The 2018 Helvetia Art Prize goes to Gina Proenza (*1994). The winner holds a Bachelor's degree in "Visual Arts" from the Haute Ecole d’Art de Lausanne. Her prize-winning presentation is an amalgamation of works in different media. The starting point is the story of a Colombian village, which was founded by fleeing slaves in the 17th century and which remained undiscovered for a long time. The inhabitants shared not only their own culture but also the "Palenquero" language. The artist has a particular flair for storytelling and has succeeded in conveying her narration convincingly in scenographic format. She opens up spatial, narrative and even olfactory experiences, and is highly adept at implementing individual genres both in conceptual and visual terms. The jury also appreciated the worldliness of the questions she raised. Her work is promising, and the Art Prize is intended to make a substantial contribution to promoting her artistic development. The works of Gina Proenza can be seen at Plattform 18, which will take place at Kunsthaus Langenthal until 11 February 2018.
This year's Helvetia Art Prize jury comprises Peter Bläuer (Director of LISTE – Art Fair Basel), Raffael Dörig (Director of Kunsthaus Langenthal), Ines Goldbach (Director of Kunsthaus Baselland), Olivier Kaeser (Co-Director of Centre culturel suisse, Paris), Andreas Karcher (Head of the Helvetia Art Department), Nathalie Loch (Curator of the Helvetia art collection) and Peter Stohler (Director of Kunst(Zeug)Haus Rapperswil).
Start-up assistance as part of commitment to art
With the art prize, Helvetia Insurance promotes up-and-coming young artists embarking on their professional career. The Helvetia Art Prize is aimed at the graduates in fine arts and media art from Swiss universities of applied sciences. The prize is a dual form of assistance: on the one hand, the winner receives prize money of 15,000 francs and at the same time, has the opportunity to become known to an international expert audience and the general public with a solo exhibition at the art fair LISTE – Art Fair Basel. The art fair will be held from 11 to 17June 2018. Since being established in 1996, the LISTE has actively promoted galleries and artists of the younger and middle-aged generation.
The Helvetia Art Prize is a key component of this internationally active insurance group's commitment to art. The prize has been awarded each year since 2004: initially under the name Nationale Suisse Art Prize and, since the merger of Helvetia and Nationale Suisse, as the Helvetia Art Prize. Helvetia, which also insures art, has one of the most important collections of contemporary Swiss art with a history dating back over 70 years. The collection focuses on painting, drawings and photography. Since 2015 Helvetia has had its own publicly accessible exhibition space in the Helvetia Art Foyer at the head office in Basel. This is where themed exhibitions, including works from the company's own collection, are staged as well as solo artist exhibitions.
The works of Gina Proenza can be seen until 11 February 2018 at Plattform18, Kunsthaus Langenthal.
1 to 11 February 2018
Tuesday to Friday: 2-6 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday: 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.