In 2017, the “Zurich Art Prize” goes to Marguerite Humeau

The “Zurich Art Prize”, endowed with CHF 80,000, comes with an extra CHF 20,000 in prize money from 2017 onward.

26 October 2017 to 14 January 2018
Opening: 25 October, 6 pm

On the occasion of the tenth edition of the “Zurich Art Prize”, Museum Haus Konstruktiv and Zurich Insurance Group Ltd are pleased to announce an important change: as of 2017, in addition to the previous sum of CHF 80,000, which is always used for a solo exhibition at Museum Haus Konstruktiv, the winner receives another CHF 20,000 in prize money. This year’s prize winner, Marguerite Humeau, will be the first to profit from this.

Marguerite Humeau (b. 1986 in France, lives in London) has become known in recent years for her large-format, seemingly organic and creatural sculptures that she presents in colorfully designed spaces. When conceptualizing her works, Humeau often takes prehistoric facts, scientific theories and occult notions as a starting point. In her most recent solo exhibition, FOXP2 at Palais de Tokyo in Paris and at Nottingham Contemporary, inspired by numerous discussions with scientists, she examined the mutated gene of the same name, which sets humans apart from chimpanzees. In response to the question of what would have happened if FOXP2 had not mutated and humanity had therefore not emerged as the dominant species, the artist concluded that elephants would have done so in their place. Her latest works are sculptural and acoustic translations of this hypothesis; they oscillate between multiple worlds and different times, between facts and fictions – and they investigate how knowledge is generated despite insufficient evidence.

The jury chose Humeau as the prize winner because her works formulate an independent position characterized by scientific curiosity and precision, while also sharing parallels with the scientific basis of constructivist-concrete art.


Marguerite Humeau’s most important exhibitions, alongside the solo shows at Palais de Tokyo in Paris (2016) and at Nottingham Contemporary (2016/17), include her involvement in exhibitions at the Seoul Biennale (2016), at Manifesta 11 in Zurich (2016) and at the following institutions: TBA 21 Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary – Augarten, Vienna (2015), Serpentine Gallery, London (2014), Victoria and Albert Museum, London (2014), Hayward Gallery, London (2014), MoMA, New York (2014), Nottingham Contemporary, De La Warr Pavilion (2013) and Barbican Art Gallery, London (2011). In 2017 exhibitions are planned on High Line, New York, and at Schinkel Pavillon, Berlin.

The awards and grants that Humeau’s oeuvre has been honored with include the Royal British Society of Sculptors Bursary Award, the Grant for the Arts from the Arts Council England and the RCDAV Research Grant from HEAD in Geneva.


The Zurich Art Prize is a cultural engagement
by Zurich Insurance Group Ltd:



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Jan 25, 2017
12:00:00 AM CET