press release

BOZAR Centre for Fine Arts

BelgianArtPrize 2020
Exhibition: 19.03.2020 - 24.05.2020

The Jury has announced the five shorlisted artists:
Agency, Sammy Baloji, Saddie Choua, Jacqueline Mesmaeker and Joëlle Tuerlinckx.

Each of the five shortlisted artists will present a new artistic project to be shown at the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR) from March 19 to May 24, 2020. The winner will be announced in May 2020 at an award ceremony at BOZAR.

The Nominators The shortlisted artists were chosen from an extensive list of 184 nominated artists compiled by 79 art professionals and collectors . The organizers called upon an advisory committee to carefully set up this renewed panel of nominators who represent the diversity of the ecosystems that make up and contribute to the richness of the Belgian art scene. The list of the nominators is made public at the announcement of the five finalists and can be consulted on

The nominators were invited to nominate up to 5 artists taking into account the BelgianArtPrize’s aim to focus on a specific moment in an artist’s career and to support artists whose work has developed substantially over the years but who have not yet benefited from the acknowledgement they rightfully deserve. The artists’ oeuvre does not only testify to its own maturity, but also engages in a true dialogue with contemporary reality.

The Jury
The organizers made a conscious effort to diversify the panel of jury members and brought together personalities truly engaged in the current contemporary art scene, from different backgrounds, and with a variety of activities in both institutional and private spheres. The BelgianArtPrize 2020 jury members are: Olga Dreesmann Ramos-Esteban (collector, supporter of fundamental art research and of several art institutions and philanthropic causes, board member of several institutions); Wilfried Cooreman (collector, board member of several cultural institutions); Otobong Nkanga (artist, BelgianArtPrize winner 2017); Nataša Petrešin-Bachelez (independent curator, editor and writer); Dries Douibi (co-director of Kunstenfestivaldesarts, dramaturge) and Nicolaus Schafhausen (curator, author and editor). The jury was presided by Sophie Lauwers (Exhibitions director BOZAR).

Jury Statement
"A long, transparent and thoughtful debate preceded the difficult decision of choosing the finalists of the BelgianArtPrize. The jury members, with different backgrounds and a variety of activities stemming from public and private spheres, all closely examined various aspects of the artist’s work and career, looking into the artist’s practice from distinct angles and taking into account the singularity of each artist, generating a particularly engaging debate.

The jury took on the challenge to not only consider the relevance of each artist’s work and practice, but also the conditions and the climate in which the works exist and respond to current challenging reality, determining the relevance of the position of the artist in today’s tumultuous world. The jury also looked at the artist’s accountability towards their subject matter, and at the diversity in both their practices and the audiences they address.

By selecting these 5 finalists for the BelgianArtPrize, the jury truly wishes to enable the artists to deepen the dialogue they have already engaged with the public(s) as they deserve a wider recognition, as aimed by this Prize.”

About the BelgianArtPrize
The BelgianArtPrize is a prestigious Award for Contemporary Art in Belgium. Organised since 1950 by La Jeune Peinture Belge/De Jonge Belgische Schilderkunst in close collaboration with the Centre for Fine Arts (BOZAR), it aims at supporting Belgian and international artists residing in Belgium for at least a year and strengthen their national and international recognition.

Every two years, the shortlisted artists are given the opportunity to realize a new artistic project that is exhibited at BOZAR. The winner is awarded the Crowet Prize (EUR 25,000). The winner of the Public Choice receives EUR 10,000, offered by ING, the Prize’s structural partner.