The VIA Arts Prize, organised by the Association of Cultural Attachés of Latin America, Spain and Portugal (ACALASP) held the 2017 edition of the VIA Arts Prize Exhibition last November, at the Embassy of Brazil in London. Please view the gallery below for images of the venue, the artists and the prize-winning pieces, which subsequently toured to Maddox Arts in Mayfair for the Maddox Arts Winter Show.
The best 30 artworks received in our strongly contested Call for Entries went on display. The theme of the 2017 competition was ‘Dialogues with Latin American, Spanish and Portuguese art’, and all of our finalists established fascinating connections with these regional art styles.
The 2017 winner is British artist Susan Philips with her porcelain sculpture entitled ‘no.42-2015’. The simple white sculpture, which draws on planar form and geometric abstraction, is inspired by Latin American Neo Concrete Art. The 1959 manifesto of this movement rejected the concept of the artwork as an ‘object’ and supported the notion that art can only be fully understood through a direct phenomenological approach. Philips looked to the work of Amilcar de Castro and Lygia Clark to explore void space in sculpture and its interaction with the environment through light.
The runner up was Brazilian artist Rafael D’Alo’s analog photograph entitled Belo Monte Incidental number 65. His evocative image features a traditional Amazonian boat, submerged in muddied waters and was taken in the Brazilian town of Altamira on the River Xingu. An area originally populated by indigenous groups, the region has recently experienced an overwhelming migration of workers due to the construction of the Belo Monte dam. D’Alo’s work seeks to analyse the relationship between man versus nature and how the environment is reshaped by the same culture it helps to produce.
The VIA Arts Prize is London’s bespoke visual Ibero-American themed arts competition. It is organised by the Embassies of Latin America, Spain and Portugal and is hosted annually at the Embassy of Brazil in London, in its impressive Sala Brasil gallery. This beautiful grade II listed building was once the P&O ticketing office, where it is said that tickets for the Titanic were sold.
The Prize is generously sponsored by Itaú, and the 1st and 2nd prize winners receive £5,000 and £2,000 respectively. There is also be a People’s Choice Award for the visiting public’s favourite artwork. The 2017 Prize was judged by an impressive Jury, comprising 6 high-profile personalities from the Arts world, who combined expertise from the areas of curating and practicing art, as well as academia and cultural journalism.
Please visit the Call for Entries tab to learn more about this history of the Prize. If you would like to apply to future editions, please save our website in your favourites and follow our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter feeds for updates.