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Acquisition Prize

The Prize
MMAT Acquisition Prize is conceived as an itinerant award aimed at supporting emerging art in all its forms. The main purpose of the Prize is to allow young artists and their projects to grow with a view to discovering, valorizing and highlighting the best of the new trends of international contemporary art. 

MMAT Acquisition Prize doesn’t have a fixed focus in terms of medium, nor it has a predetermined Selection Committee, as its purpose is to be nomadic and adaptable to different contexts and countries.
The Prize will be paired with different art events, festivals, fairs or exhibitions with an innovative, experimental and international approach.

The Selection Committee is headed by Mauro Mattei, joined by other members (curators, art critics, directors of museums, collectors etc.) connected to the Prize’s context. The awarded artist’s artwork becomes part of the Mauro Mattei Art Trust: the goal is to valorise and support those artists that are part of it. The collection today features more than forty international artists born between the 80’s and the 90’s.
Past Prizes
The Third Edition of the Prize
London – April 17 2021

Following the first and second edition of MMAT Acquisition Prize in 2019 and 2020, Mauro Mattei Art Trust Collection announces the winner of the third edition of its Acquisition Prize

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The Third Edition of the Prize
London – April 17 2021

Following the first and second edition of MMAT Acquisition Prize in 2019 and 2020, Mauro Mattei Art Trust Collection announces the winner of the third edition of its Acquisition Prize

Discover
Second edition
Online - April 28/04 2020

Following the first edition of MMAT  Acquisition Prize in 2019, Mauro Mattei Art Trust launches the second edition of the Prize for 2020, the very first fully digital acquisition prize ever made accompanied by the first remote cocktail reception taking place on the 28th April 2020

Discover
Second edition
Online - April 28/04 2020

Following the first edition of MMAT  Acquisition Prize in 2019, Mauro Mattei Art Trust launches the second edition of the Prize for 2020, the very first fully digital acquisition prize ever made accompanied by the first remote cocktail reception taking place on the 28th April 2020

Discover
First edition
Lisbon - May 14/19 2019

The first edition of MMAT Acquisition Prize has been conceived for FEAFestival dos Espaços dos Artistas de Lisboa, in order to be the first acquisition project of the MMAT Collection, which is institutionally aimed to promote and support emergent art in all its forms.

Discover
First edition
Lisbon - May 14/19 2019

The first edition of MMAT Acquisition Prize has been conceived for FEAFestival dos Espaços dos Artistas de Lisboa, in order to be the first acquisition project of the MMAT Collection, which is institutionally aimed to promote and support emergent art in all its forms.

Discover
The Third Edition of the Prize
London – April 17 2021
Following the first and second edition of MMAT Acquisition Prize in 2019 and 2020, Mauro Mattei Art Trust Collection announces the winner of the third edition of its Acquisition Prize
The Third Edition of the Prize

After having focused in 2019 on the artists capabilities of working collectively in an urban environment and in 2020 on the artists giving the most significant contribution to the  dialogue on the new digital art fruition as a matter of art investigation on a global scale, the 2021 selection criteria have taken on a different angle. This edition’s selection criteria have been focused on awarding whom among the artists born from 1985 to 1995 has the greatest potential in terms of artistic career based on one specific element: the capability to combine artistic research on the most relevant current social and political issues with a solid presence in the art market and simultaneously with a significant institutional visibility.
 
 
 The Committee has been invited to propose a shortlist of international artists who have more successfully integrated their artistic practice with the most sensitive issues of our recent times: from gender identity to race conflicts, from world-spread diasporas up to immigration.
 
 The short list has been the following:
 
 - Nora Aurrekoetxea  
 - Lena Marie Emrich
 - Nicholas Grafia
 - Petrit Halilaj
 - Aneta Kajzer
 - Miriam Kongstad
 - Ser Serpas
 - Marianna Simnett

The Selection Committee

The 2021 Selection Committee has been formed by four international art professionals selected among the most actively engaged in supporting emerging artists worldwide and chaired by MMAT’s founder Mauro Mattei:
 
- Valeria and Marco Curina (founders of Marval Collection, Milan)
- Valeria Biamonti (art advisor and collector, London) 
- Georgie Pope (Curator at Independent Collectors, Berlin)

The Winner

The Prize has been attributed to the artist who has had the most distinguishable relevance not only in terms of quality of artistic practice but also in terms of institutional presence and market appreciation during 2020: Petrit Halilaj.
 
