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Nalini Malani Wins $77,800 Joan Miró Prize

Nalini Malani.

COURTESY THE ARTIST/JOHAN PIJNAPPEL

The Fundació Joan Miró and the bank La Caixa in Spain have given the 2019 Joan Miró Prize, an award bestowed annually to a contemporary artist whose works deal with themes similar to those of the Spanish Surrealist, to Nalini Malani. The prize conveys €70,000 (about $77,800) and a solo show that is set to open at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 2020.

Malani, who is based in Mumbai, India, often creates large-scale video installations in which images combining elements of Greek and Hindu mythology are projected onto see-through structures. In doing so, the footage appears to play on the surrounding walls, creating an all-over effect. Ongoing concerns in her work include the aftermath of colonialism in India and the legacy of Surrealism.

Her work is currently on view in the Sharjah Biennial in the United Arab Emirates, and it was the subject of a retrospective that appeared at the Castello di Rivoli in Turin, Italy, earlier this year.

In a statement, the prize’s jury said, “By alluding to a myriad of cultural references from both East and West, [Malani] has built an impressive body of work that engages viewers through complex, immersive installations that present her vision of the battered world we live in. Her interest in ancient mythology, both Greek and Indian, as well as in modern symbols and image-making, has allowed her to develop a very personal, cosmopolitan iconographic mingling that boldly denounces contemporary violence and injustice, and their effects on planetary life.”

That jury included Iwona Blazwick, director of the Whitechapel Gallery in London; Magnus af Petersens, director of the Bonniers Konsthall in Stockholm; Alfred Pacquement, former director of the Centre Pompidou in Paris; João Ribas, former curator of the Serralves Foundation Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, Portugal; Nimfa Bisbe, director of the La Caixa Foundation collection of contemporary art; and Marko Daniel, director of the Fundació Joan Miró.

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