Emilija Skarnulyte Wins PinchukArtCentre’s $100,000 Future Generation Art Prize

Emilija Škarnulytė, t 1 ⁄ 2, 2019.


The PinchukArtCentre in Kiev, Ukraine, has named Emilija Škarnulytė the winner of its Future Generation Art Prize, which recognizes one artist age 35 or younger roughly every other year. She will now receive $100,000, with $60,000 in the form of an unrestricted cash prize. (The other $40,000 is to be used to “fund [the winner’s] artistic practice,” according to a release.) Additionally, Škarnulytė will have a solo show at the museum in 2020.

Alongside Škarnulytė, Gabrielle Goliath and Cooking Sections were named winners of special prizes by the award’s jury. (The jury is allowed to give out up to five special prizes during each edition of the award.) Goliath and Cooking Sections will receive $20,000 each.

All three artists are currently featured in an exhibition of new works by the shortlisted artists for the 2019 prize at the PinchukArtCentre. After its run at the museum, a version of the show will be staged in Italy at the Venice Biennale. Monira Al Qadiri, Sondra Perry, and Toyin Ojih Odutola were also among those shortlisted for the award.

Škarnulytė, who is based in Vilnius, Lithuania, is being recognized for her work t 1/2 (2019), a video installation that deals with ecological disaster and nuclear warfare. Shown in a room with a mirrored ceiling, the video includes 3D scans that allude to architectural structures found at a nuclear power plant in Lithuania and a neutrino observatory in Japan, among other locations.

“Her use of video expands into a multidimensional experience, confronting many of the major issues facing humanity which are often left unspoken,” the award’s jury said in a statement. “Without being overtly didactic, the work stays open-ended and poetic while raising fundamental questions about where we come from, who we are and where we might end up.”

[The Future Generation Art Prize is one of the biggest art prizes in the world. See the others.]

Goliath, who hails from South Africa, won the Standard Bank Young Artist Award earlier this year and frequently focuses on gendered forms of violence in her work. Cooking Sections, a London-based duo whose members define themselves as “spatial practitioners,” focus on the ecological implications of consuming food.

The jury for this year’s prize included Pablo León de la Barra, the curator at large of Latin American art at the Guggenheim Museum in New York; Björn Geldhof, artistic director of the PinchukArtCentre; Gabi Ngcobo, an independent curator; Tim Marlow, artistic director of the Royal Academy of Arts in London; and Hoor Al Qasimi, president of the Sharjah Art Foundation and the International Biennial Association.

This is the fifth year that the Future Generation Art Prize has been awarded. Past winners have included Dineo Seshee Bopape and Phoebe Boswell (2017); Nástio Mosquito and Carlos Motta (2014); Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (2012); and Cinthia Marcelle (2010).

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