Galerie Lelong & Co., New York is pleased to announce that Cildo Meireles has been awarded the 2023 Roswitha Haftmann Prize, Europe’s best-endowed art award, becoming the first Latin American artist to do so since its founding in 2001. The Prize was formally presented at a ceremony at the Kunsthaus Zürich on September 22, 2023.
The award is presented by a jury chaired by the Director of the Kunsthaus Zürich and is typically given in recognition of an artist’s body of work over a lifetime.
Meireles’s multi-layered work is poetic and conceptual but also critical and socially relevant. It covers a range of genres, including sculptures, installations and performance. One of the younger members of a generation that transformed Brazilian art in the late 1960s, along with Lygia Clark and Hélio Oiticica, he adopted a direct and sensual approach to his audience. He is especially known for his highly sensory, immersive installations, many of which express opposition to political repression, (colonial) exploitation and the unethical extraction of resources. His work sharpens physical perception through senses other than sight (tactile, aural and taste sensations), and gains meaning through interaction with visitors, viewers and other participants. Meireles’s works serve as visual metaphors for a range of political, philosophical, existential and scientific issues, and attest to his ability to stimulate critical thinking.
“The jury was impressed by the artist’s exceptional talent for involving his audience both intellectually and emotionally with politically charged and aesthetically fascinating works,” said Yilmaz Dziewior, a member of the Roswitha Haftmann Foundation board.