Jorge Queiroz with ‘Duende’
Jorge Queiroz with ‘Duende’

Sovereign Portuguese Art Prize – meet the winner!

Jorge Queiroz grand prize winner of inaugural Sovereign Portuguese Art Prize

Associação SAF announced Portuguese artist Jorge Queiroz as the winner of the 2022 Sovereign Portuguese Art Prize and recipient of €25,000 for his work ‘Duende’. This is the inaugural edition of the Prize, which celebrates the practices of leading contemporary artists living in Portugal, and its diaspora.

Winner Jorge Queiroz is an artist primarily concerned with painting. Of ‘Duende’, Jorge commented: “In my work, impulses and reasons lead to basic or original polarity: sense and nonsense, logic and the illogical, the conscious and the unconscious, full, empty, abstract and figurative, narrative and fragment.

“It was wonderful and a very big surprise to have won the 2022 Sovereign Portuguese Art Prize. I am very happy. The purpose of both of this Prize and the Students Prize is noble and highly commended.”

Judge Joana Vasconcelos said: “Jorge is an amazing artist. I had the privilege of being his colleague in school and also in a gallery in France. His work surprises me every time I see it.”

Jorge Queiroz with SAF Founder Howard Bilton and Judges David Elliott; Joana Vasconcelos; Maura Marvão; Phillippe Vergne and Tim Marlow
Jorge Queiroz with SAF Founder Howard Bilton and Judges David Elliott; Joana Vasconcelos; Maura Marvão; Phillippe Vergne and Tim Marlow

Fellow Judge Tim Marlow added: “It is great to see an artist with an established reputation, hugely respected, who is still able to produce work that is fresh, questioning and surprising.”

Nineteen independent arts professionals comprising curators, collectors and academics nominated artists to enter the Prize and 214 entries were received. Thirty artists were then shortlisted by an esteemed judging panel, including artists Ai Weiwei and Joana Vasconcelos; Vicente Todolí, Founding Director of Serralves Contemporary Art Museum; David Elliott, freelance writer, curator and former Founding Director of the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; Maura Marvão, Head of Phillips in Portugal and Spain; Phillippe Vergne, French curator and Director of the Serralves Contemporary Art Museum and Tim Marlow, Chief Executive and Director of the Design Museum, London.

The Finalists’ Exhibition tour will start at Palácio das Artes in Porto (April 13-30), before moving to Sociedade Nacional de Belas Artes in Lisbon (May 27-June 18), then the Museu Berardo Estremoz (June 22-August 15), culminating in August at a venue, to be announced shortly, in the Algarve.

Visitors to the exhibitions will be invited to vote for their favourite artwork and together with online votes, the most popular artist will be awarded the Public Vote Prize of €2,000 in August.

All shortlisted artworks, except Queiroz’s, are now being sold via silent auction; reserve prices range from €1,700-€24,000. The online auction will close in early September 2022. Proceeds will be split equally between the artists and SAF, where they will be used to fund expressive arts programmes supporting children who most need it, in Portugal.

Sovereign Art Foundation (SAF) Students Prize

At the same time, The SAF Students Prize, Portugal 2022 is currently being judged. This is an annual award championing the importance of art in the education system. SAF runs student prizes in 10 countries around the world. The SAF Students Prize, Portugal, 2022 is sponsored by jewellery designer Maria João Bahia.

Secondary schools across Portugal nominated their best art students to submit art works online. A separate judging panel then shortlisted the 30 best art works for the Finalists’ Exhibition, which will tour concurrently with the Sovereign Portuguese Art Prize, paralleling the artists of today alongside the talent of tomorrow.

Student artworks will be sold through silent auction at the agreement of each student, with sale proceeds and fundraising income split equally between the student and SAF.