PIPA Prize 2017: A Retrospective of the Prize’s eighth edition

PIPA Prize arrives at the end of its eighth edition fulfilling its mission: to stimulate and promote the production of Brazilian contemporary art, giving visibility to artists with recent and established careers. The Prize consolidates itself, year by year, as an important research platform on the current art scene in Brazil, currently featuring 367 artists with biographical pages on PIPA’s websites. The pages, which can be constantly updated, include curriculum, critical texts, images of works and exclusive video interviews, where the artists discuss their creative processes, trajectories, desires and paths.

It was a year of novelties and changes. For the first time in PIPA’s history, the announcement of the PIPA and PIPA Popular vote winners were made during the launching of the catalogue. The change was implemented in order to unite, in one publication, the information and images – such as the list of winners and images of the exhibition, relevant to this year’s edition of the Prize. Until last year, this information would only be published in the catalogue of the upcoming edition. The publication also presents a series of new features, the most important of them being the inclusion of four critical texts about this year’s finalists, Antonio Obá, Carla Guagliardi and Éder Oliveira, and winner Bárbara Wagner. Each finalist invited a critic/curator of their own choice to write about their work/trajectory. This change represents the consolidation of the catalogue as an important research tool when it comes to Brazilian contemporary art. What’s more, PIPA Institute Curator Luiz Camillo Osorio also considers it a great “incentive for the formation of new critics.”

We have prepared a retrospective of the biggest events of PIPA Prize 2017. 

PIPA & PIPA Voto Popular

“The main prize hopes to highlight and qualify artists whose national and international circulation is somehow consistent, as well as showcasing these artworks in one of the most prestigious art institutions in the country, the Museum of Modern Art of Rio de Janeiro” – Luiz Camillo Osorio, curator of PIPA Institute

—PIPA: Main category, in which only the four finalists chosen by the PIPA Board participate. The winner is selected by the Award Jury and receives R$130,000, part of which is used to fund the winner’s participation in an international artist residency programme at Residency Unlimited, in New York. The Award Jury selects the winner based on the works showcased in the exhibition at MAM-Rio, on the examination of the artist’s trajectory and portfolio, as well as the relevance of the cash prize and the participation in the international artistic residency program for the career development of each finalist.

On November 18th, we announced, exclusively on our site, the 2017 winner: Barbara Wagner, who was running for the Prize alongside the finalists Antônio Obá, Carla Guagliardi and Éder Oliveira. Bárbara was chosen by the Award Jury, this year composed by Consuelo Bassanesi, Fernando Cocchiarale, Leda Catunda, Luiz Camillo Osorio and Marcelo Campos.

—PIPA Popular Vote Exhibition: Also exclusive for finalists. This category donates R$ 24,000 to the most voted artist at the Finalists Exhibition at MAM-Rio. This year, the winner of PIPA Popular Vote was Éder Oliveira, who received 643 votes from a total of 1,807, during the voting period between September 23rd and November 5th.

Watch the video of the Winners’ announcement, presented by Luiz Camillo Osorio at MAM-Rio:


PIPA Online

“PIPA Online aims primarily in giving visibility and promotion to artists whose institutional presence isn’t quite preeminent yet.” – Luiz Camillo Osorio

—PIPA Online is the category in which every artist participating in the edition can take part. In the online category of PIPA, it’s the public who decides the winner through voting on the website. The most voted artist receives R$ 10,000. The runner-up on the online voting receives R$5,000. Both artists donate artworks to PIPA Institute (to be defined as a mutual agreement between the artists and the Coordination of the Institute). PIPA Online aims to promote contemporary Brazilian art through the internet.

The online voting occurs in two shifts, the first one starting in July 16th and the second on July 30th. From the 56 nominated artists to PIPA prize 2017, 52 participated in the online voting. This year, the highest number of votes, 11,678 (total), was recorded in the first round of the online voting for the first time in PIPA. In the end of the phase of voting, 12 artists were classified to the second round, two of them being, for the first time in PIPA Prize history, Finalists – Antônio Obá e Éder Oliveira.

It was a tough resolution. On August 7th, the winners were announced: Jorge Luiz Fonseca won with 4103 votes and, with 2,969 votes, the artist Musa Michelle Mattiuzzi won the second placed.

