The public at the opening of the PIPA exhibitions, 2023, Paço Imperial, Photo by Fabio Souza

PIPA Prize 2023 retrospective: check out the main moments of this year’s edition

As 2023 draws to a close, we are concluding another edition of PIPA Prize. In this fourteenth year of the Prize, which had 73 participants, we met 61 more names and encountered again with 12 artists at another point in their production. PIPA 2023 brought together artists from different regions of Brazil, who use a variety of techniques and explore multiple themes, in a selection that highlights the diversity and strength of Brazilian contemporary art.

Each year, we renew our commitment to supporting the national scene, a commitment that began in 2009 with the creation of the PIPA Institute, aimed at documenting and promoting the vibrant world of Brazilian artistic expression by turning efforts and investments towards the production of artists. The Institute’s first and best-known initiative is the PIPA Prize, held for the first time in 2010 and which, over all these years, has become a lasting initiative, also focusing on documentation in order to contribute to research into Brazilian art by providing extensive material. PIPA’s portals bring together images, texts and interviews with artists and curators; photographic and video records of the exhibitions held are produced, as well as other events, and we also make an annual catalogue with extensive content, featuring all the artists in the edition. At the same time as having a well-established structure, the Prize is always re-evaluated and updated in order to remain relevant and adapt to the new demands of the constantly changing art scene.

In addition to holding the Prize, the PIPA Institute has also carried out a number of other actions over the years, such as acquiring works by artists participating in the PIPA Prize, commissioning projects, loaning pieces from the collection for shows in other institutions, exhibitions of thematic selections from the collection, PIPA at Home (supporting artists during the pandemic), the PIPA Podcast and publications.

Take a look back at PIPA’s main highlights in 2023 as we prepare for the 2024 edition:

  • The Prize

Pages were created on the PIPA Prize’s websites, in Portuguese and English, for all the artists of the edition, and each one of them was invited to do a videointerview with Do Rio Filmes to present more about their production. Explore this edition’s participants here.

This year, PIPA counted with the following invited Board members: Ana AvelarBruno Scharfstein, Marcelo Mattos Araújo, Luís Antônio Almeida Braga and Tadeu Chiarelli – who were joined by the PIPA Institute Board composed of Roberto Vinhaes, Lucrecia Vinhaes and Luiz Camillo Osorio. This group was responsible for, among other activities, making up the Nominating Committee, which has the task of nominating the artists who will participate in the Prize. This year, the Committee, that is composed by Brazilians from all regions of the country, brought together 28 renowned professionals who work with contemporary art. The group is formed mostly by critics and curators, but also includes artists, collectors and professors.

The Nominating Committee members nominated up to three visual artists with a career trajectory no longer than 15 years (from the first solo or group show), focusing on the latest production in the artistic circuit. For their nominations, the following parameters should be considered: the distinguished production and the relevance of the Prize for better development and growth of the artist, still in an early stage of their career.

The PIPA Prize Board selected four artists among this edition’s participants to be considered the Awarded Artists of PIPA 2023: Glicéria Tupinambá, Helô Sanvoy, Iagor Peres and Luana VitraThe group shows how plural the Brazilian production of art is, mixing diverse languages and knowledges and being developed throughout the country. When the choice was announced, the curator of the PIPA Institute, Luiz Camillo Osorio, wrote that the Awarded Artists “make explicit the plastic strength extracted from dissident bodies and their daily struggles. More than just the conquest of visibility, they fill in the gaps with meaning. Symptomatically, the presence of dance, the body and performance permeates the four poetics. The metabolization of materials, the transfiguration of mineral and organic elements (iron, glass, leather, skin), the displacement of bodies, the retrieval of the memory of ancestral practices and rituals, everything in these productions speaks of transition, of passage, of the abandonment of fixed identities and the search for indeterminate symbiosis”.

The four artists participated in a group show at Paço Imperial, Rio de Janeiro, and did an online takeover on the Prize’s websites and social media, and each of them received a donation of R$20,000.

PIPA Awarded Artists and PIPA Online most voted artists were not requested to make any artwork donation. The changes in the last editions match our goal to contemplate more artists on the Prize’s trajectory, as well as to make our collection more diverse and pluralistic. We want to distribute the Institute’s resources in a broader way and to encourage other artists that have already participated in past editions by commissioning and acquiring new pieces.

  • PIPA Online

PIPA Online remained optional for all participants of the Prize’s current edition, with an online voting in two rounds. Just like previous years, on the first round it was necessary to vote in, at least, three artists. In the second round, the voter could choose only one among the artists who received more than 500 votes in the first phase. A total of 22.254 votes were counted, distributed among the 70 participants.

