ARTES is delighted to announce the winner of the 2021 Juan Facundo Riaño Essay Medal. The medal and £400 prize money are awarded to Diana Bularca, formerly a MA student at the Courtauld Institute of Art, for her essay ‘Wifredo Lam’s Strategic Language’.
As Diana writes, ‘Cuban artist Wifredo Lam (b.1902—d.1982) used European modernist forms to turn his oeuvre into a counter-discourse that challenged the ethnic-based assumptions through which Europe was shaping his art and race. By mainly concentrating on Lam’s painting Je Suis (1949), and paying close attention to the artist’s own statements, this essay explores how Lam strategically essentialised his works, how he used them as an ‘act of decolonisation,’ and how he succeeded in diverting European modernism into new paths by conveying his own vision of his culture.’
Diana will give a short talk on this topic at ARTES’ online AGM on 8 June. No runner-up prize is awarded in 2021.