The PinchukArtCentre has announced 21 artists shortlisted for the 4th edition of the Future Generation Art Prize established by the Victor Pinchuk Foundation in Kiev, Ukraine in 2009. Of the 21 artists selected from 4,421 entries by artists from 138 countries, two were West Africa’s Njideka Akunyili Crosby from Nigeria and Ibrahim Mahama from Ghana.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby is a Nigerian-born visual artist working in Los Angeles, California. Her works on paper combine collage, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photo transfers. While her formative years in Nigeria are a constant source of inspiration, Akunyili Crosby’s grounding in Western art history adds further layers of reference to her work. Just as the genre of still life has since its infancy been used as both a representation of the quotidian and an expression of the symbolic, her still life works are both highly personal and freighted with cultural meaning.

Njideka Akunyili Crosby-2016 c. Brigitte Sire

Njideka Akunyili Crosby-2016 c. Brigitte Sire

Ibrahim Mahama is an artist born and working in Ghana. His installation works using Jute sacks (reappropriated material he has purchased from markets, which were first cocoa sacks and then coal sacks) are the result of his investigation of the conditions of supply and demand in African markets.

Ibrahim Mahama

Ibrahim Mahama

Other shortlisted artists are, Ván Argote (Columbia), Firelei Báez (Dominican Republic), Dineo Seshee Bopape (South Africa), Phoebe Boswell (Kenya), Vivian Caccuri (Brazil), Sol Calero (Venezuela), Asli Çavuşoğlu (Turkey), Vajiko Chachkhiani (Georgia), Carla Chaim (Brazil), Christian Falsnaes (Denmark), EJ Hill (United States), Andy Holden (United Kingdom), Li Ran (China), Rebecca Moss (United Kingdom), Sasha Pirogova (Russia), Kameelah Janan Rasheed (United States), Martine Syms (United States), Kemang Wa Lehulere (South Africa), and Open Group (Yuri Bieliey, Pavlo Kovach, Stanislav Turina, Anton Varga).

The shortlisted artists were chosen by an international Selection Committee. Daniela Castro, Chair of the Selection Committee, said: “The selection committee assessed a pool of thousands of applications submitted by young artists from all over the world. The difficulty selecting just twenty practices from this list was not just because of the amount of work entailed in such an endeavour but by the excellence of each project we had to carefully look at. Merit was one of the many variants we considered in order to conduct a fair analysis: geography, gender, media also had their say. As such, we understand that the shortlisted artists for the Future Generation Art Prize are a representative of a wider landscape of outstanding art practices emerging throughout the world.”

The Future Generation Art Prize is a worldwide contemporary art prize created to discover, recognise and give long-term support to a future generation of artists. Judged by a distinguished jury, the Prize with a cash value of $100,000, aims to make a major contribution to the careers of younger artists involved in the dynamic cultural development of societies in transition, many of whom have found it difficult to get their voices heard. The competition is open to all artists up to the age of 35 of all backgrounds, working in any medium, anywhere in the world.

An exhibition of the work of the 21 shortlisted artists will go on show at the PinchukArtCentre in Kiev on 25th February – 16th April 2017. The winner will be announced at an Award Ceremony in Kiev in March. The exhibition will be presented as an official collateral event at the Palazzo Contarini Polignac as part of  Venice Biennale Arte opening on Thursday 11th May 2017.

Images courtesy the artists via PinchukArtCentre.