The two most voted artists of this year’s PIPA Online were the Retratistas do Morro collective and André Mendes, with 1.444 and 1.083 votes in the second round, respectively. They were awarded with a R$5,000 donation each. The Retratistas ran an impressive community campaign, which mobilized many people and counted with banners in squares, projections on buildings, posters, cultural events, school visits and Wi-Fi hotspots to make voting more accessible. Read more about the campaign here. Read also André Mendes’ account of his participation in PIPA and the surprises he had during the PIPA Online voting.

This virtual showcase, which seeks to be 100% democratic and decentralized, is specially relevant for the artists outside of the Rio-São Paulo area that are not represented by any gallery: through the voting, they find a way to mobilize people and, thus, to disseminate even more their work.

  • The PIPA Foundation and the residency opportunity in London

This year also saw the beginning of the activities carried out by The PIPA Foundation, a UK-registered charity that was born as a partner of the PIPA Institute in order to promote the growth and recognition of Brazilian contemporary art beyond the country’s borders – with the common goal of supporting artists, curators and researchers, facilitating their development and presenting their outstanding creations and studies to a diverse international audience.

For the first initiative, The PIPA Foundation has launched its own residency opportunity for young curators, in partnership with the Chelsea College of Arts and TrAIN at UAL. The successful candidate will spend four weeks in London, from July 15 to August 12, 2024, where they will have the opportunity to develop their curatorial research, with access to the world’s leading museums, art galleries and libraries. At the end of the residency, the candidate will present their project, write an article for the Institute’s website and take part in the Nominating Committee for the following year’s PIPA Prize.

Applications closed on December 17: at the end of January, five candidates will be contacted by email for an interview that will take place between January 29 and February 8, 2024. The selected candidate will be announced on February 19.

  • The exhibitions at Paço Imperial

The exhibitions ‘PIPA 2023 Awarded Artists: Glicéria Tupinambá, Helô Sanvoy, Iagor Peres and Luana Vitra’ and ‘Recent Acquisitions of the PIPA Institute’ were on show at Paço Imperial in Rio de Janeiro from September 9 to November 12.

The Recent Acquisitions exhibition, in the Terreirinho room, brought together works added to the Institute’s collection between 2022 and 2023 by contemporary Brazilian artists who are part of PIPA Prize’s history: Agrade CamízGuilherme BretasElias MarosoMaxwell AlexandreUÝRA and Xadalu Tupã Jekupé. The Institute’s collection can be seen at

On the opening day of the exhibitions, Helô Sanvoy performed “Empelo” in Paço Imperial’s Praça dos Arcos room. The title refers to being completely naked, nudity that is exercised during the action, in which the artist, after making an extension of his hair with leather braids (a material he understands as a living being), positions the braids on a hook on the wall and stretches his body, trying to uphold himself with his hair, with his feet positioned on a small wooden support.

As part of the opening program, a guided tour was also offered to the public, with co-founder Lucrécia Vinhaes and curator Luiz Camillo Osorio as hosts, representing the PIPA Institute. The attentive and interested public was able to learn more about the idea behind and the history of the Prize and the Institute; to keep up with the changes implemented in recent editions and to hear about the works on display, which were commissioned and acquired in the last years. In addition to that, the artist Guilherme Bretas attended the visit and spoke to the public about his work “Nossa Pele Reluz como Ouro”, an artificial intelligence animation with a DeepFake of historical portraits taken in the 19th century.

In the Terreiro room, the guided tour at the Awarded Artists exhibition was joined by the four artists, who talked about their works and research themes to the public. Since 2020, the Prize’s exhibition is no longer competitive, and it constitutes a celebration of these artists being chosen as winners of the edition. Thus, Glicéria, Helô, Iagor and Luana shared the Terreiro space with juxtaposed works, positioned in order to highlight the possible permeabilities and increasing their power as a whole. Without a rigid expography, they create a space together in a free and fluid way, with the exhibition being written by several hands.

At the end of the opening, the public and the artists enjoyed a confraternization in the central courtyard of the Paço Imperial.

Based on an educational initiative in partnership with Paço Imperial, weekly guided tours were offered throughout the exhibition period, carried out by PIPA exhibition mediators. This year, we once again organized the wall of notes, a practice from other editions of the Prize that provides a space for visitors to use post-its and colored pencils to share ideas and thoughts.

Read more about the opening of the exhibitions here.

Photos by Fabio Souza.

