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A Guide to Prizes for Contemporary Artists
A closer look 29 Sep 2013

A Guide to Prizes for Contemporary Artists

The FIAC and the ceremonies for several awards for artists are approaching, so Artsper made a (non-exhaustive) list of the prizes for contemporary art that you should know about.

The Marcel Duchamp Prize

Vue de l’exposition de Marguerite Humeau, FOX P, Palais de Tokyo, 2016 Courtesy de l’artiste © André Morin

Created in 2000, the Marcel Duchamp prize is an annual award destined to a French artist or to an artist living in France. The winner gets €35.000 as a personal prize and €30.000 for an exhibition at the Centre Pompidou. Inspired by Marcel Duchamp, this prize awards the most innovative artists of a generation. From 2005, the FIAC is a partner of the Prize and offers great visibility to the nominated artists. Laurent Grasso, Saadane Afif or Cyprien Gaillard are some of the winners of the Marcel Duchamp Prize.

The Turner Prize

The Turner Prize is an homage to the painter J.M.W Turner and it rewards annually a British artist under the age of  50. It was created in 1984 and the award ceremony is held at the Tate Gallery. The Turner Prize rewards all media, but the last years it became associated mainly with conceptual art. Anish Kapoor, Damien Hirst or Rachel Witheread are some of its winners.

The Golden Lion in Venice


Several prizes are awarded at every Venice Biennale. The best country pavilion for contemporary art is rewarded with a Golden Lion. In 2013 it was awarded to Angola, for Luanda, Encyclopedic City and to the British artist Tino Sehgal.

The Ricard Foundation Prize

©Fondation Pernod Ricard

The Ricard Foundation Prize is a contemporary art prize awarded every year to an artist under the age of 40. The Ricard Foundation hosts a collective show that lasts several weeks and is conceived by a curator. After this event, the jury awards the prize to an artist; the prize consists in the acquisition of an art piece that costs at least €15.000 that is donated to the Centre Pompidou and exposed in the permanent collection. Raphaël Zarka, Adrien Missika or Loris Greaud are some of the artists who have already been awarded The Ricard Foundation Prize.

The Hugo Boss Prize

©Hugo boss group

Created in 1996 by the Hugo Boss brand, the prize is awarded every other year. Unlike other prizes, the Hugo Boss Prize has no age or nationality restrictions. As it is relatively old, the Prize is considered as one of the very important prizes of the art world. A list of six or seven artists is presented several months before the final decision by a jury composed of museum directors, art critics and other professionals of the art world. The prize is administered by the Guggenheim Foundation and its winner receives $100.000 and a trophy. The winner of the last edition of the Hugo Boss prize is Danh Vo and Douglas Gordon and Pierre Huygue won two of the previous editions.

The Meurice Prize


Created in 2008, this international prize rewards a young artist (no matter their nationality) and their French gallery in order to give them visibility abroad. Awarded a few days before the FIAC, the prize offers € 10.000 to the artist and € 10.000 to the gallery. The winner of the last edition was Alexander Sing.