The annual $15,000 prize, organized by Villa Albertine and France’s Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art (CPGA), recognizes a work of great significance by a contemporary France-based artist.
Miami Beach, December 8, 2023 — Daniel Otero Torres and mor charpentier have earned the 2023 CPGA – Etant donnés Prize, which rewards excellence in contemporary creation and fosters visibility for the French art scene abroad. The prize is a collaboration between Villa Albertine (the French institution in the US dedicated to the exchange of art and ideas) and France’s Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art (CPGA). Any gallery presenting at least one work from a French or France-based artist at Art Basel Miami Beach was eligible to apply for the prize.
The jury noted: “After intense and thoughtful consideration, due to the high quality of this year’s applicants, we, as a jury, are pleased to present this award to Daniel Otero Torres and his gallery mor charpentier. Otero Torres’s work delves into the complexities of identity, migration, and the impact of globalization on diverse communities. The jury was impressed by the artist’s adept use of various mediums and techniques to convey poignant messages, fostering a deeper understanding of the intricate web of social and environmental issues. His ability to provoke critical engagement and reflection on the intersection of nature, capitalism, and politics was particularly commendable. The nuanced storytelling evident in Otero Torres’s practice adds a layer of depth and complexity to the narratives explored, making a significant contribution to the broader artistic conversation. We also wanted to underline the relationship between the artist and gallerist, Mor Charpentier, and their commitment to fostering critical dialogue and encouraging viewers to confront uncomfortable truths. Their work together not only pushes the boundaries of contemporary art and its representation but also serve as powerful vehicles for raising awareness and promoting critical discussions on pressing global issues. We, as a jury, wholeheartedly congratulate them on their well-deserved recognition with this award.”
Daniel Otero Torres
Daniel Otero Torres was born in 1985 in Bogota. He currently lives and works in Paris. The multidisciplinary work of Daniel Otero Torres encompasses sculpture, installation, ceramics, pictorial practice, as well as drawing, which connects from the beginning all his creative facets. Many of his works stand out precisely because of an absolutely unique technique that explores the frontier between drawing and sculpture, marked by a virtuous photorealistic trait applied on monumental cut-out steel structures. This process manages to create a dislocation of materials and contexts. Generally, his images do not represent a single person but a visual and historical collage created from different sources, from archives and old books to images found in contemporary newspapers or online sources. The artist is interested in notions of resistance and revolution—exemplified in the marginalized or ignored groups that have played an essential role in recent history—but also in images of demonstration, celebration and reconciliation as drivers of social change. More recently, ecological concerns have also found their way into his work as an indissociable element of contemporary activism. Otero Torres pays special attention to the harmful effects of exacerbated capitalism on biodiversity or indigenous peoples, while questioning the viewer about the links between nature and global politics.
Established in Paris since 2010, mor charpentier represents both emerging and well-established artists whose conceptual practices are anchored in the social realities, history and politics of contrasting geographic regions, with special attention to the Global South. By promoting engaged practices internationally, the gallery aims at broadening the knowledge about the crucial debates of the present. A significant inaugural show with Colombian master Oscar Munoz filled a void in the French artistic scene, and set a tone for a program focused on content and willing to broaden the spectrum of origins, subjects and identities in the art market. Ever since, a growing number of major international artists have joined the gallery. Coming from global backgrounds and different generations, they all share a commitment with either political, feminist, post-colonial, queer or human rights causes. In 2021 mor charpentier opened a second exhibition space in Bogota. This expansion was driven by the will to widen the reach of the gallery program to new publics as well as to fulfill the desire of the artists to explore new territories. It also consolidates a long-term bond with the Latin American scene, a strong commitment to support the Colombian artistic ecosystem, and confirms the international projection of the gallery.
Daniel Otero Torres said, “Currently in Paris under the winter rain, the first thing that comes to my mind after hearing the wonderful news, is that suddendly I feel the warmth that I’ve always been searching throughout my works. Thank you to mor charpentier for their support and all the people that made this happen.”
The selection was made by a jury of major French and American collectors and institutional directors: Executive Director of Dallas Contemporary Carolina Alvarez-Matties, Director and Chief Curator of Gund Gallery at Kenyon College Daisy Desrosiers, collector François Sarkozy, and art historians, philanthropists and collectors Catherine Petitgas and Estrellita Brodsky.
The CPGA-Etant donnés Prize is named after the Etant donnés Fund, which since 1994 has awarded over $4.2 million in support of 400+ projects, 40 curators, and hundreds of art institutions across the US and France. The internationally renowned Fund is managed by Villa Albertine and Albertine Foundation, in partnership with the French Embassy in the United States, with the support of the Ministry of Culture, the Institut français, the Ford Foundation, the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, and ADAGP.
The first Prize, awarded in 2019 at the Armory Show, went to Kapwani Kiwanga, represented by Galerie Jérome Poggi. Last year it was awarded to Julien Creuzet and his galleries High Art and Andrew Kreps. Creuzet will represent France at the 2024 Venice Biennale. In 2023, the name of the prize has evolved to highlight the partnership between Villa Albertine and Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art.
Comité Professionnel des Galeries d’Art (CPGA)
Since 1947, the Professional Committee of Art Galleries (CPGA) represents galleries in France and defends their interests with politicians, institutional representatives and administrative authorities. It takes part in the elaboration of art market regulations and contributes to cultural policies favoring the development of the art sector. The Comité informs and advises its 340 member galleries, from antique dealers to contemporary art galleries, on the specifics of their status and obligations. For several years, the CPGA has been involved in major cultural events in order to build a better visibility of art galleries, true partners of artistic creation. It also works to develop the French art scene internationally.