Beatriz Cortez wins the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR® Sculpture Prize

The emerging artist will create a major new work for Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, New York, 2020

Beatriz Cortez has been announced as the winner of the inaugural Frieze Arto LIFEWTR® Sculpture Prize: a new large-scale outdoor commission by an emerging artist. The prize enables an artist to create a new work unveiled as part of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, New York: a program of works by leading international artists, curated by Brett Littman that will open on 22 April and coincides with Frieze New York.

Cortez’s sculpture will evoke a glacial erratic rock, similar to the numerous glacial erratics that define the landscape of New York City. The sculpture will age as the weather and atmospheric conditions change, inviting the viewer to consider the lengths of time that are marked by the motions of the planet, the ways in which non-human worlds with different temporalities exist all around us, as well as the ways in which matter is marked by its placement and its interactions with the world.

Beatriz Cortez, Generosity I, 2019. Steel, acrylic and plastic containers, zip ties, and corn, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, and black bean seeds, 160 x 91 x 91 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles

Beatriz Cortez, Generosity I, 2019. Steel, acrylic and plastic containers, zip ties, and corn, amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, and black bean seeds, 160 x 91 x 91 cm. Courtesy: the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles

During a special event at the Arto LIFEWTR lounge at Frieze London, Cortez announced her excitement at having ‘the opportunity to make this sculpture and place it in such a visible space in New York City.’  Through their encounter with the work, she said, she hoped passerbys to ‘imagine migration and movement in planetary ways, through processes that have taken millions of years and that continue into the future.’ Born in El Salvador and based in Los Angeles, Cortez is represented by Commonwealth & Council gallery.

Beatriz Cortez at her exhibition ‘Trinidad: Joy Station’ at the Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles. Courtesy:the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles. Photo: Los Angeles Times / Carolyn Cole.

Beatriz Cortez at her exhibition ‘Trinidad: Joy Station’ at the Craft Contemporary Museum, Los Angeles. Courtesy:the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles. Photo: Los Angeles Times / Carolyn Cole. 

Reflecting on Frieze’s history in New York of commissioning ambitious artists projects, Frieze’s Artistic Director for the Americas and Asia Loring Randolph described Frieze Sculpture in New York as ‘another highly-visible platform for galleries to showcase the work of their artists’, adding she was ‘thrilled to add another award of this magnitude to our Frieze New York program through the support of Arto LIFEWTR.’

The Frieze Arto LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize is made possible through the ongoing partnership between Frieze and Arto LIFEWTR, a premium water brand committed to advancing and supporting emerging artists on a global stage. The Prize underscores the shared commitment between Frieze and Arto LIFEWTR in providing support and visibility to emerging artists, promoting dialogue between artists of different generations, and making art accessible in the public realm.

Beatriz Cortez, Tzolk'in, 2018. Steel, motor, battery, timer, solar panel, acrylic, and lacquer marker, 335 x 164 x 164 cm. Installation view at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York. Commissioned by Clockshop, Los Angeles. Courtesy: the artist and Commonweal

Beatriz Cortez, Tzolk'in, 2018. Steel, motor, battery, timer, solar panel, acrylic, and lacquer marker, 335 x 164 x 164 cm. Installation view at Socrates Sculpture Park, New York. Commissioned by Clockshop, Los Angeles. Courtesy: the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles

Cortez’s proposal was selected from over 120 applications by artists from more than 30 countries, following an international open callm by a selection jury comprising chair Brooke Kamin Rapaport (Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator, Madison Square Park) and guest judges Taylor Aldridge (curator, writer), Brett Littman (Director, Noguchi Museum and Sculpture Garden), Loring Randolph and Michaella Solar-March (Managing Director, Marketing and Experience, Rockefeller Center). Cortez will receive a generous budget to realize her artwork at Frieze New York 2020, with curatorial guidance from Kamin Rapaport.

Arto LIFEWTR is a premium water brand dedicated to advancing emerging artists, providing the brand’s bottle as a canvas and serving as a platform for rising talent. The brand also provides a support program of exposure and advancement opportunities through collaborations with partners such as Frieze.

Frieze Sculpture returns to Rockefeller Center in New York in April 2019.

Latest Magazines

frieze magazine

September 2019

frieze magazine

October 2019

frieze magazine

November - December 2019