Jan 29 2018

Nil Yalter Wins Prix Aware 2018 Outstanding Merit Award

by Sophie von Wunster

Turkish-born artist NIL YALTER is this year’s winner of the Prix AWARE outstanding merit award, which recognizes a woman artist who has sustained a practice for over 30 years. Courtesy Nil Yalter.

Paris-based Turkish artist Nil Yalter has won the outstanding merit award for Prix AWARE 2018. The announcement was made by the Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibition, or AWARE, which is a nonprofit organization founded in 2014 with the aim of creating and distributing information on women artists of the 20th century. In addition to receiving a cash prize of EUR 10,000 (USD 12,400), the artist will have her works exhibited at the French National Archives in Paris and its northern suburb Pierrefitte-sur-Seine.

The award honors a woman artist whose career has spanned at least three decades. For the occasion, Yalter showed her installation Le Chevalier d’Éon (1978), which combines film, photography and painting to tell two stories that involve gender identities: one of Chevalier d’Éon, a historical figure with multiple personalities, and the other a tale of Yalter’s friend who was documented by the artist as they physically transitioned from a man into a woman.

Yalter was born in 1938 and settled in Paris in 1965. She held her first solo exhibition eight years later in the Department of Animation, Research and Confrontation (ARC) in the City of Paris’ Museum of Modern Art. In her practice, the artist analyzes relationships and trajectories between individuals to map personal identities that are imposed or self-actualized, and her works carry an intimacy that also delivers her political views. Her works are part of the collections of Tate Modern in London; Istanbul Modern; Cologne’s Museum Ludwig; and the Paris institutions Museum of Modern Art, Centre Pompidou, National Center of Plastic Arts and the City of Paris’ Museums.

This year’s jury for Prix AWARE consisted of Alfred Pacquement, honorary general heritage conservation officer and former director of the National Museum of Modern Art in Centre Pompidou, Paris; Alexia Fabre, director and head curator of the Musée d’Art Contemporain du Val-de-Marne, Vitry-sur-Seine; Stijn Huijts, director of the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht; collectors Dominique Guyot and Floriane de Saint Pierre; Frances Morris, director of Tate Modern, London; and Camille Morineau, director of exhibitions and collections of the Monnaie de Paris, and co-founder and chairwoman of AWARE.

Sophie von Wunster is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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