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Last week in Paris, the Reiffers Art Initiatives celebrated the launch of its first-ever Reiffers Art Initiatives Prize with a group exhibition titled “Des corps libres, une jeune scene français” (or “Free bodies, a young French scene”). Presented with support from Gucci, the exhibition is open through May 28 at Mazarine’s Studio des Acacias, where the work of 14 young artists looks at ideas of bodily metamorphosis.
Curator Thibaut Wychowanok invites viewers to consider and celebrate the diversity of the body, its struggles, and its emancipation in our contemporary moment through artworks spanning a myriad of mediums. With scenography conceived by La Mode en Images, visitors at the historic Parisian venue will find these themes explored through the lens of artists Ymane Chabi-Gara, Salomé Chatriot, Jean Claracq, Kenny Dunkan, Ben Elliot, Tarek Lakhrissi, Chalisée Naamani, Valentin Ranger, Sara Sadik, Pol Taburet, Sophie Varin, Julie Villard and Simon Brossard, Manon Wertenbroek, and Gaspar Willmann, From these creators, Wychowanok has intermingled works like the sculptural Untitled (Kouniamanmanw) from Dunkan, which exists in the center of one room, a giant projection of Lakhrissi’s Spiraling, and tiny painted canvases by Varin, which hang side-by-side on the wall.
Just prior to the opening, the foundation announced the award of the inaugural prize to the featured artist Taburet—whose large-scale 2021 composition A Rude Reflection is situated on a sanguine wall, complementing the composition’s palette of vivid red, blue, yellow, and green. Selected for his quality and sensitivity in a practice that utilizes disfiguration of the body to create new figures in the representation of Black bodies, Taburet’s selection as the prized laureate encompasses a monetary award of €10,000, along with a commission for a monumental work that will join the collection of the Reiffers Art Initiatives.
“After the Mentorship Program exhibition last October, which celebrated an intergenerational collaboration between young artist Kenny Dunkan and his mentor Rashid Johnson, we invite [you] to discover the creative force of a new generation of talented artists,” said Paul-Emmanuel Reiffers, the Founder of Reiffers Art Initiatives. “With the prize, we want to accelerate the recognition and the trajectory of talents whose work strives to open up the world, in its complexity and diversity.”