 
 Petrit Halilaj 
 Abetare (Clouds), 2019
 Steel sculpture.
 Enlarged reproduction of a drawing found on the school tables of the Primary School "Shotë Galica" Runik, Kosovo.

 320 × 253 × 4.5 cm
 
 
 The series Abetare comprises enlarged steel embodiments of pencil engravings made by generations of Kosovarian elementary schoolchildren on their classroom desks. The desks were taken from the Primary School “Shotë Galica”, where Halilaj studied as a child. During a visit to his former school in 2010, Halilaj witnessed and documented its demolition in favor of a modern building.
 The work of Petrit Halilaj centers on the history of his home country Kosovo and his personal experiences fleeing war and migrating across lands and cultures. In Abetare, the artist recalls the experience of his childhood before war took over his country in 1997, celebrating the limitless imagination of children that is infused with playfulness and innocence. 
 Abetare was displayed for the first time on the occasion of Halilaj’s solo exhibition at Kölnischer Kunstverein in April 2015. In 2017, Halilaj continued this project and elaborated on the table series, shown at the Second Edition of the Mario Merz Prize in Turin, where his presentation won the prize. 
 Petrit Halilaj’s Abetare is an artwork capable to ignite a debate about the most relevant issues and dynamics of the world we live in as well as triggering a meaningful discussion on our social and political environment.  The Prize has never been conceived to be a “political” award but has selected the artist who has been working deeply beyond the aesthetics and the formal art production with an eye to the present and on the confusing and troubled current times.

Second edition
Online - April 28/04 2020
Following the first edition of MMAT  Acquisition Prize in 2019, Mauro Mattei Art Trust launches the second edition of the Prize for 2020, the very first fully digital acquisition prize ever made accompanied by the first remote cocktail reception taking place on the 28th April 2020
The Second Edition of the Prize

In times of global pandemic, the fruition of art has been forced to become more if not exclusively digital. And even more, it is felt the need to contribute to the contemporary art fragile ecosystem as emerging galleries and artists are the heartbeat of the art world and are facing economic challenges during this unprecedented period.

That is why Mauro Mattei has decided to launch the 2020 Edition of the Prize in the Context of a totally digital initiative: Preview London on Artland.
From April 7 until April 28 on “Artland viewing rooms” it will be showcased a number of group exhibitions.  The first three galleries participating are Bosse & Baum (London), Clima Gallery (Milan), and Damien & The Love Guru (Brussels).
The artists showcased are Carlotta Bailly-Borg, Luke Burton, Merike Estna, and Mary Stephenson (by Bosse and Baum, London), Gianluca Concialdi and Matteo Nasini (by Clima Gallery, Milan), Christiane Blattmann, Vanessa Disler, Mickael Marman, and Jannis Marwitz (by Damien & The Love Guru, Brussels).




The Selection Commitee

The 2020 Selection Committee will be formed by four international collectors selected among the most actively engaged in supporting emerging artists worldwide and chaired by MMAT’s founder Mauro Mattei: Francesco and Sveva Taurisano (Collezione Taurisano, Naples), Sarah Bibas Zolotoff (London), Tobias Arndt (Brussels).

The Selection Committee will announce the awarded artwork at the end of Preview London #1: the selection criteria will be to focus on whom among the artists is giving the most significant contribution to the analysis on how art-making is changing in this difficult time and to the dialogue on the new art fruition as a matter of art investigation on a global scale.

