The Noguchi Museum in New York is currently hosting the 2023 Loewe Foundation Craft Prize exhibition, featuring artworks from 30 finalists, until June 18. The selection process for the prize began with an open call in July 2022 and lasted several months. In January 2023, a panel of experts gathered in Spain to shortlist the most exceptional works based on innovation, technical skill, and artistic vision.
Loewe Foundation Craft Prize Show at the Noguchi Museum
After deliberation in New York, the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize jury has awarded Eriko Inazaki’s artwork, “Metanoia,” as this year’s winner. This delicate piece of handcrafted ceramics exceeded expectations, meticulously constructed with hundreds of tiny components. The intricate forms are layered, arranged, and attached to a clay core before being fired in the kiln, resulting in a captivating and intricate artwork. The fragility of the individual components adds a touch of magic to the work, while their meticulous composition creates a vibrant energy across its surface, evoking a symphony. Inazaki’s piece represents an impressive blend of technical excellence and artistic expression.
The jury praised Inazaki for the artwork’s virtuosity and her unique approach to ceramics ornamentation, which stood out as unlike anything they had seen before.
Along with the prize, two special mentions were awarded. Moe Watanabe received one for her artwork titled “Transfer Surface,” a box made of bark that pays tribute to natural seasonal cycles and evokes the ancient Ikebana tradition. The artwork highlights the tactile qualities of bark and incorporates rivets reminiscent of architectural construction and repair.
The other special mention was granted to Dominique Zinkpè for his work titled “The Watchers.” This tall and intricately detailed wall sculpture is composed of individual wooden pieces meticulously assembled to resemble small Ibéji figurines, invoking traditional Yoruba beliefs associated with multiple births. The jury recognized this piece for its sculptural reinterpretation of traditional beliefs and its exploration of the potential of contemporary craft.
The jury of The Craft Prize consisted of 13 influential individuals from the fields of architecture, design, journalism, criticism, and museum curatorship, including Dahye Jeong, who was the recipient of last year’s Loewe prize.
The Loewe Foundation Craft Prize aims to recognize and support exceptionally skilled artisans from around the world, regardless of age or gender, who create objects of remarkable aesthetic value. By acknowledging works that reinterpret existing knowledge in a contemporary context, while reflecting the individual artistic expression and unique craftsmanship of the makers, the Loewe Foundation seeks to emphasize the enduring contribution of craftsmanship to art and life.
Enrique Loewe Lynch, a fourth-generation member of the founding family of Loewe established the Loewe Foundation as a private cultural foundation in 1988. Under the leadership of Sheila Loewe, daughter of Enrique Loewe Lynch, the Foundation remains committed to nurturing creativity, providing support to educational programs, and preserving heritage across various artistic domains, including poetry, dance, photography, art, and craft.
Photo courtesy of The Noguchi Museum
Featured image: Inazaki, Loewe Foundation Craft Prize winner