Alia Farid, a rising star within the international art circuit, has won one of the biggest art prizes in the world: a $100,000 award given out by the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in Oslo.
In addition to its sizable purse, the prize, which is officially titled the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award, includes an exhibition at the art center, as well as an acquisition budget for her work. Her exhibition will open at the Henie Onstad Kunstsenter in 2024.
Born in Kuwait and based between there and Puerto Rico, Farid often explores the legacy of colonialism in her videos and sculptures. At the 2022 Whitney Biennial, she was given prime placement, with sculptures loosely resembling artificial palm trees placed outdoors on an outcropping of the museum. She said these works were meant as “low-grade stand-ins for the palm groves that once covered large areas of the south” of Iraq, where many real plants like them were destroyed during the Iran-Iraq War.
Visibility is increasing for Farid’s work, which last year was also the subject of a solo show at the Contemporary Art Museum, St. Louis. This year, she is having three institutional solo shows, at the Chisenhale Gallery in London, the Rivers Institute in New Orleans, and the Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto.
“Art is an important part of thinking and understanding things,” Farid said in a statement. “Without it, life would be one-dimensional. I live in a society that is ambivalent about supporting art and culture, so having the endorsement of the Lise Wilhelmsen Art Award Programme really means a lot to me.”