By Malaika Byng
Twenty-nine artists are in the running for the 2019 LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize, including names familiar to readers of Crafts such as Akiko Hirai, Andrea Walsh and Harry Morgan.
The international cohort of finalists – revealed by LOEWE today – work in a broad spectrum of media, from metal to paper, and include everyone from recent graduates to well-known names. Seven of the finalists are based in the UK.
Among the youngest are 29-year-olds Harry Morgan from Britain and Tomonari Hashimoto from Japan, both known for their unusual material pairings, such as clay heavily saturated in metal in the case of the latter’s 2018 ‘Rainbox’ work. Other artists include Italy’s Giovanni Corvaja, who transforms gold into a substance as fine as hair, and the USA’s John Eric Byers, a former student of Wendell Castle, whose work is in the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, DC.
Many of the makers are exhibiting at the Crafts Council’s annual international art fair Collect, which opens for its 15th edition soon at London’s Saatchi Gallery (28 February – 3 March 2019), including Hirai with Flow gallery, Morgan with Craft Scotland, Walsh with Oxford Ceramics Gallery.
The LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize, now its third edition, champions artists who have ‘made fundamentally important contributions to the development of contemporary craft’ and ‘whose talent, vision and will to innovate promise[s] to set a new standard for the future’. It was launched by the fashion brand’s creative director, Jonathan Anderson, a craft collector himself. The work of the shortlisted makers – selected from over 2,500 submissions – will go on show at Isamu Noguchi’s indoor stone garden ‘Heaven’ at the Sogetsu Foundation in Tokyo (26 June – 22 July 2019).
A jury of 11 experts, including architect Wang Shu, industrial designer Patricia Urquiola and LOEWE creative director, Jonathan Anderson, will pick the winner – revealed on 25 June 2019 at the opening of the exhibition. They will be awarded a prize of €50,000.
Last year’s winner Jennifer Lee will be speaking about her work at Collect on 2 March at 12pm. She will be in conversation with Antonia Boström, director of collections at the V&A, and prize jury president and journalist Anatxu Zabalbeascoa. You can watch it live and ask a question through Crafts Council's Facebook and Instagram page.
Here is the full list of 2019 LOEWE Foundation Craft Prize finalists:
Akiko Hirai (b. Japan, lives and works in United Kingdom)
Andrea Walsh (United Kingdom)
Annie Turner (United Kingdom)
Deloss Webber (United States)
Elke Sada (Germany)
Gental Ishikuza (Japan)
Giampaolo Babetto (Italy)
Giovanni Corvaja (Italy)
Harry Morgan (United Kingdom)
Heeseung Koh (Korea)
Henar Iglesias (Spain)
Jim Partidge & Liz Walmsley (United Kingdom)
JingFeng Fang & Mi Dong (China)
John Eric Byers (United States)
Jokum Lind Jensen (b. Denmark, lives and works in Sweden)
Junko Mori (b. Japan, lives and works in United Kingdom)
Kazuhito Takadoi (b. Japan, lives and works in United Kingdom)
Koichi lo (Japan)
Kye-Yeon Son (b. Korea, lives and works in Canada)
Youngsoon Lee (Korea)
Masanori Nishikawa (Japan)
Mayu Nakata (Japan)
Michal Fargo (b. Israel, lives and works in Germany)
Minhee Kim (b. Korea, lives and works in United Kingdom)
Ruudt Peters (Netherlands)
Sachi Fujikake (Japan)
Shozo Michikawa (Japan)
Sophie Rowley (b. New Zealand, lives and works in Germany)
Tomonari Hashimoto (Japan)