SOFAM Prize Best Solo Show at Art on Paper 2018
Vera Molnár and Lisa Wilkens jointly awarded the SOFAM Prize
The outcome of the SOFAM Prize Best Solo Show at Art on Paper 2018 was announced on September 6th, after intense deliberations by the jury that day. The judges were asked to select a solo exhibition at the fair that, in their eyes, was of the highest quality, with a particular focus on the strength of the artist’s practice. Out of the staggering number of 44 solo exhibitions to choose from, the jury finally opted to jointly award the prize to 2 artists.
This year’s winners of the SOFAM Prize are:
The judges and SOFAM are particularly pleased to offer the prize to these two artists from different generations. The prize money of 2000 euros will be divided between both artists, and the free lifetime SOFAM membership will be offered to the artist living in Belgium.
These artists’ respective works at first sight appear to be thoroughly different, but, in the topics they probe, their practices do resonate. The judges’ decision transpires to have been a smart distillation of some of the overarching themes at the Brussels drawing fair: questions regarding the reproduction of imagery, the presence or absence of the human touch, mechanisation, and an almost fastiduous precision in modes of production, are some of the themes that reappeared constantly in this year at Art on Paper, in multiple guises.
Vera Molnár (1924, born in Budapest, Hungary; lives and works in Paris, France) is a pioneer of digital arts. Her works are emblematic of a pared-down, almost stoic grace that speaks of a considered artistic sensibility. Molnár began making her subtle line drawings with the aid of computers and plotters back in 1968, a practice that she continues to this day.
Lisa Wilkens (1978, born in Berlin, Germany; lives and works in Ghent, Belgium) makes ink drawings by hand, at an intimate scale. Her painstakingly produced figurative works depict illustrations taken from manuals from the 1950’s: their proponents at the time believed that these manual actions would not only increase productivity, but also augment the happiness of those who carried them out.
SOFAM JUDGES 2018
SOFAM considers it important to formally acknowledge outstanding artistic achievement. The awarding of prizes by an independent, distinguished jury recognizes not only the winner, but celebrates an artistic discipline as a whole. It raises the visibility of all participants and stimulates the debate in the artistic field and beyond. Prize money can often provide artists a much-needed, additional lifeline for their projects, whatever the stage of their career. Forever keen to put creative processes centre-stage, SOFAM each year invites a balanced panel of artworld professionals, so their combined experience and insight may let them come to a considered selection.
Arpaïs Du Bois (B), artist
Jérôme André (B), curator, MAC’s, Grand Hornu
Gwendolyn Grolig (B), Circle Fine Art insurance, collector
Nav Haq (UK), senior curator, MUHKA
Nicolás Lamas (PE), artist, winner SOFAM prize 2017
Hana Miletić, (HR), artist
SOFAM is an artist-governed cooperative that manages authorship rights of visual artists in Belgium. The notion of obtaining fair pay for artists’ work lies at the heart of all of SOFAM’s activities. SOFAM collects and distributes collective rights - from reprographic, cable and lending rights - and proportionally pays artist members whose works appear in publications or in the media. Artist-members also have the option to ask SOFAM to manage their licenses. And when the value of an artist’s work rises, by being resold by a gallery or at auction, SOFAM makes sure the artist or their heirs receive any resale rights to which they are entitled. People or organisations who wish to reuse an artist member’s work are also welcome to contact SOFAM for information about permissions and licensing.
SOFAM is a human-scale organization offering a personal service, giving out (judicial) information and providing training on topics of interest to professional artists. SOFAM also has a modest artistic programme, that engages in partnerships and offers grants and prizes, which means that all of SOFAM’s members help to support Belgium’s burgeoning art scene.