John Jones Art on Paper Award
In 2012, Art Dubai launched a new, annual prize in collaboration with the master-framers John Jones. The John Jones Art on Paper Award aims to recognise the potential for excellence and innovation for works made on paper, and provide further opportunities for artists working in this medium. The prize is open to any artist exhibiting with a gallery at Art Dubai, regardless of age, nationality and gender. The one stipulation is that the work involves paper. The winning artist will be given the opportunity to present a solo show in Dubai, with the work on display framed by John Jones to the finest museum standards. The winning artist is also awarded a cash prize of Dhs30,000, and has their work acquired for the John Jones Contemporary Art Collection in London.
The winners of the 2012 John Jones Art on Paper Award are artists Hassan Sharif (UAE) and Luis Camnitzer (Uraguay) as dual recipients of the inaugural award. The two artists were shown at Art Dubai by New York gallery Alexander Gray Associates.
Whilst the prize was originally meant to award one artist, the judges were compelled by the galleryʼs pairing of work by Sharif and Camnitzer, which brought together artists from two different continents who are pioneers in advancing conceptual art across the globe, yet have never met. Following this unexpected result, the John Jones Art on Paper Award is determining what format the award will subsequently take and an announcement will be made in the next few weeks.
We are very grateful to the judges of the 2012 award: Janah Hilwé, Hans Ulrich Obrist and Kaelen Wilson-Goldie.
Janah Hilwé was born in Birzeit (Palestine) in 1943. She moved to Beirut in 1949 and currently lives on Cape Cod, Massachusetts (USA). After beginnings in painting and following her encounter with the conceptual works of Farid Sarroukh, Hilwé began to turn her attention to language, looking into aspects of time and space, and combining these conceptual investigations in her Antithesis series (1968-70). Hilwé’s first solo exhibition was the mail art project Two Untitled Projects (1969), published in the magazine 0 to 9 (edited by Vito Acconci). She was the only Palestinian woman artist to participate in important exhibitions such as Concept Art (1969) in Leverkusen (Germany), or Information (1970) at the MoMA, New York. Hilwé first gained national attention in the Arab world in the 1970s as an influential and often controversial figure in the Amman, Cairo and Beirut art, performance and conceptual art movements. Once ironically termed the “witch of contemporary art,” Hilwé achieved notoriety with her sensationalist performance work, in which she investigated the psychological experience of personal danger and physical risk.
Hans Ulrich Obrist, a native of Zurich, Switzerland, is co-director of the Serpentine Gallery in London. He has also served as curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (2000–2006) and museum in progress, Vienna. Obrist has curated or co-curated more than 250 exhibitions, notably including: ‘World Soup’, 1991; Manifesta 1, 1996; ‘Cities on the Move’, 1997; ‘Live/Life’, 1996; 1st Berlin Biennale, 1998; ‘Utopia Station’, 2003; 2nd Guangzhou Triennale, 2005; Dakar Biennale, 2004; 1st & 2nd Moscow Biennale, 2005 and 2007; Lyon Biennale, 2007; and Yokohama Triennale, 2008; ‘Il Tempo del Postino’, co-curated with Philippe Parreno for the 2007 Manchester International Festival and also presented at Art Basel, 2009, organised by Fondation Beyeler and Theater Basel. Obrist founded the Marathon series in 2005, including Interview Marathon at Serpentine Gallery (2006), Experiment Marathon, Manifesto Marathon (2008) and Poetry Marathon (2009). Recent publications include A Brief History of Curating; Gerhard Richter Text; Ai Weiwei, Ways Beyond Art; Pars Pro Toto II; and The Conversation Series, Volumes 1–20.
Kaelen Wilson-Goldie is a writer and critic. She covers contemporary art and culture for the Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star, contributes regularly to Artforum, writes a column for Frieze and is a contributing editor for Bidoun magazine. As a journalist, she has published writing in The New York Times, The Times of London and The Village Voice, among many other publications. She was a 2007 fellow in the USC Annenberg Getty Arts Journalism Program, Los Angeles. As an essayist, she has written for Afterall and Art Journal, and contributed texts to numerous anthologies, monographs, and exhibition catalogues, including: The Future of Tradition – The Tradition of Future (2010); Untitled Tracks: On Alternative Music in Beirut (2009); Foreword, the catalogue accompanying Lebanon’s first and only national pavilion at the Venice Biennale, Venice (2007); and Out of Beirut (2006). Wilson-Goldie lives and works in Beirut.