The Winner

Mary’s work grasped the confusion and anxiousness on subconscious levels of the current times. Looking at her works one can see the absurdity of life, but also a broad spectrum of emotions and feelings. Painting for Mary is a wonderful exercise in playing with all those feelings. She’s orchestrating and conducting a narrative that pulls, tugs, inflates, discards and tests all of those feelings. The characters she paints come straight from her head and tend to be depicting an emotion she is unable to externally express. The artwork chosen to be part of Mauro Mattei Art Trust Collection is:

Catch of the Day, 2019, Oil on canvas, 183 x 213 cm

Mary Stephenson (b.1989) lives and works in London. Her paintings weave narratives around the viewer which draw them into complex and surreal scenes. While exuding a mood of tension and apprehension, Stephenson’s canvases are simultaneously undercut with a distinctive, carnivalesque comedy that stems from a cast of characters who vie for attention with anthropomorphised objects: a sad bowl of olives, a startled fork, a wistful piece of Stilton. Both controlling and controlled by the situations in which she places them, these objects play a central role in her works. The works are semi-autobiographical, reflecting on a childhood which Stephenson describes as “Greek tragedy, while reality happened off-stage”, and her more recent experience of loss and grieving. Her experience is reflected in the frenzied and intangible mass of scenes and interactions, rooted in her use of mesmerizing props and objects which fascinate her in the real world. Stephenson creates a feverish mass of scenes and interactions which are symbolic of these transformative experiences. She is captivated by the roles we perform and the stage sets that we build around us in order to catch up with imagined future versions of ourselves. Stephenson plays on the theme of conspicuous consumption in many of these works, in a nuanced exploration of the human desire to fit in and belong. Whether it is the places we go, the people we meet or the food we eat; everything we do is attached to a projected idea of self. Through elements of performance, Stephenson asks the viewer to examine our own patterns of consumption. She explains “My paintings have become a stage in themselves for me. A sorting room for me to layer up my excess of anxious thoughts and play out narratives on the canvas. When I finish a painting, and a solid thing sits in front of me, a sense of calm wraps around me.” Mary Stephenson offers us a magnifying glass with which we can look more closely at our own constructed identities. Within the paintings the artist is trying to elevate this conflict by exposing the internal dialogues of characters, alongside their public “performances”. Throughout the paintings Stephenson is trying to create tension and apprehension between overlapping narratives, creating a nuanced frenzied habitat in which everyone aims to ‘exist’.

A special mention from the Selection Committee goes to Double Special Mention to Jannis Marwitz (Damien & the Love Guru) and Matteo Nasini (Clima Gallery).

First edition
Lisbon - May 14/19 2019
The first edition of MMAT Acquisition Prize has been conceived for FEAFestival dos Espaços dos Artistas de Lisboa, in order to be the first acquisition project of the MMAT Collection, which is institutionally aimed to promote and support emergent art in all its forms.
The Prize

Festival dos Espaços dos Artistas de Lisboa (Festival of Lisbon Artists Spaces), is a festival dedicated to artists’ spaces, independent entities, artist studios and artist-run-spaces, spread out throughout the entire urban area of Lisbon, which open simultaneously and include original collaborative exhibition projects, events and performances.

The Prize

The main goal of MMAT Acquisition Prize for FEA Lisboa is to be consistent with the philosophy and ethics of the Festival: FEA Lisboa, the second edition of which will be taking place from the 14th to 18th of May 2019, is a project created to promote the artistic autonomy and renewal of the art system in a collaborative and mutualistic perspective.
FEA is willing to enhance the Lisbon-based artistic and cultural scene rethinking the artistic phenomenon recognizing its complexity and variability by bringing out the most innovative and spontaneous forms of cultural offer.

As FEA is aimed at stimulating a new kind of dialogue between artists and the city, the Prize (the acquisition of one work from the awarded project), will be selected among those which more distinctively will succeed in:
- Reaching a collaborative conception and creation of the exhibition and the artworks;
- Involving Lisbon urban territory, landscape and cultural heritage in the project;
- Stimulating and enhancing the entire Portuguese art scene at an international level.

