The winners of the Pierre Daix Prize, a new award given to an art history book covering modern or contemporary art, was announced in a ceremony at the Musée Picasso in Paris, earlier today. The inaugural prize was awarded to two books—the first volume of the Catalogue Raisonné of the work of Ellsworth Kelly, by Yve-Alain Bois, and Aby Warburg, by Marie-Anne Lescourret. Both winners received a €10,000 prize.
The Pierre Daix Prize was created by esteemed art collector François Pinault in honor of his enduring friendship with the eponymous writer, French Resistance fighter, and Picasso biographer. The winners were selected by a judging panel which most prominently included, among others: former French minister of culture and former director of the Centre Pompidou, Jean-Jacques Aillagon; Laurent Le Bon, director of the Musée Picasso Paris; and Alfred Pacquement, former director of the Centre Pompidou.
Explaining the impetus for the creation of the prize, Pinault said in a statement, “Pierre was a cherished friend, and an outstanding writer and historian. He dedicated his life to sharing his erudition through his remarkable body of work. Having suffered through the turmoil of the 20th century in body and soul, he considered his absolute duty to promote history and knowledge. As a tribute to his memory, I made the decision a year ago to create a prize which bears his name to honor each year a distinguished book on modern and contemporary art history[.]”