paulo mendes da rocha wins 2016 praemium imperiale international arts award
 
paulo mendes da rocha wins 2016 praemium imperiale international arts award
sep 13, 2016

paulo mendes da rocha wins 2016 praemium imperiale international arts award

paulo mendes da rocha is the 2016 laureate of the praemium imperiale international arts award. the annually awarded global prize is decided by six nomination committees, who propose candidates in five fields: painting, sculpture, architecture, music and theater/film. filmmaker martin scorsese, photographer cindy sherman, sculptor annette messager, and violinist gidon kremer have also been recognized. earlier this year, mendes da rocha was awarded the golden lion for lifetime achievement at the venice architecture biennale.

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national coach museum, 2015, lisbon, portugal
image by aménio teixeira, courtesy of paulo mendes da rocha
portrait of paulo mendes da rocha courtesy of japan art association

 

 

known for his innovative work with concrete and steel, mendes da rocha has completed a number of projects in his home city of são paulo. born in 1928, the brazilian architect showed prodigious talent from an early age, winning the competition to design the gymnasium in the paulistano athletics club at the age of 29. this successful project was followed by others, such as the renovation of the pincoteca do estado de são paulo, the brazilian museum of sculpture, and the patriarch plaza redevelopment project.

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former residence of paulo mendes da rocha, 1960, são paulo, brazil
image courtesy of japan art association

 

 

at a ceremony in tokyo on october 18, 2016, his imperial highness prince hitachi, honorary patron of the japan art association, and his wife, her imperial highness princess hitachi, will present each winner of the praemium imperiale with a specially-designed gold medal, a testimonial letter, and 15 million yen (approximately $143,000 USD).

 

‘I see that it’s not a prize for me, as a person, but it’s a sort of commemoration of our friendship, the people of japan and the people of brazil,’ commented paulo mendes da rocha on receiving the award.

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pinacoteca do estado de são paulo, 1993, são paulo, brazil
image courtesy of japan art association

 

 

the 2016 praemium imperiale laureates join 139 of the greatest cultural figures of the 20th and 21st centuries, including: christo and jeanne-claude, norman foster, frank gehry, david hockney, and renzo piano. ‘the praemium imperiale honors the greatest artists of our time,’ said hisashi hieda, chairman of the japan art association. ‘their glorious creations remind us that art is a universal language, bridging geographic boundaries and enhancing all our lives.’

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patriarch square portico, 2002, são paulo, brazil
image courtesy of japan art association

 

 

the praemium imperiale international arts award was created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the japan art association and to honor the late prince takamatsu, who was the association’s honorary patron for 58 years.

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