MMAT ACQUISITION PRIZE: AWARD ANNOUNCEMENT

MMAT announces the awarded project of its first Acquisition Prize: “The Pathfinders” by ABCC (Alexandre Camarao and Bernardo Simões Correia).

The Pathfinders, a collaborative collective project conceived, curated and hosted by ABCC(Alexandre Camarao and Bernando Simões Correia), is the winner of the first MMAT Acquisition Prize.
The Selection Committee composed by Mauro Mattei, founder of MMAT and by Andrea Baccinand Ilaria Marotta, founders of CURA. have unanimously selected the project from the 28 artists studios and artist run spaces involved in the FEA Festival which counted 144 artists participating.

The awarded project

The Pathfinders is a 6 channel video installation, sound installation with 29 original presets created with an analog synthesizer accompanied by a limited edition book.
In the invitation email that was sent to a group of 45 artists, ABBC asked for “three images that have been created through digital means (computer, cell phone, tablet)” following a set of 8 instructions.
The mentioned “instructions,” although apparently innocent, reflect the generalised perception of what constitutes a “digital image,” i.e., a computer-produced, screen-presented image. However, that was not always the case.
The Pathfinders, in the sense of “those who open up new tracks” has been created with the purpose to emphasize the complex nature of digital images. Digital images have an open definition, and the gadget and intelligence ecology that upholds its everlasting technical improvement, with its infinite virtualities, is vast. The Pathfinders explores such multiplicity without pretending to push for a supposed digital art. In fact, that’s a very foreign notion to this project.

These 45 pathfinders are not following a single track, but a variety of them, always in close connections to their respective, individual work processes. A digital image can either work out as an auxiliary for any given process, or can embrace a poetic, expressive value of its own. The “screens” on which the images are presented, has become the long-lasting interface of digital experience, which, phenomenologically speaking, is the surface that is the guarantor of the life, the movement, and the performance of digital images. Their squareness (a distant cousin from the classical canvas) organises our perceptions and even our emotions.

The choice of the Selection Committee

As FEA Lisboa is aimed at stimulating a new kind of dialogue between artists and the city, and has been created to promote the artistic autonomy and renewal of the art system in a collaborative and mutualistic perspective, the Prize has been awarded to The Pathfinders for its consistency with the Festival’s philosophy and ethics as the project distinctively succeeded in:
- Reaching a collaborative conception and creation of the exhibition and the artworks, involving 45 artists and their very diverse practices.
- Involving the local and the International Portuguese art scene to be part of the urban territory as the project has been presented where the ABCC studio is located. 
- Stimulating and enhancing the analysis, and the dialogue on a topic (the digital image) which is a matter of art investigation on a global scale.

Special Mention

A special mention from the Selection Committee goes to Aires De Gameiro (Lisbon, 1989. Works and lives in Lisbon) among the participants to The Pathfinders project and also part for the FEA Program with a group exhibition named “There’s a horse in the backyard”.
The project has been held at Aires de Gameiro and Cintia Coutinho Atelier and included works by Aires De Gameiro, Cintia Coutinho, Ines Brites and Primeira Desordem.

Aires works have been already been an outstanding presence at the first edition of FEA in 2018 at Las Palmas, an artist run space in Lisbon, and the Selection Committee has decided to award him with a Special Mention as an artist who is deeply involved in the Lisbon art scene, as a contributor to collective and cooperative projects, having an active role for Lisbon urban territory as one of the most innovative and talented emerging artist participating to the Festival.

The Pathfinders presentation in Milan

The Pathfinders will be presented in Milan at MMAT premises on the 19th of June with a special evening dedicated to ABCC’s project.
The details of the presentation will be announced soon.

ABOUT CURA

CURA. is a curatorial/editorial platform, founded by Ilaria Marotta and Andrea Baccin in 2009, and consists of a magazine, a publishing house, and an exhibition program that works internationally in collaboration with museums, foundations, galleries, institutions and independents. Curatorial research and critical activity developed by CURA. is focused on both the investigation of new contemporary languages and on the development and implementation of new exhibition formats.