The 2011 Praemium Imperiale Laureates were announced today at a ceremony in the ballroom of the grand Claridge’s Hotel in London, hosted by the Japan Art Association. Created in 1988 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Japan Art Association and in memory of the organisation’s patron Prince Takamatsu, the annual Praemium Imperiale honours talented artists whose work exists in fields not recognised by the prestigious Nobel Prizes.
This year’s winners are:
Architecture – Ricardo Legorreta, Mexico
Sculpture – Anish Kapoor, UK
Painting – Bill Viola, UK
Music – Seiji Ozama, Japan
Theatre/Film – Dame Judi Dench
Legorreta is the first Mexican architect to receive the prize and will join celebrated industry figures Renzo Piano, Toyo Ito and Frank Gehry in the ranks of Praemium Imperiale Architecture Laureates. This is not the first ‘first’ for the architect, who was also the first Latin American to be awarded the American Institute of Architects’ Gold Medal in 2000. Unafraid to use colour in his compositions, Legorreta has completed more than 100 works in Mexico during his 50 year career.
One can also find Legorreta’s works elsewhere in the world, such as the vivid Pershing Square in Los Angeles, Metropolitan Cathedral of Managua and Davidka Square in Jerusalem. Speaking on the announcement today, American Advisor to the jury panel William H. Luers commented: “Over the past 23 years the Praemium Imperiale awards have grown to become a powerful symbol of the importance of the arts in the global community. We are honoured to recognise this year’s distinguished group of Laureates for their outstanding achievements and life-long pursuit of excellence.”