Alia Farid Wins Prestigious Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Alia Farid, a Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist, wins the prestigious Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award 2023, which includes a $100,000 honorarium, an exhibition at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, and an acquisition budget for her work.
Farid's art explores the legacy of colonialism using various media and challenges established narratives by giving visibility to stories often obscured by hegemony.
The artist has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide, with upcoming solo exhibitions at the Chisenhale Gallery and CAC Passerelle.
The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award aims to recognize significant milestones in an artist's career, with Farid being the third recipient after Guadalupe Maravilla in 2021 and Otobong Nkanga in 2019.
Farid's work engages with migration, marginal histories, and social and environmental landscapes, positioning her as a powerful catalyst for change in the art world.

Kuwaiti-Puerto Rican artist Alia Farid has been awarded the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award 2023, a prestigious honor within the international art community.

This biannual prize, given by the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo, Norway, includes a $100,000 artistic honorarium, an exhibition at the art center, and an acquisition budget to incorporate the artist’s work into Henie Onstad’s permanent collection.

Exploring the Legacy of Colonialism through Art

Born in Kuwait and residing between there and Puerto Rico, Farid’s work delves into the consequences of colonialism, using a wide array of media, such as writing, drawing, film, and sculpture.

By giving visibility to narratives that are often obscured by hegemony, her creations challenge established narratives while raising awareness of vital contemporary topics.

Farid’s work has garnered significant attention and is featured in various solo exhibitions at prestigious institutions, including the Chisenhale Gallery in London, the Rivers Institute in New Orleans, and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto.

Moreover, she is among the shortlisted artists for the 2023 Artes Mundi Prize.

Recognition and Future Endeavors

Alia Farid’s exhibition at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, scheduled to open in September 2024, marks the first presentation of her work in the Nordic region.

The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award aims to recognize significant milestones in an artist’s career and is chosen by an international jury of experts.

Farid is the third award recipient, following Guadalupe Maravilla in 2021 and Otobong Nkanga in 2019.

The award serves as a testament to Farid’s extraordinary practice across multiple media and her ability to navigate complex themes while exploring questions of conflict, control, power, and violence on both nature and people.

Farid’s unique artistic contributions address significant questions about social and environmental landscapes, engaging with migration and marginal histories across borders.

 

Overcoming Ambivalence Toward Art and Culture

Farid acknowledges the significance of art in comprehending and interpreting the world.

In a society that often demonstrates ambivalence toward supporting art and culture, the endorsement of the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme carries profound meaning for the artist.

The award not only validates her work but also provides a platform for her to engage new audiences and challenge communities to confront important issues.

Celebrating Farid’s Unique Contributions to Art

Paulina Wilhelmsen, founder and jury member from the A Wilhelmsen family, expressed pride in welcoming Alia Farid into the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme and presenting her work in Norway for the first time.

Farid’s unique artistic contributions address significant questions about social and environmental landscapes, engaging with migration and marginal histories across borders.

By uncovering connections and demonstrating how stories are interconnected, her work speaks to recurring situations worldwide, serving as a powerful catalyst for change.

About Alia Farid

Alia Farid (b. 1985) holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from la Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico, a Master of Science in Visual Studies from the Visual Arts Program in MIT, and a Master of Arts in Museum Studies and Critical Theory from the Programa d’Estudis Independents MACBA in Barcelona.

Her work has been showcased in various solo exhibitions, including those at ​​Kunsthalle Basel, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, Kunstinstituut Melly (Rotterdam), and Portikus (Frankfurt am Main).

In addition, she has participated in renowned group shows such as the Whitney Biennial, Bienal de São Paulo, Yokohama Triennale, and many more. Her upcoming solo exhibitions are set to take place at the Chisenhale Gallery and CAC Passerelle.

The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme: A Lasting Legacy

The Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme was established as a partnership between the Lise and Arne Wilhelmsen family and the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter to honor and continue Lise Wilhelmsen’s (1936–2019) commitment to the visual arts.

The family’s dedication to the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter is confirmed for the next 16 editions, spanning 32 years, with plans for further extension.

Alia Farid was chosen as the recipient of the award by an international jury comprising esteemed figures in the art world.

Craig Miller

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