Suter, Descombes and Eppstein win Swiss Grand Award for Art

Vivian Suter at work © Flavio Karrer

Swiss-Argentine artist Vivian Suter is one of three recipients of this year’s Swiss Grand Award for Art/Prix Meret Oppenheim. Also honoured are architect Georges Descombes and the curator Esther Eppstein.

This content was published on April 9, 2021 - 13:23
Keystone-SDA/Federal Office of Culture/ilj

The award, which is worth CHF40,000 ($43,000), is given to artists, architects, curators and researchers “whose work played a key role in enhancing engagement with art and architecture and have fostered cultural dialogue in Switzerland and beyond,” the award website saysExternal link.

The winners were announcedExternal link by Swiss Federal Office of Culture on Friday.

Suter is known for her “intuitive and emotional painting” which invites the public to “dive into the faraway rainforests,” the culture office said in a statement. Suter, who was born in Buenos Aires and came to Switzerland aged 13, studied at art school in Basel. She left Switzerland for a remote part of Guatemala in 1983, where she now works.

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Described by Britain’s The GuardianExternal link as a “pioneering eco-artist”, she has exhibited in London, Berlin and will shortly have shows in Madrid and Lucerne.

Descombes, Eppstein

Descombes is an internationally known landscape architect, who currently has projects in Lyon, Antwerp and Brussels. Of key importance for him is how the countryside can be reconciled into the urban landscape, the statement said. One of his reference projects in Switzerland is the renaturation of the Aire River in canton Geneva. He also founded the Genevan architecture school, the Centre de réalisation expérimentale (CREX), in 1975.

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Curator Eppstein is also an artist and DJ. She has run the message salon art gallery in various locations around Zurich since 1996. This included the Perla-Mode building from 2006-2013, which was active in the local and national art scene. Since 2015 she has been in charge of the message salon embassy, a residence for international artists. She has already been the recipient of several local and national art prizes for her art and curator work.

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The award winners will receive their prize on September 20 in Basel, at the same time as the winners of the Swiss Art Awards.

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