As more and more of the art world becomes digital, from online galleries to the works themselves, tangible craftsmanship is becoming more valuable – and rare. Now, Spanish luxury brand Loewe is highlighting this shift with a special competition championing the craftsmanship of artisans who work in the physical realm.
Founded by the Loewe Foundation, the Loewe Craft Prize is seeking out and supporting artisans whose “artistic vision and will to innovate will set a new standard for the future of craft.” This intent hits close to home for Loewe, a luxury house that started out as a collective of leather artisans in Madrid, circa 1846. Fine craftsmanship is the foundation of many such luxury houses, and forms an historic – and integral – link between the worlds of art and fashion.
As creative director Jonathan Anderson explains, “Craft is the essence of LOEWE. As a house, we are about craft in the purest sense of the word. That is where our modernity lies, and it will always be relevant. Craft is immensely important to me as an inspiration. So I wanted to create a platform to highlight things that are engineered by hand, by ceramicists, basket-weavers, furniture designers, jewellery makers, and other people who work silently and are often under-appreciated. In reality, there is nothing harder than finding a way to make an object that has a formula of its own and speaks in the maker’s own language, creating a dialogue that didn’t exist before,” Anderson said.
This week sees the announcement of the 26 finalists in the second edition of the international competition, hailing from around the world. Selected by a jury comprising a panel of experts from design, architecture, journalism, criticism and museum curatorship, the finalists are in the running for the 50,000 euro prize, announced in April.
See the finalists and their winning works below, and stay tuned for details on the ultimate winner and accompanying exhibition, on show in Madrid in May.
Loewe Craft Prize 2017 Finalists:
Adi Toch, United Kingdom
Anne Low, Canada
Artesanías Panikua, Mexico
Bae Sejin, Republic of Korea Brendan Lee Satish Tang, Canada Celia Pym, United Kingdom Chiachio & Giannone, Argentina David Huycke, Belgium
Ernst Gamperl, Germany
Fátima Tocornal, Spain
Guillermo Álvarez-Charvel, Mexico Heidi Friesen, Canada
Helena Schepens, Belgium
Igawa Takeshi, Japan
Kim Buck, Denmark
Kristina Rothe, Germany
Lino Tagliapietra, Italy
Patrícia Domingues, Portugal Robert Baines, Australia
Sangwoo Kim, Republic of Korea Sara Flynn, United Kingdom
Shuji Nakagawa, Japan
Sylvie Vandenhoucke, Belgium Yoshiaki Kojiro, Japan
Zhilong Zheng, China