Cindy Sherman and Annette Messager Awarded 2016 Praemium Imperiale

The film director Martin Scorsese has also received the prestigious award.

2016 laureate Cindy Sherman. Photo by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images.

The American artist Cindy Sherman and French sculptor Annette Messager have been awarded the Praemium Imperiale in recognition for their lifetime’s achievements in the categories of painting and sculpture respectively.

According to an announcement on the Praemium Imperiale website, “The artists are recognized and awarded for their achievements, for the impact they have had internationally on the arts, and for their role in enriching the global community.”

Awarded annually by the Japan Art Association, the Praemium Imperiale is one of the world’s most prestigious and, at ¥15 million ($145,000), one of the most lucrative art prizes. It was founded by the Japanese imperial family to honor excellence in the areas not covered by the Nobel Prize.

The prize is awarded to leading artists in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music, and theater/film. Other laureates are Brazilian architect Paulo Mendes da Rocha, Latvian-German violinist Gido Kremer, and Hollywood director Martin Scorsese.

The retired diplomat and head of the American nomination committee William Luers told Artforum, “The Praemium Imperiale, perhaps more than any other award, brings attention to the importance and power of the arts, affirming the ability of creative minds from around the world to move us and make us think.”

Winners of the 2015 Praemium Imperiale, architect Dominique Perrault, prima ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem, painter Tadanori Yokoo of Japan, and artist Wolfgang Laib. Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images.

Winners of the 2015 Praemium Imperiale, architect Dominique Perrault, prima ballet dancer Sylvie Guillem, painter Tadanori Yokoo of Japan, and artist Wolfgang Laib. Photo: TOSHIFUMI KITAMURA/AFP/Getty Images.

Other honorary advisors include important international figures, such as former French president Jacques Chirac, philanthropist David Rockefeller, and the collector and luxury goods magnate François Pinault.

The laureates will be presented with a medal by His Imperial Highness Prince Hitachi, honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, at a ceremony in Tokyo on October 18.

The associated Grant for Young Artists was awarded to the Five Arts Center in Malaysia, which received ¥5 million ($48,500) to contribute towards the education of aspiring young artists.


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