  • Videos of the exhibitions

As part of the Prize’s editions, and as further reference material and a record of this moment in national art, videos related to the exhibition are produced by Do Rio Filmes. Check out below (subtitles are available):

Video of the setting of the Awarded Artists show, featuring interviews with each one of them

Guided visit at the opening of the PIPA 2023 Awarded Artists Exhibition

  • The Awarded Artists Online Takeover 

From October 2 until 28, the four artists presented – with a week reserved to each one – special content here on the website and on PIPA Prize’s social media. Among the material shared, the takeover counted with exclusive videos, photos of artworks and critical texts and interviews.

The idea of the online takeover came about during the Covid-19 pandemic, in 2020, when an in-person exhibition was not possible. The good reception by the public showed, however, that this format was worth maintaining as another way of bringing those who follow the Prize closer to the artists, even after the resumption of exhibitions in physical spaces. Thus, the Takeover became an individual standout moment for each artist, an opportunity to present even more of their own work, and also a way to communicate with those who could not visit the exhibition at Paço Imperial.

Check out each artist’s takeover on the links below (in the order they took place):





  • PIPA 2023 Catalogue

At each edition of the PIPA Prize, we put together a bilingual catalogue that assembles all the information from the edition and that has original material about the winners of the year. The 2023 catalogue includes interviews with the Awarded Artists – Glicéria Tupinmabá, Helô Sanvoy, Iagor Peres and Luana Vitra – by the PIPA Institute curator, Luiz Camillo Osorio, and exclusive critical texts about this edition’s awardees, written by Mariana Lacerda and Patricia Cornils, Rachel Vallego, Denise Ferreira da Silva, and abigail Campos Leal. Beyond that, the catalogue counts with pictures of the works and information about the 73 participating artists; statistics graph related to the Prize and images of the new works acquired by the PIPA Institute.

The Prize’s catalogues can be downloaded for free in PDF format. The presence of critical material and the efforts to improve and enrich the publication’s content with each edition strengthen PIPA’s mission to record and disseminate Brazilian contemporary art, making the catalog an increasingly important source of research on the subject. Art students, teachers, curators and critics can use the material made available by PIPA as a reference.

To download this edition’s catalogue for free, click here.

  • New acquisitions: the artworks that are now part of the collection

The PIPA Institute collection focuses on artworks from artists who participate in the Prize and it is oriented by the guiding concept “Displacement”, in its various definitions. It may mean the movement of objects or people from a place to another; could be mandatory or spontaneous, and there is a feeling of urgency and a need of self invention associated with displacements – between countries, bodies, sexuality, identity, artistic languages, and supports. The works in the collection are available for loans, exhibitions have been held and we are open to developing new projects and partnerships.

We believe in the relevance of fomenting artistic practices, supporting the production of new artworks and projects, with the mission of contributing to the international acknowledgment of Brazilian contemporary art. Thus, in the last year, some new acquisitions have been made. Among them, more works by Elias Maroso, PIPA Prize 2020 nominee, and a video mapping by Guilherme Bretas, nominated in 2023.

The Institute’s collection currently includes 196 works distributed over 289 pieces by 63 artists, all of whom have participated in at least one edition of the PIPA Prize. The complete collection and more information about the PIPA Institute can be found online at

See below all the recently acquired works: some by Maroso were in the Recent Acquisitions exhibition this year at Paço Imperial, as well as the video mapping by Bretas.

– Elias Maroso

– Guilherme Bretas

  • Event to bring the artists closer to the public: conversation with Luana Vitra, Vitória Cribb and Vivian Caccuri

On September 12, the PIPA Institute held a conversation with the artists Luana VitraVitória Cribb and Vivian Caccuri on the theme “The construction of the artist: development of poetics, encounter with materials”. The event, which was free and open to the public, took place in the Sala dos Arcos room at Paço Imperial in Rio de Janeiro, bringing together several people to hear the artists share more about their careers, including the relationship with and choice of materials they use and the themes they explore, addressing their research and experience of the artistic field. They also reflected on the Brazilian aspect of their work, and gave some advice for artists in the beginning of their careers. The event was part of the Institute’s intention to provide moments of rapprochement between artists who have participated in the Prize and the public, creating spaces for exchange and reflection on contemporary Brazilian art.

The event was organized and curated by members of the PIPA team – Lucrécia Vinhaes and Alexia Carpilovsky – in partnership with artistic director Carla Oliveira, part of the Nominating Committee of PIPA 2023.

This conversation is available as an episode of the PIPA Podcast (in Portuguese): listen to it now here on the website or access it on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple podcast. The full video of the conversation is available below, but you can also watch it directly on the PIPA Prize YouTube channel.

The PIPA Institute stands by the belief that by investing in Brazilian contemporary art, we may help bring about a more plural, more integrated, less unequal future. The continuity of the Prize, each year, is the renewal of this commitment.

See you in 2024, on the 15th edition of the Prize!

Photo by Fabio Souza

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