PIPA Prize Finalists Exhibition

Every year, four Finalists selected by the PIPA’s board members amongst all the nominated artists of the current edition participate in the Finalists Exhibition. This year, the PIPA Prize eighth edition exhibition took place at MAM-Rio from September 23rd to November 26th and presented artworks by the four 2017 Finalists: Antônio Obá, Bárbara Wagner, Éder Oliveira e Carla Guagliardi. “They all share a poetic strength and a commitment to the expressive truth to be conquered with no concessions”, declares Camillo on this edition’s finalists.

Born in Ceilândia (Brasília) and raised in a family of Catholic traditions, Antonio Obá, nominated to PIPA Prize for the first time this year, investigates in his production his origin, while also exploring religious and racial aspects of the Brazilian culture. Body, ritual, miscegenation, Afro Brazilian culture and identity are some of the frequent issues in his work. In the Finalists Exhibition, Obá presented the work “Ambiente com Espelhos” [Ambience with Mirrors]. The installation is composed of a series of old frames whose mirrors have been replaced by iron plates. Each is accompanied by a monotype portraying a part of the artist’s body. The pieces intent to question the very idea of a national identity: just like these mirror-like structures, such a notion reveals itself to be quite empty and vague.

– In the end, my proposal is to problematize the fact that, at the same time you can see yourself – it still is a kind of mirror –, it doesn’t offer you any precision, it’s always doubtful. It doesn’t portray a precise identity; instead, it reflects a fragile, fleeting one.

Antonio Obá, from the series “Ambiente com Espelhos”, 2017

Exploring what she calls the “popular body”, PIPA Prize 2017 Winner Bárbara Wagner presented two series about typical Northeastern dances. The first, “The Courtege”, portrays a group of a traditional Brazilian dance called Maracatu moments before they leave for a Carnaval parade. The second, “Set to Go”, produced in partnership with Benjamin de Burca, features both lenticular photographies and a video to understand how can movements so different such as those of pop and frevo (another regional dance) can be performed by the same body.

Bárbara Wagner, “A corte”, 2013

Working with the notion of instability, Carla Guagliardi’s work explores concepts as balance and imbalance, permanence and vulnerability. The artists present at MAM-Rio “Fuga II”. The installation combines concrete blocks, copper tubes, and rubber wires. Polyphonic, the title of work can be understood both especially as well as musically – in compositions, a “fugue” means that one or to themes are continually repeated or imitated by successively entering voices.

Carla Guagliardi, “Fuga II”, 2017

Éder Oliveira, this year PIPA Popular Vote Winner, develops a long research on the identity of the Amazonian man through the portrait. Interested in these faces in the criminal pages of newspapers, éder reflects about marginalization and social vulnerability of a specific extract of society. The artist reproduced, in the museum walls, one of his works from the series “Arquivamento” [Filing]. The project consists of painting huge, primary-coloured portraits of people pointed out as criminals by Belém do Pará’s yellow press.

– The idea is to question why these people are always the ones linked to vulnerability and criminality situations – explains Oliveira.

Éder Oliveira, série “Arquivamento”, 2004-

Watch below the PIPA Prize Finalists exhibition being set up and the finalists talking about their own works:

Catalogue 2017

PIPA Prize catalogues can be downloaded for free in PDF directly here at the PIPA website. All of the edition catalogues are available, from 2010 to 2017, the latter being 8.5Mb. The publication presents many new features, the most important of them being the inclusion of a series of critical texts about this edition’s finalists. “The mission of PIPA is to strengthen and to qualify the Brazilian art circuit. To contribute to the expansion of the critical mass is part of this goal, and we can do so by transforming the exhibition catalogue into something more dense and relevant” – Luiz Camillo Osorio explains, highlighting that all of the catalogues’ editions are bilingual, featuring texts both in English and in Portuguese. – This is yet another step for the development of PIPA as a working archive of Brazilian contemporary art.

The 2017 catalogue includes images of works and biographical information about all of the 56 artists nominated this year, general facts about the Prize’s mission and history, statistics and texts written by Luiz Camillo Osorio, Carlos Alberto Gouvêa Chateaubriand (President of MAM-Rio) and a diagram explaining the dynamic of the Prize. There is also a chapter dedicated to recapping the previous edition of the Prize, showcasing its winners’ list and some photos of the 2016 exhibition at MAM-Rio. Further on, a list of the works donated by Prize winners and finalists is disclosed, as well as statics about all of the nominated artists throughout the last eight years.


PIPA respects the freedom of expression and warns that some images of works published on this site may be considered inappropriate for those under 18 years of age
Copyright © Instituto PIPA