22 October 2020 to 10 January 2021 / Opening: 21 October, 6 pm
The Zurich Art Prize, awarded annually by Museum Haus Konstruktiv and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd, goes in 2020 to Amalia Pica (b. in 1978 in Neuquén, lives and works in London). This Argentinian artist is the thirteenth winner of the internationally renowned award. The prize is endowed with CHF 100,000, of which CHF 20,000 go to the respective winner and the other CHF 80,000 are used for the production of a solo exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv.
The installations, sculptures, drawings, films, photographs and performances by Amalia Pica demonstrate a minimalist language of forms and, on closer inspection, show themselves to be multilayered and complex. The themes that Pica often incorporates into her artwork include language, as well as verbal and nonverbal communication, or the exchange and transfer of information. She is particularly interested in the weak points, flaws and blind spots in historical and contemporary communication models and technologies, and she makes it possible to experience these visibly, audibly and physically in her works. In the 2013 multimedia piece A ∩ B ∩ C (A intersection B intersection C), for example, Pica uses the Venn diagram, which was removed from the curriculum during the Argentine military dictatorship (1976–1983) due to fears that this set diagram might encourage subversive collective coalitions. For A ∩ B ∩ C, Pica makes four performers keep producing new arrangements and intersections by combining geometric colored acrylic-glass forms. The communicative potential made visible by this performative act is then still retained by the forms when they are leant against the wall and presented as an installation.
Amalia Pica enthused the Zurich Art Prize jury by means of her precise engagement with political and sociological themes, based on scientific research and findings. The fact that Pica, with her formal language, shares the same thematic focus as Museum Haus Konstruktiv, was already established in the 2019 group exhibition Concrete Contemporary.
Amalia Pica, Work in the background: (un)heard, 2016. Collection Cc Foundation, Shanghai (1) / A ∩ B ∩ C (line), 2013. Installation with perspex shapes and occasional performance. Courtesy Amalia Pica and Herald St, London (2/3)