Praemium Imperiale – Architecture, RAFAEL MONEO

Praemium Imperiale – Architecture, RAFAEL MONEO
29th Praemium Imperiale. Japan Art Association [Tokyo] Japan
metalocus, JOSÉ JUAN BARBA
Rafael Moneo. Image courtesy of Praemium Imperiale
The Japan Art Association has announced that Spanish architect Rafael Moeno, visual artist Shirin Neshat, dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, widely acknowledged to be one of the greatest dancers of all time, the world music star Youssou N’Dour, and sculptor El Anatsui, have won the 2017 Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award. The prize celebrates lifetime achievement in five fields: Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, and Theatre / Film, categories not recognized by the Nobel Prize.
Baryshnikov and N’Dour are joined by Iranian visual artist Shirin Neshat, whose powerful photographs, video installations and films illuminate the challenges facing Muslim women, particularly those who live in extremist religious environments; Ghanaian sculptor El Anatsui, whose use of found materials enhances their significance and imbues them with dignity; and Spanish architect Rafael Moneo, whose beautifully-designed structures complement their settings while establishing unique identities. Biographies of the winners can be found below.

Now in its 29th year, the Praemium Imperiale is the world's most prestigious international prize in the fields of Painting, Sculpture, Architecture, Music, and Theatre/Film. It has become a powerful voice for the importance of culture in today’s world.
Spanish architect Rafael Moneo is greatly admired for his design approach, which involves looking at the specific conditions of each location to ensure that his buildings blend effortlessly into the city landscape while at the same time respecting the environment and establishing a clear identity and a connection to his creative vision. One of his earliest projects, the National Museum of Roman Art (1986) in Mérida, Spain, established his reputation. Since then, he has completed many projects inside and outside of Spain. They include the Madrid Atocha Railway Station (1992), the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels (2002) in Los Angeles, and the Prado Museum Extension (2007). With the Prado Museum Extension, Moneo’s ability to combine seamlessly the old and the new is wonderfully showcased. Moneo is also an educator and theorist who has taught the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and other highly-respected institutions. His awards include the Pritzker Architecture Prize (1996) and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (2003).

At a ceremony in Tokyo on October 18, his Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, will present each laureate with a specially-designed gold medal and a testimonial letter. The prize carries with it 15 million yen (approximately $136,000).

The 2017 winners of the Praemium Imperiale join 144 of the greatest artists of the 20th and 21st centuries. They include Paulo Mendes da Rocha (2016), Dominique Perrault (2015), Steven Holl (2014), David Chipperfield (2013), Ricardo Legorreta (2011), Placido Domingo, Ingmar Bergman, Leonard Bernstein, Peter Brook, Anthony Caro, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau, Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel, Zaha Hadid, Norman Foster, Frank Gehry, Jean-Luc Godard, David Hockney, Willem de Kooning, Akira Kurosawa, Arthur Miller, Seiji Ozawa, Renzo Piano, Robert Rauschenberg, Mstislav Rostropovich, Ravi Shankar, Cindy Sherman, and Stephen Sondheim.

The Praemium Imperiale 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 almost six decades. The Association chooses the winners based on the recommendations of individual International Advisors in England, France, Italy, Germany and the United States. Each advisor is guided by the recommendations of a nominating committee comprising cultural leaders from his home country.  The International Advisors are leading figures with a deep interest or involvement in the arts.

Grant for Young Artists
In addition to the Praemium Imperiale, the Japan Art Association awards an annual grant of 5 million yen (approximately $45,000) to a group or institution that encourages young people’s involvement in the arts. This year’s winner of the Grant for Young Artists is Lebanon’s Zoukak Theatre Company and Cultural Association, a collective that explores Lebanon’s most pressing social and humanitarian challenges through the prism of theater. A biography of the winner can be found below.

Previous winners of the Grant for Young Artists include Cuba’s Instituto Superior de Arte, Poland’s Lodz Film School, the Vietnam National Conservatory of Music, the Ulster Youth Orchestra, the Kremerata Baltica Chamber Orchestra, and Detroit’s Sphinx Organization.

The Grant for Young Artists was inaugurated in 1997 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the Praemium Imperiale.

What is now known as the Japan Art Association was created in 1879, on the advice of the Meiji Emperor, to encourage Japanese artists and to forge relations with other countries. The organization and its museum have played an active role in Japan’s cultural life, presenting exhibitions of traditional arts and art from abroad. In 1988, on its 100th anniversary, the Association created the Praemium Imperiale International Arts Award in honor of the late Prince Takamatsu, who had served as honorary patron for 58 years.

Moneo Vallés

José Rafael Moneo Vallés (born May 9. Tudela, Navarra,1937) is a Spanish architect. He was won the Pritzker Prize for architecture in 1996. He studied at the ETSAM, Technical University of Madrid (UPM) from which he received his architectural degree in 1961. From 1958 to 1961 he worked in the office in Madrid of the architect Francisco Javier Sáenz de Oíza. He has taught architecture at more