Jonathan Anderson and actress Kyōka Suzuki present the 2019 Loewe Craft Prize to Genta Ishizuka.
Photo: Courtesy of the LOEWE Foundation

Loewe Foundation Awards Genta Ishizuka the 2019 Craft Prize

For the third edition of this distinguished prize, the artist has been selected for his novel use of an ancient lacquer technique

Genta Ishizuka was awarded the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize on Tuesday for his novel work with lacquer. He’s the third recipient of this prestigious award, which comes with a purse of $57,000.

“Ishizuka’s work proves that craft can be open and shows the freedom of creation,” said Loewe’s creative director, Jonathan Anderson, in a statement. “His use of an ancient lacquer technique in a contemporary form breaks conventions and represents a new sculptural vision in craft.”

The award was celebrated at the opening of the 2019 LFCP exhibition in Isamu Noguchi’s Heaven stone garden in Tokyo.

The jury comprised leading figures in the worlds of design, architecture, journalism, criticism, and museum curatorship, including Wang Shu, Anatxu Zabalbeascoa, Jennifer Lee, Naoto Fukasawa, and Patricia Urquiola. In addition to awarding Ishizuka, the jury gave special mention to two artists: Harry Morgan for Untitled from his “Dichotomy” series (2018) and Kazuhito Takadoi for his work KADO (Angle) (2018).

Genta Ishizuka with his work Surface Tactility #11 (2018), for which he was awarded the 2019 Loewe Craft Prize. Photo: Courtesy of the LOEWE Foundation

After earning a BFA from Kyoto City University of Arts and graduating with an MFA from Kyoto City University of Arts in 2008, Ishizuka had several solo exhibitions, including “Membrane Erskine” (2018) at Hall & Coe in London and “Relative Tactile” (2017) at Art Space Niji in Kyoto. His work is included in the permanent collections of the Minneapolis Institute of Art and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.

Recommended: See the 2019 Serpentine Pavilion by Architect Junya Ishigami

Since its conversion to a private institution in 1988, the Loewe Foundation has promoted the arts by organizing educational programs that protect cultural heritage in the fields of poetry, dance, photography, design, and craft. Conceived by Jonathan Anderson in 2016, the Loewe Craft Prize pays homage to the core value of the Loewe Foundation: to honor and support innovation in modern craftsmanship.

Works by the 29 finalists of the 2019 Loewe Craft Prize adorn Isamu Noguchi’s stone garden Heaven. Photo: Courtesy of the LOEWE Foundation

Diverse in technique, choice of media, and modes of expression, the 29 finalists of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize were selected from over 2,500 submissions representative of 100 different countries. With an eye toward technical achievement and creative vision, a panel of expert judges sought to identify the most cutting-edge works.

Recommended: Chiharu Shiota Takes Over Tokyo’s Mori Art Museum with Her Immersive Weavings

“The third LFCP exhibition is both a portrait of the best contemporary craft at an international level and a demonstration of what the Loewe Foundation considers craft to be,” said Zabalbeascoa, executive secretary of the Loewe Foundation Craft Prize experts panel.

The finalists of the 2019 Loewe Craft Prize. Photo: Courtesy of the LOEWE Foundation

Genta Ishikuza’s Surface Tactility #11 will be on view along with the shortlisted works at Isamu Noguchi’s indoor stone garden through July 22.

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