Zanele Muholi has won the Fine Prize for an emerging artist at the 2013 Carnegie International, at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Carnegie International is North America’s pre-eminent survey of contemporary art from around the world and is held every three to five years. The Fine Prize, created in 2008 to honour an emerging artist in the survey, carries a $10 000 award, funded by The Fine Foundation.
Muholi was recognised for her Faces and Phases project, which she began in 2006 to give visibility to the various faces of black LGBTI communities around the world. The 48 portraits on view in the exhibition ‘feature subjects in elegant yet assured postures, and announce a collective front of incredible magnitude’, said Carnegie Museum director and jury member Lynn Zelevansky.
‘Zanele Muholi’s rich and beautiful portraits portraying members of the LGBTI community in South Africa and around the world are both moving and brave. We are honoured to award her the Fine Prize,’ added Zelevansky.
The Carnegie International has been presented by Carnegie Museum of Art since 1896. The 2013 Carnegie International, curated by Daniel Baumann, Dan Byers and Tina Kukielski, ‘presents new voices rooted in history, a sense of place, and play. The exhibition is guided by a shared passion for the individual and the exceptional; for art that celebrates dissonance and beauty; and for artworks that stay in touch with the everyday.’
Last month it was announced that Muholi will receive a prestigious Prince Claus Award, to be presented in Amsterdam on 11 December 2013. She was recently made Honorary Professor of the University of the Arts/Hochschule für Künste Bremen, an appointment that will be officially celebrated by the university on 28 October 2013. In March 2013 she won the Index on Censorship – Freedom of Expression art award in London; and in August she received South Africa’s Mbokodo Award for Creative Photography.
HerFaces and Phasesseries is currently on view at the South African Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale, on the exhibitionImaginary Fact: South African art and the archive(until 24 November). Theseries was shown on Documenta 13 in 2012 and on the 29th São Paulo Biennale in 2010.
In addition to the 2013 Carnegie International survey of contemporary art (on view until 16 March), Muholi’s work is included on SubRosa: The Language of Resistance at the University of South Florida Contemporary Art Museum in Tampa, Florida (until 7 December); and Glyphs: Photography, Video and the Politics of Inscriptionat Pitzer College Art Galleries, California (until 5 December).
Muholi was born in 1972 in Umlazi, Durban, and studied photography at the Market Photo Workshop in Newtown, Johannesburg; she has a Master of Fine Arts degree in Documentary Media from Ryerson University, Toronto