DESTE Prize 2013 Awarded to Kostas Sahpazis

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DESTE Prize 2013 Awarded to Kostas Sahpazis
Not Titled Yet, 2013. Metal, wood, rubber, paint, 185 x 110 x 105 cm. Courtesy: Andreas Melas & Helena Papadopoulos, Athens. Photo © Dimitris Tsoublekas.

ATHENS.- The DESTE Foundation for Contemporary Art and the Museum of Cycladic Art announced the winner of the DESTE Prize 2013.

During an Award Ceremony that took place on Monday, September 9, 2013 at the Museum of Cycladic Art, the DESTE Prize was awarded to Kostas Sahpazis.

On behalf of the Jury Committee, Ms. Bice Curiger, curator of Kunsthalle Zurich, made the following announcement:

“It is a pleasure to announce to you in the name of all the jurors the winner of the 2013 DESTE Prize, a prize which is awarded every two years to a Greek or Cypriot artist living in Greece or abroad, and presented here, in the beautiful spaces of the Museum of Cycladic Art.

It is noteworthy that the quality of this year’s exhibition of all of the six shortlisted artists is very remarkable and didn’t make our decision easy. We would also like to mention that we were particularly grateful that the artists accepted to present their works personally, answering our questions.

And now the prize: We are very happy to announce that the prize is going to be awarded to Kostas Sahpazis for his complex sculptural work, a work which is introducing an oscillating force into all sorts of defined categories of art and art history, while revolving around ideas of subtle destabilization. It seems that Kostas Sahpazis is at times creating a painting while piling up materials into delicately calibrated stacks, or accumulating objects that are and are not always what they pretend to be. Here the very concrete and the abstract meet. Drawings are made in space, sometimes reflecting ‘figurative’ elements like a citation or a portrait of the surrounding world and blurring their meaning.”

Kostas Sahpazis describes his work as being based in the properties and characteristics of materials both as natural entities and intelligible structures. Gestures, forms, ideas, and materials are archived, riven, condensed and, finally, used to form an object with a constant disposition to undermine its own form.

The materials he uses in his sculptural objects and assemblages, some of which are wall-pieces carrying attributes primarily associated with painting, range from jesmonite, resins, latex, wood, oil paint, fabric to leather, water cut steel, aluminum, copper, and red clay.

Sahpazis’ process can be summarized as a continuous shift of an original idea; the meanings of all the stages remain suspended in the resulting object.

Kostas Sahpazis was born in Drama, Greece in 1977. He lives in Athens. He studied at the School of Fine Arts, Athens and the Weißensee Kunsthochschule Berlin. Recent exhibitions include April, Sadie Coles, London, Hell As Pavilion, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, Sculptural Narration, Whitebox, Munich, The Gift of Screws, Andreas Melas & Helena Papadopoulos, Athens, RenBen, The Renaissance Society, Chicago and Petrosphere, Glasgow International Festival of Visual Art. In 2013, Sahpazis had a solo presentation in the Statements section of Art Basel, Basel, 2013 with Andreas Melas & Helena Papadopoulos.

The DESTE Prize was established in 1999 and is awarded biennially to a Greek or Cypriot artist living in Greece or abroad. The prize aims to showcase an emerging generation of artists and is integral to the foundation's policy of supporting and promoting contemporary art. The winner of the prize is selected by an international Jury of six and is awarded the amount of €10,000.

Since 2009, the DESTE Foundation has been collaborating with the Museum of Cycladic Art, where the exhibition of the DESTE Prize shortlisted artists is hosted. This collaboration between the two art institutions has become an integral part of the Museum’s “Young Views” program, which aims to develop a discussion with the younger generation, inform the general public about contemporary art and establish the appropriate environment for the fruitful exchange of ideas.

The year 2013 marks the eighth presentation of the DESTE Prize. Since its inception the Prize has been awarded to Panayota Tzamourani (1999), Georgia Sagri (2001), Maria Papadimitriou (2003), Christodoulos Panayiotou (2005), Loukia Alavanou (2007), Eirene Efstathiou (2009) and Anastasia Douka (2011).

Marianna Christofides (b. 1980, Nicosia, Cyprus)
Ilias Papailiakis (b. 1970, Crete, Greece)
Michail Pirgelis (b. 1976, Essen, Germany)
Kostas Sahpazis (b. 1977, Drama Greece)
Maria Theodoraki (b. 1977, Athens, Greece)
Alexandros Tzannis (b. 1979, Athens, Greece)

Aphrodite Gonou – Contemporary Art Advisor
Dennis Zacharopoulos – Art Historian and Critic, Artistic Director of the Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki
Eftihis Patsourakis – Artist, DESTE Prize 2011 shortlist
Nikos Pattichis – Collector, “Phileleftheros” Media Group, President
Faye Tzanetoulakou – Art Historian
Theophilos Tramboulis – Curator and Writer

Dakis Joannou – DESTE Foundation, President
John Bock – Artist
Bice Curiger – Kunsthaus Zurich, Curator
Daniel Birnbaum – Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Director
Michael Ringier – Collector
Beatrix Ruf – Kunsthalle Zurich, Director and Curator

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