The Max Mara Art Prize for Women, is a prestigious biennial award for emergent female-identifying artists, originated by Whitechapel Gallery and established in collaboration with Max Mara Fashion Group in 2005. Collezione Maramotti, home to a world-class contemporary art collection, joined as an additional partner in 2007.
It is the only visual art prize of its kind with the aim to promote and nurture women artists at a crucial stage in their careers through increased visibility, and the resources to develop an ambitious new work.
Rather than a single financial reward, the Max Mara Art Prize is premised on a unique format, which offers the winner a tailored residency programme in Italy designed to support and evolve their practice and to further develop a new body of work by providing the often much needed opportunities of time, space, creative and professional support. The resulting work is then presented at a major solo exhibition at both Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti, which allows audiences in both places to fully engage with the artist, their work and its development. The final work is then acquired by Collezione Maramotti, completing the cycle of artist support. All three partners work collaboratively on each phase of the prize cycle sharing their particular expertise and resources to ensure maximum benefit to the winning artist and project.
The prize is open to female-identifying artists of any age, living and working in the United Kingdom, who have not previously had a major solo survey or exhibition.
For each edition a jury, comprising art world specialists: a gallerist, critic, artist and collector, and chaired by the Whitechapel Gallery Director, submit a longlist of artists, from which a final shortlist of five is agreed, all of whom present a proposal for a new body of work..
The winner, selected on the strength of their proposal, is announced at a special ceremony and awarded a six-month Italian residency, organised by Collezione Maramotti as well as a dedicated exhibition. The residency is uniquely tailored to fit the particular needs and focus of the artist and their winning proposal. Crucially it provides the artist with resources and space to realise a new work, which then forms the basis of a major solo exhibition presented at the Whitechapel gallery, London and Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy, the following year. Collezione Maramotti then acquire the commission for their world-class art collection, ensuring that the relationship with the artist continues beyond the two year prize cycle.
The Max Mara Art Prize for Women is both distinct and exceptional in recognising and supporting the creative process and was awarded the British Council Arts & Business International Award in 2007.
Currently in its 9th edition, the next prize cycle (2024-2026) celebrates the 10th anniversary of the prize and confirms its status as a distinctive and invaluable resource for emergent women-identifying artists based in the UK.
Find out more about the residency organised by Collezione Maramotti, which is specially designed to inform, support and develop the work through dedicated resources and a tailored programme of research, mentoring and skill-building.
Dominique White is the winner of the 9th edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. Learn more about her practice and winning proposal, Deadweight.
Explore the practice of the artists shortlisted for the 9th edition of the prize: Rebecca Bellantoni, Bhajan Hunjan, Onyeka Igwe, Zinzi Minott, and Dominique White.
Drawing on Whitechapel Gallery’s longstanding commitment and support of women artists, the prize was conceived in 2005 by its former Director, Iwona Blazwick, in collaboration with Max Mara as a way to offer emergent female artists an invaluable and unique framework for the development of both their practice and a new artwork. Collezione Maramotti, which owns and exhibits a world-class collection of contemporary Art, joined as a partner and collaborator in 2007 – the year it officially opened its doors to the public.
Throughout its nearly ten year history the Max Mara Art Prize for Women (MMAP) has been significant in shining a light on emergent female-identifying artists and giving them the time, guidance and resources to create new and extraordinary artworks that speak of – and to – the world around them.
1st Edition: 2005 – 2007
2nd Edition: 2007 – 2009
3rd Edition: 2009 – 2011
4th Edition: 2011 – 2013
5th Edition: 2013 – 2015
6th Edition: 2015 – 2017
7th Edition: 2017 – 2019
8th Edition: 2019 – 2021