On 29 January 2018, Mona Hatoum (b. 1952) was the fifth artist to receive the annual Art Icon award. The Whitechapel Gallery’s Art Icon event is organised with generous support from Swarovski, which has a longstanding commitment to the Gallery and its programme.
Surrounded by 200 artists and art world luminaries, Hatoum was presented with the award at the Whitechapel Gallery during a gala dinner hosted by Iwona Blazwick OBE (Director, Whitechapel Gallery) and Nadja Swarovski (Member of the Swarovski Executive Board).
Poet Fady Joudah marked the occasion with a special recital of selected readings, including his poems An Idea of Return and Mimesis.
Guests bought tickets for the evening to help raise funds for the Whitechapel Gallery’s Education and Community programmes. A live auction – led by Henry Highley of Phillips and introduced by Catherine Petitgas – and a silent auction featured work generously donated by leading contemporary artists including Abbas Akhavan, Sophia Al-Maria, Rana Begum, Sol Calero, Simon Fujiwara, Mona Hatoum, Cornelia Parker, Florence Peake and Zineb Sedira. The auction also featured a selection of unique ‘experiences’.
Mona Hatoum was born into a Palestinian family in Beirut, Lebanon in 1952 and has lived in London since 1975. She has participated in numerous important group exhibitions including The Turner Prize (1995), Venice Biennale (1995 and 2005), Documenta, Kassel (2002 and 2017), Biennale of Sydney (2006), the Istanbul Biennial (1995 and 2011) and The Fifth Moscow Biennale of Contemporary Art (2013).
Solo exhibitions include Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago (1997), The New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York (1997), Castello di Rivoli, Turin (1999), Tate Britain, London (2000), Hamburger Kunsthalle, Kunstmuseum Bonn, Magasin 3, Stockholm (2004) and Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney (2005). Recent exhibitions include Measures of Entanglement, UCCA, Beijing (2009), Interior Landscape, Fondazione Querini Stampalia, Venice (2009), Witness, Beirut Art Center, Beirut (2010), Le Grand Monde, Fundaciòn Marcelino Botìn, Santander (2010) and as the winner of the 2011 Joan Miró Prize, she held a solo exhibition at Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona in 2012. In 2013-2014 she was the subject of a solo exhibition at the Kunstmuseum St Gallen and Mathaf: Arab Museum of Modern Art in Doha. Recently a major touring exhibition bringing together over 100 works from the late-1970s to the present, was on display at the Centre Pompidou, Paris (2015); Tate Modern, London (2016) and KIASMA, Helsinki (2016 – 17). Currently she is exhibiting at Hiroshima MOCA, having been awarded the 10th Hiroshima Art Prize 2017 and will be exhibiting at the The Menil Collection, Houston from October 2017.
Swarovski delivers a diverse portfolio of unmatched quality, craftsmanship, and creativity. Founded in 1895 in Austria, the company designs, manufactures and markets high-quality crystals, genuine gemstones and created stones as well as finished products such as jewelry, accessories and lighting. The Swarovski Crystal Business is run by the fifth generation of family members and has a global reach with approximately 2,800 stores in around 170 countries, more than 27,000 employees, and revenue of about 2.6 billion euros in 2016. Together with its sister companies Swarovski Optik (optical devices) and Tyrolit (abrasives), Swarovski Crystal Business forms the Swarovski Group. In 2016, the Group generated revenue of about 3.37 billion euros and employed more than 32,000 people. A responsible relationship with people and the planet is an integral part of Swarovski’s heritage. The global Swarovski Waterschool education program has reached 461,000 children on the world’s greatest rivers, and the Swarovski Foundation, set up in 2013, works to support culture and creativity, promote wellbeing, and conserve natural resources to achieve positive social impact.