Whitechapel Presents Laure Prouvost Max Mara Women’s Art Prize Winner

Laure Prouvost’s short films and installations unhinge the connection between language and understanding, opening out new horizons of meaning. From 20 March – 7 April 2013 the Gallery presents new work created by the artist following a six-month artist-residency in Italy awarded as part of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women.

Prouvost’s new work references Roman murals and the pleasures of Italy. It comprises a large-scale structure recalling a visual panorama which will take over Gallery 1. A vast circular frieze is interspersed with monitors and painted Roman columns. This immersive environment leads to an idyllic inner space revealing a new 10 minute film by the artist. Fragments of footage allude to events and encounters from the artist’s residency split between the city of Rome and rural Biella in the north of Italy.

Exploring language and translation, the artist plays on the historic idea of visiting the Mediterranean for inspiration. The exhibition will tour to the Collezione Maramotti from 4 May to 10 November 2013, where the work will be acquired.

In advance of the exhibition on Thursday 29 November 2012, Laure Prouvost hosts an evening of music, discussion, food and drink, drawing on her Italian residency. The artist will be in conversation with Barbara Steveni, founder of the pioneering artists’ organisation the Artist Placement Group. Their discussion, covering inspiration, residencies and language will be accompanied by a performance from the Italian singer and composer Cristina Zavalloni, whose operatic interpretation of the discussion will unfold throughout the evening. This event has been organised in collaboration with the Collezione Maramotti and Teatri Reggio Emilia.

The biannual Max Mara Art Prize for Women promotes and nurtures female artists based in the UK, enabling each winning artist to develop their potential by producing new works of art during a six-month residency in Italy. The judges for this fourth edition of the Prize included Iwona Blazwick [Chair]; artist Lisa Milroy; art collector Muriel Salem; gallerist Amanda Wilkinson, and writer and critic Gilda Williams.

Laure Prouvost was born in 1978 in Croix-Lille, France and lives and works in London. In 2011 she was awarded the Max Mara Art Prize for Women, chosen from a distinguished shortlist of artists which included Spartacus Chetwynd, Christina Mackie, Avis Newman and Emily Wardill. Laure Prouvost graduated from Central Saint Martins in 2002 and was part of the Lux Artist Associate Programme. Her work includes film, performance and installation. She has been part of group shows at Tate Britain, the ICA, Serpentine and BFI Galleries. She was awarded the EAST International Award in 2009 and a FLAMIN commission in 2011. Laure Prouvost is represented by MOTINTERNATIONAL.

For over a century the Whitechapel Gallery has premiered world-class artists from modern masters such as Pablo Picasso, Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frida Kahlo to contemporaries such as Sophie Calle, Lucian Freud, Gilbert & George and Mark Wallinger. With beautiful galleries, exhibitions, artist commissions, collection displays, historic archives, education resources, inspiring art courses, dining room and bookshop, the Gallery is open all year round, so there is always something free to see. It is a touchstone for contemporary art internationally, plays a central role in London’s cultural landscape and is pivotal to the continued growth of the world’s most vibrant contemporary art quarter.

The Max Mara Fashion Group was founded in 1951 by Achille Maramotti and is now run by the next generation. It is one of the largest women’s ready-to-wear companies in the world, with 2334 stores in more than 100 different countries.

On 29 September 2007 the Collezione Maramotti opened to the public in Reggio Emilia, Italy. For further information, please visitwww.collezionemaramotti.org

Artist Barbara Steveni conceived and founded the Artist Placement Group (APG) in London in 1966 with a group of artists working in emerging fields of conceptual art and multi-media of that time, including Ian Breakwell, Barry Flanagan, David Hall, John Latham, Anna Ridley and Jeffery Shaw. The organisation actively sought to reposition the role of the artist within a wider social context. Steveni is currently engaged in a project entitled I AM AN ARCHIVE tracing her life and role within APG in relation to current and future art practice. Her involvement with APG and the organisation’s methodology and legacy is explored an exhibition at Raven Row Gallery, London until 16 December 2012.

Singer-composer Cristina Zavalloni was born in Bologna, Italy. She has performed internationally with musicians including Hamilton de Holanda, Danilo Grassi, Mario Brunello, Marco Rizzi, Gabriele Mirabassi, Giampaolo Pretto and Andrea Lucchesini.

With special thanks to Canti Prosecco, Peroni and the Italian embassy for their support of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women talk and performance.
Max Mara Art Prize for Women: Laure Prouvost  20 March – 7 April 2013, Gallery 1

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