In 2011, London-based French artist Laure Prouvost was announced the winner of the fourth Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Following her residency at the British School at Rome and at the Cittadellarte Fondazione Pistoletto in Biella, Prouvost presented an installation inspired by the aesthetic and sensuous pleasures of Italy – Farfromwords: cars mirrors eat raspberries when swimming through the sun, to swallow sweet smells. Referencing the genre of panoramic painting, Prouvost created a cylindrical structure interspersed with collages and monitors. This immersive environment led to an idyllic inner space revealing Swallow (2013), a film showing fragments of footage, from birds to women bathing in waterfalls. Exploring language and translation, Prouvost played on the historic idea of visiting the Mediterranean for inspiration. The exhibition Farfromwords was accompanied by a publication featuring texts by Afterall editor Melissa Gronlund, Whitechapel Gallery Eisler Curator Daniel F Herrmann and guest curator Bina von Stauffenberg.
The jury for the 2011-2013 edition of the Prize included Iwona Blazwick (Chair), artist Lisa Milroy, gallerist Amanda Wilkinson, art collector Muriel Salem and critic Gilda Williams. The distinguished shortlist included Spartacus Chetwynd, Christina Mackie, Avis Newman and Emily Wardill.
Born in 1978 in Croix-Lille, France, Laure Prouvost lives and works in London. Since graduating from Central Saint Martins in 2002, her work has been exhibited extensively across the UK and internationally. Since winning the Prize, Prouvost went on to win the Turner Prize in 2013.
Laure Prouvost, Farfromwords, 2013. Installation view at the Whitechapel Gallery, Courtesy the artist and MOT INTERNATIONAL. Photo: Stephen White / Laure Prouvost, Swallow , 2013.Film still from installation at the Whitechapel Gallery, Courtesy the artist and MOT INTERNATIONAL. Photo: Stephen White / Laure Prouvost during her residency at Cittàdellarte, Fondazione Pistoletto, Biella, July 2012, Courtesy Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia. Photo: Dario Lasagni.