Loewe has announced the winner of the 2018 Loewe Craft Prize. Pale, Shadowed Speckled Traces, Fading Elipse, Bronze Specks, Tilted Shelf (2017) by Jennifer Lee was chosen as the winning entry from 30 finalists by a distinguished jury composed of leading figures from the worlds of design, architecture, journalism, criticism and museum curatorship, including Ernst Gamperl, winner of the 2017 edition of the Prize.
Jonathan Anderson, Loewe creative director, commented: ‘Jennifer Lee for me is a landmark in form’. The jury commended the work for its classicism, the means by which it rooted the entire exhibition, and its timelessness.
The Jury also agreed upon giving two special mentions.
One has been given to French textile artist, Simone Pheulpin, for her work Croissance XL (XL Growth)(2017). The jury commented: ‘She is redefining what we think of as textiles. She has elevated humble recycled materials into something truly remarkable.’
Another was given to Japanese potter Takuro Kuwata for his work Tea Bowl (2017). The jury admired the energy and self-expression of his work, saying: ‘He transgresses the typical tradition of ceramics while pointing a new way forward.’
The creator of the winning work, which was announced in a special ceremony last week in London by Dame Helen Mirren, received a silver trophy and a cash prize of 50,000 Euros. The winning piece is featured in an exhibition at the Design Museum, London, which is now open.
On display from 4 May – 17 June 2018 as part of the London Craft Week programme, the LOEWE Craft Prize exhibition features all 30 finalists’ entries. Spanning ceramics, jewellery, textiles, woodwork, glass, metalwork, furniture, papercraft and lacquer, the works function as a multigenerational snapshot of the utmost excellence in craft today.
In addition to LOEWE creative director Jonathan Anderson, the jury for the LOEWE Craft Prize 2018 included:
Ernst Gamperl, Winner of the LOEWE Craft Prize 2017
Rosy Greenlees, President of the World Crafts Council
Toshiyuki Kita, Furniture and product designer
Enrique Loewe, LOEWE Foundation Honorary President
Hong-Nam Kim, Former Director of the National Museum of Korea
Deyan Sudjic, Essayist and Director of the Design Museum, London
Benedetta Tagliabue, Architecture and Pritzker Prize Jury Member
Patricia Urquiola, Architect and Industrial Designer
Anatxu Zabalbeascoa (Chairwoman), architecture and design correspondent for El País.
Ernst Gamperl, Winner of the LOEWE Craft Prize 2017 says ‘The whole exhibition looks absolutely beautiful. We had a rich and fruitful discussion until the very last second, the quality of entries across the board was exceptional.’
Rosy Greenlees, President of the World Crafts Council commented ‘The quality and the diversity of the work was phenomenal. As always in these matters, it was an extremely difficult decision as we had an incredible variety of works across all categories. We all agreed on the final choice as being a wonderful expression of the best of craft.’
Deyan Sudjic, Essayist and Director of the Design Museum, London: ‘All 30 of the finalists would have made a great choice for winner. In the end, we went for a very accomplished, distinguished piece, one which really shows how important hand-making is in this digital era.’
The LOEWE FOUNDATION launched the international annual LOEWE Craft Prize in 2016 to showcase and celebrate newness, excellence and artistic merit in modern craftsmanship.
The award, which was conceived by LOEWE creative director Jonathan Anderson, aims to acknowledge the importance of craft in today’s culture and recognise working artisans whose talent, vision and will to innovate set a standard for the future.
The incentive for the prize was inspired by LOEWE’s beginnings as a collective craft workshop in 1846, reflecting fashion’s vital link to culture and the importance of advanced, specialised knowledge to the field. Art, craft and design remain fundamental cornerstones to the house’s present chapter; Jonathan Anderson says: ‘Craft is the essence of LOEWE. As a house, we are about craft in the purest sense of the word. That is where our modernity lies, and it will always be relevant.’
Any professional artisan aged over 18 is invited to apply, with the sole requirement that the submitted work combine an innovative application of its craft with an original artistic concept.
The period for presenting submissions to the third edition of the LOEWE Craft Prize will begin on Wednesday 20 June 2018.