Retrospective: see the PIPA Prize 2020 highlights

The PIPA Prize’s eleventh edition gathers some news and many adaptations. At the beginning of the year, we were getting ready to try new exhibition places, launch projects, and rethink some categories of the Prize. However, like the whole world this year, we have been stopped by the pandemic. This year was not an easy time for anyone. We faced mourning, social isolation, and we postponed some plans in various aspects of life, both personal and professional. Despite the challenges, we strive to maintain a timeless and continuous incentive to contemporary Brazilian art and remain with the mission of offering a relevant research platform to the current art scene in Brazil. This year, we count 480 artist pages.

We prepared a PIPA Prize 2020 retrospective to remember some of the year’s highlights and wish our public a happier 2021.

PIPA Podcast: The first release of the year was the PIPA Podcast. In January, we launched the first episode, “What is art?” with the curator of the PIPA Institute Luiz Camillo Osorio. So far, we have had more than 7 thousand downloads in our ten episodes with artists and curators, such as Aleta Valente, Denilson Baniwa, Alice Miceli, Guilherme Gutman, among others. Check here the English episode (with the curator Amanda Abi Khalil).

PIPA em casa (PIPA at home): In the first month of the pandemic, the PIPA Institute decided to allocate an emergency amount of R$ 50,000 (fifty thousand Brazilian reais) to support and encourage artists during social isolation. We invited artists nominated in all editions of the Prize to submit works produced before the pandemic or during quarantine at home. The material was exhibited in the virtual show on the website. On May 5th, ten artists were selected (Agrade Camíz, Armando Queiroz, Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Denilson Baniwa, Grupo EmpreZa, Isaias Salles (Ibã Huni Kuin), Jaider Esbell, max wíllà moraes, Moisés Patrício, and Renan Cepeda) by the Board and each received R$ 5,000.

PIPA Online: On August 23rd, Isael Maxakali won the PIPA Online 2020 with 4,191 votes. Considering the total of the first and second rounds there was an impressive number of votes counted over the two phases distributed amongst the 56 participants in the category, 33,038 votes. After the campaign, Isael received R$ 15,000 (fifteen thousand Brazilian reais).

PIPA Finalists 2020: In June, we’ve announced the four finalists of the PIPA Prize 2020, Gê VianaMaxwell AlexandreRandolpho LamonierRenata Felinto.

The four finalists chosen by the PIPA’s board among the 66 participating artists of this edition (check the full list here) received, each one, a R$ 15,000.00 (fifteen thousand Brazilian Reais) donation this year and, in the next year when the exhibition is scheduled to happen, they receive R$ 15,000.00 plus. The finalists run for the PIPA Prize, a category in which the winner is chosen by the Award Jury to receive an extra donation of R$ 30,000.00 (thirty thousand Brazilian Reais). The 2020 Finalists Exhibition was programmed to take place at the Paço Imperial, between September and November this year. Due to the pandemic, we’ve postponed the event and, to promote a possible meeting between the 2020 finalists and our audience, we invited the four artists to make the Finalists Occupation. Gê Viana, Maxwell Alexandre, Randolpho Lamonier and Renata Felinto presented, from October 12th to November 14th original contents, such as videos, artworks photos, besides critical texts and interviews.

Check them out here:
Randolpho Lamonier
Maxwell Alexandre
Gê Viana
Renata Felinto

Acquisitions: In 2020, we announced new artists to the PIPA Institute’s collection, Ibã Huni Kuin (Isaías Sales), PIPA 2016 nominee, and Elias Maroso, PIPA 2020 nominee. There were also new acquisitions from artists that were already part of the collection, such as Ana Paula Oliveira and André Griffo.

Ibã Huni Kuin (Isaías Sales) is a txana, singing master of the Huni Kuin people’s tradition. In the 1980s, he became a teacher and aligned the knowledge of his father, Tuin Huni Kuin to the western’s, beginning to research his tradition in writing, together with his students. In 2008, he joined the Universidade Federal do Acre, in Cruzeiro do Sul, Brazil and created the Espírito da Floresta Project aiming, with his son Bane, to research the multimedium translation projects for these songs composing the collective MAKHU – Movement of the Huni Kuin Artists. The artist is a researcher and uses different languages, called by him of drawing-song-video, to disseminate practices, knowledge and indigenous living.

Below, a picture of the Institute’s recent acquisition, “YUBE NAWA AIBU” [people woman boa constrictor], 2020, pen on paper, 30 x 40 cm. The drawing was executed by Cleber Pinheiro Sales Kaxinawa, participating artist of the MAKHU (Movement of the Huni Kuin Artists) and coordinated by Ibã Sales Huni Kuin.

Elias Maroso develops individual research in visual arts turned to the object, to urban intervention and applied electronics. Expert in art and technology, Elias is founding-member of the Sala Dobradiça project, with which he’s participated in the 7th and 8th Mercosul Biennial. Today, he’s a doctoral student in Visual Arts (PPGAV/UFRGS) with an emphasis in Visual Poetics. His formation transits between Visual Arts, contemporary aesthetics (Universidad de la República – Montevidéo, Uruguay), Surface Design – as an area of expertise.

Two artworks of Elias were acquired by the Intitute, “Ok/Cancel”, 2020, 17,5 cm (height) x 18,5 cm (width) x 8,5 cm (depth) and and “Criptocromo”, 2019, 90 cm (height) x 105 (width) x 16 cm (depth).

André Griffo is a PIPA Prize 2014, 2018 and 2019 nominee. In 2018, the Institute had already acquired two of the artist’s paintings to its collection: “O Golpe, a prisão e outras manobras incompatíveis com a democracia” and “Aproximação Forçada”. The first was loaned by the Institute to participate in exhibitions in other institutions. This year, another one was acquired, the painting “O vendedor de miniaturas”.

Ana Paula Oliveira is a PIPA Prize 2010 and 2014 nominee. In 2010 she was elected the first PIPA Online winner. In 2017, she donated to the Institute the object-book “Vouindo”book of artist as a result of the Proac call 2016. The Institute has always followed the artist’s work and finally acquired the four works below, in 2020.

  • “Porninho”, 2013, glass and metallic bird nest, 40 x 140 cm
  • ‘Da série Vistanã”, 2016, glass and taxidermied bird, 100 x 40 cm
  • ‘Da série Vistanã”, 2013, glass and taxidermied bird, 60 x 60 cm
  • “Indo adentro”, 2010, metal and taxidermy bird, 90 x 180 cm

Luiz Camillo Osorio’s texts: Besides the traditional finalist’s interviews of the Prize, Luiz Camillo Osorio, PIPA Institute’s curator, published some texts during this year, such as “Is this art? Search me”, “Luiz Camillo Osorio and Hans-Michael Herzog discuss Larin American Art in the current world”, “Aleta Valente – stage play (jogos de cena)”, “Conversation between Luiz Camillo Osorio, Isabela Souza (Elã – Escola Livre de Arte) and Aruan Braga (Imagens do Povo)”, and “Curating through film and other curatorial crossroads: a reply to Guilherme Gutman”. See the full list here.


We thank the artists and the Nominating Committee for being a part of this edition of the PIPA Prize, the Board for another year of partnership and, of course, our audience for keeping up with the mission to encourage Brazilian Contemporary Art. A great 2021 to all!

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