Jonathan Anderson and his obsession with culture: from zero to 3,900 candidates for the award in seven years

In 2016, Loewe's creative director, Jonathan Anderson, initiated the Craft Prize within the framework of the firm's founding, an open call competition for artisans and manufacturers with unique works in the applied arts, awarding 50,000 euros to its winner.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
14 May 2024 Tuesday 23:06
1 Reads
Jonathan Anderson and his obsession with culture: from zero to 3,900 candidates for the award in seven years

In 2016, Loewe's creative director, Jonathan Anderson, initiated the Craft Prize within the framework of the firm's founding, an open call competition for artisans and manufacturers with unique works in the applied arts, awarding 50,000 euros to its winner. The project, which aims to preserve the craft and push it into the future, was not (is not) a public relations ploy or a marketing ploy. It is a vital component of what the house has become under the creative direction of Jonathan Anderson: a cultural brand.

“Some people know about the award and don't know the signature,” Anderson said before the event. “Some people know the firm, but they don't know the award. "It is being very interesting to see how in the world of crafts it is becoming something important that changes people's careers, as has happened to Ernst Gamperl, the winner of the first edition, who has had enormous institutional exhibitions."

Every year, the constellation of functional and collaborative works grows larger and more impressive. “At first we didn't have many applications, people didn't apply. Seven years later, more than three thousand candidates have presented themselves.” 3,900, exactly, which a panel of experts reduced to a selection of 30 works by artists and artisans from 16 countries. To announce the winner of this edition, the Loewe Foundation organized a ceremony at the Palais de Tokyo in Paris on May 14.

The winner was Andrés Anza (Mexico, 1991) with I only know what I have seen, a ceramic piece modeled with refractory clay composed of five assembled parts that seems to twist, turn and fold on itself. “It looks familiar, you can almost tell what ecosystem it comes from,” commented the artist in the private screening of the exhibition. ”But you can't really say it, because it's nothing. “I want people to be curious about it.”

Chosen by a jury composed of experts in the field of art and design (including Pritzker Prize winner Wang Shu, Abraham Thomas, curator of modern architecture, design and decorative arts at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York; or the director of the Louvre's Art department, Olivier Gabet) for the way it combines the “figurative and the abstract” with “architectural intention and precision”, which had to face a more complex deliberation process than usual with three rounds of voting .

She received the award from actress Aubrey Plaza at a ceremony in which, for the first time in the history of the Craft Prize, three special mentions were also announced: Miki Asai of Japan, for her jewelry crowned with small containers adorned with tiny fragments of egg and seashells; Heechan Kim of the Republic of Korea, for his voluminous

The 30 pieces and their unique formulas will be on display at the Palais de Tokyo until June 9.