The portfolio of 48 shortlisted artists is assessed by the prize’s 4 jury members. The Jury has announced the six finalists in August 2019.
Comparing artists from so many different geographical and cultural backgrounds is an inherent challenge. What does it mean to evaluate someone from New York versus someone from Harare? But this is an important challenge to take on, as the globality of art has become more apparent than ever. The established centres can no longer assume they are the only centres.
The jury focused on a number of simultaneous criteria. Firstly, an artist should be at a point in their trajectory where the PCS Award offers a new visibility to their practice, and not merely affirm a position of excellence already achieved. In this sense, the award is a kind of energy booster. Secondly, the jury was keen to discover voices — aesthetic, ethical, technical — that articulate the current moment, or, even, sense what is to come. Lastly, the jury was driven by the most ineffable criteria of all: being emotionally moved, be it through the articulation of beauty, tenderness, politics or the magical.
This list contains the breadth of what is possible, and relevant, today: from the reinvigoration of painting, to new media techniques that make possible deep visceral connection via technological mediation; from extending the traditions of formalist sculpture, to intricately personal narratives that contain national multitudes.
The group exhibition including works by the six finalists will take place at Galeria Municipal do Porto, in September 2020.