19th Baloise Art Prize awarded at Art Basel 2017

Basel, The Baloise Art Prize has been awarded to Martha Atienza from the Philippines and Sam Pulitzer from the USA. The prize of CHF 30,000.- will be presented at the Statements sector of Art Basel by a jury of international experts. The prize includes the acquisition by Baloise of a group of works by the award winners, which are donated to two important museums in Europe: the Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin and the MUDAM, Luxembourg.

This year’s jury includes: Marie-Noëlle Farcy, Curator/Head of Collection, MUDAM, Luxembourg; Daniel Baumann, Director, Kunsthalle Zurich; Sven Beckstette, Curator, Nationalgalerie – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.; Zak Kyes, Zak Group, London and Martin Schwander, Fine Art Advisor of Baloise, Chairman of the jury.

Martha Atienza

Martha Atienza, *1981 in Manila, lives in Bantayan Island, Philippines and Rotterdam, Netherlands, Statements booth N17, Silverlens Gallery, Philippines

Martha Atienza’s video installation, "Our Island, 11°16`58.4" 123°45`07.0"E", shows a traditional procession from her native Philippines, which she alienates by placing it under water. We watch the procession passing by as if in an aquarium: Christ carrying the cross, men in women’s clothes and demonstrators carrying tableaux with political slogans, threatened from behind by menacing, armed henchman. Through her cast of characters and choice of setting, Atienza presents a both critical and humorous take not only on the state of society in the Philippines but also on the threat of climate change to which the country is increasingly exposed through the warming of the world’s oceans.

Sam Pulitzer

Sam Pulitzer, *1984 in Fremont, NH, USA, lives in Brooklyn, New York, Statements booth N2, Real Fine Arts Gallery, New York

Sam Pulitzer has been awarded the Baloise Art Prize for the precision, depth and virtuosity of the drawings presented in his installation for the exhibition booth, where he adroitly exploits transparency and opacity in order to test the viability of his art. He additionally enquires into the function and meaning of the stream of new images, logos and labels with which we are confronted day after day, organizing or perverting our communication and relations with our fellow human beings. The truth of the matter is that they do, indeed, do both: they bring us closer together and keep us at bay, just as Pulitzer’s corridors impose closeness on us in tandem with isolation.

Headquartered in Basel, Switzerland, the Baloise Group is a European provider of insurance and pension solutions and has positioned itself as a market player that offers an intelligent 'Safety World' prevention strategy. In Switzerland the Company operates as a focused financial services provider, offering a combination of insurance and banking services. It also has a market presence in Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg. Its distribution network includes its own sales organisation as well as brokers and other partners. The Company uses its competence centre in Luxembourg to run its business in innovative pension products for private customers throughout Europe. Bâloise Holding Ltd shares are listed in the main segment of the SIX Swiss Exchange. The Baloise Group employs some 7,400 people.