Design Museum, London, Tim Marlow.
Judge David Elliott said of the prize: ‘This second exhibition of the Norval Sovereign African Art Prize showcases 30 works by artists of 15 nationalities, resident in 16 different countries. Centred in South Africa, its scope is widening; the balance between artists’ genders is not marked. As the range of the artists expands so will the quality and impact of the work in the final show. Although impressive in its own right, I have no doubt that this will be an important step towards even more inclusive and stronger exhibitions and awards in the future.’
Judge Janine Gaëlle Dieudji said: ‘The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize 2023 list of participants is a great indicator of the multiplicity of talents spread around the continent. With 15 nationalities represented among the 30 finalists, we have a good balance in terms of gender, mediums and geographies. I am really excited about the evolution of the prize and the quality of the works we have to review this year.’
The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists and aims to benefit them by further increasing their exposure to an international audience. The Grand Prize is a cash award of R500 000 South African Rand and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town.
The shortlisted artworks will be presented to the public in a Finalists Exhibition at Norval Foundation from 25 January – 20 March 2023, where visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite artist. Together with online votes, the most popular artist will be awarded the Public Vote Prize (R25 000 South African Rand).
The Prize aims to raise significant funds for the shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Educational Programme in an equal split through an online auction hosted by Sotheby’s (25 January – 1 February 2023). There will be an auction launch and exhibition opening on 25 January 2023, at which the Grand Prize Winner will be announced.
The shortlisted artists are: Alioune Diagne, Amy Rusch, Andrew Esiebo, Arébénor Basséne, Cinthia Sifa Mulanga, Dimakatso Mathopa, Esther Mahlangu, Famakan Magassa, Gresham Tapiwa Nyaude, Hamedine Kane, Huda Lufti, Januario Jano, Jeanne Gaigher, Jess Atieno, Lakin Ogunbanwo, Lebohang Kganye, Lindokuhle Sobekwa, Mário Macilau, Mbaye Diop, Micha Serraf, Michaela Younge, Mongezi Ncaphayi, Saïd Afifi, Serge Attukwei Clottey, Tegene Kunbi, Teresa Kutala Firmino, Tuli-Mekondjo, Wallen Mapondera, Willie Bester, and Yaw Owusu.