The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize Inaugural Shortlist Announced

Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) has announced the names of 30 artists shortlisted as finalists for The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize, the inaugural edition of an annual award for contemporary artists from Africa and its diaspora.

Finalists in the running for this year’s Prize hail from 18 countries, of which South Africa has the strongest representation, followed by Zimbabwe, Angola, Morocco, and Nigeria. A total of 336 entries were received from artists from 37 countries.

A board of 53 independent arts professionals – comprising curators and academics who work closely with artists in their respective regions – nominated 158 artists for the Prize. The 30 finalists were then shortlisted by a panel of five world-class art specialists, namely: writer, curator, and museum director David Elliott; Exhibitions Director, Museum of African Contemporary Art Al Maaden, Janine Gaëlle Dieudji; Curator, Norval Foundation, Khanya Mashabela; exhibition curator and contemporary art consultant, Marie-Ann Yemsi; and Chief Executive and Director, Design Museum, London, Tim Marlow.

The Norval Sovereign African Art Prize celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists and aims to benefit them by further increasing their exposure to an international audience. The first prize is a cash award of R500 000 South African Rand and the opportunity for a solo exhibition at Norval Foundation in Cape Town.

The shortlisted artworks will be presented to the public in a Finalists Exhibition at Norval Foundation from 26 January – 28 February 2022, where visitors will be invited to vote for their favourite artist. Together with online votes, the most popular artist will be awarded the Public Vote Prize (R25 000 South African Rand). Winners will be announced on 16 February 2022.

The Prize aims to raise significant funds for the shortlisted artists and for Norval Foundation’s Educational Programme in an equal split through an auction administered by Sotheby’s from 15 – 22 February.

Norval Foundation and The Sovereign Art Foundation Click here for full list of participating artists.