Switzerland's Federal Office of Culture has unveiled the winners of the eighteenth Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim: the artists Sylvie Fleury and Thomas Hirschhorn, as well as the architect Luigi Snozzi, will be honored on June 11 in Basel together with the winners of the Swiss Arts Awards.
The prestigious prize recognizes achievements in the fields of art and architecture as well as curation, research, and critique. The program was created in 2001 to honor artists, art mediators, and architects whose work on an international stage has proven to be particularly relevant and significant to Swiss artistic and architectural practice.
"Luigi Snozzi is an architect who is equally invested as a builder, a professor and a citizen. As a key figure of a movement dedicated to the analysis of territory, his building work represents an uncompromising type of architecture that embraces its presence to create new spaces through a form of positive confrontation. A great supporter of architecture that creates the city – the collective entity par excellence –, he shows unparalleled clarity and powers of synthesis in his numerous projects which are a model of the productive relationship between architecture and its context. Luigi Snozzi maintains his critical stance towards the conditions and limits of his profession and, having influenced and mentored many generations of architecture students, he embodies the role of the architect as upholder of political, cultural and human values." — Victoria Easton
"In awarding Thomas Hirschhorn the Prix Meret Oppenheim, the CFA salutes the extreme coherence of his artistic process, one that is based on the defence of society’s democratic values. From his early collages to his temporary monuments, from his large-scale installations to the conferences he gives all over the world, Thomas Hirschhorn has developed a unique formal language that reflects the challenges of the modern world as well as the artist’s own experience. The different forms that his process takes demonstrate the deep commitment of an artist who sees his art as a form of combat sport." — Julie Enckell Julliard
"The work of this year’s Prix Meret Oppenheim laureate Sylvie Fleury characteristically drifts between appearance and reality. By means of appropriation she transposes the world of consumerism into the artistic arena and conversely opens up the imaginary world of illusion to her own staging of existence. Sylvie Fleury interweaves the verbal “je” with the visual “moi”, her installations, wall pieces, videos and drawings painting a detailed picture of dreams in the symbolic reality of the social contract." — Laura Arici
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