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Barbara Chase-Riboud and Gaëlle Choisne are laureates of AWARE Award's 5th Edition

Gaëlle Choisne © Mathilde Assier / Barbara Chase-Riboud, Courtesy Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York, © Photo : Grant Delin

Since its inception in 2017, the AWARE Award for Women Artists have sought to bring visibility to the work of women artists who began their career no more than 10 years ago, and thus to highlight work that is little known to institutions and audiences in the art market. The Honorary Award offers increased recognition and pays tribute to an artist whose career path deserves a new look. 

For this 5th edition, the jury, chaired by Emma Lavigne, president of the Palais de Tokyo, chose to award the prize to the sculptor and video artist Gaëlle Choisne and the honorary prize to the visual artist Barbara Chase-Riboud.

About the artists:

Barbara Chase-Riboud was born in 1939 in Philadelphia (Pennsylvania, USA). She lives and works in Paris, Rome and Milan. A sculptor, poet and novelist, Barbara Chase-Riboud began her artistic training at the age of seven, at the Philadelphia Museum and the Fleisher Art Memorial. She was just sixteen when the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York acquired one of her first works. She studied at Temple University and Yale, where she was the first African-American woman to earn a Master’s degree from Yale School of Architecture. She created her first bronze sculptures, and held her first solo gallery shows, in Rome from 1957 to 1959, when she also visited Paris, Egypt, Greece and Turkey, expanding her artistic horizons beyond the Western tradition. She settled in Paris in 1961 and married French photographer Marc Riboud. Her artworks have since been widely exhibited at institutions in the US, France, Japan, Australia, Germany and elsewhere.

Barbara Chase-Riboud is also well known for her literary work. She published her first collection of poetry, From Memphis & Peking, to widespread critical acclaim in 1974. Her first novel, Sally Hemings, appeared in 1979. She has published some ten novels and collections of poetry and has received numerous awards for her fiction, including the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize. Works by Barbara Chase-Riboud feature in the permanent collections of major art institutions, such as Berkeley Art Museum (California); the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York); the Museum of Modern Art (New York); the New Orleans Museum of Art (Louisiana); the Smithsonian African American Museum (Washington D.C.), the Centre National des Arts Plastiques (France)...

Gaëlle Choisne lives and works between Paris and London. In her work, Gaëlle Choisne fuses image and sculpture by playing on materials that oppose each other. She mixes concrete and plaster with more fragile elements such as salt, fabric and plants. Her installations are real "micro-stories" that evoke the difficult living conditions of Black people, her link with Haiti and the concept of love. In her hands, each topic becomes a social and spiritual issue. The body is absent from her work, while the viewer is invited to question and engage with different cultural and environmental issues.

Working with both private and public international institutions, she is engaged in various alternative and collective projects, as well as a number of cultural projects in Haiti. She has participated in several residencies in France and internationally: OPTICA and Art 3 Valance in Montreal, the Cité internationale des arts in Paris, the Rijksakademie as well as the Atelier Van Lieshout residency in Amsterdam. She has also had the opportunity to present her work in remarkable institutions such as the Musée des Beaux-Arts in Lyon, the MAMO of the Cité Radieuse of Le Corbusier, the Musée Fabre in Montpellier, the CAFA Museum in Beijing, and the Pera Museum in Istanbul.


AWARE: Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions is a non-profit association co-founded in 2014 and directed by Camille Morineau, a curator and art historian who specializes in women artists.

AWARE works to bring visibility to women artists of the 19th and 20th century, producing and posting free bilingual (French/English) content about their work on its website. AWARE's database includes artsit profiles, research articles, animated series for children and podcasts that offer entertaining ways to better understand and discover the lives and works of women artists.

AWARE also organises symposia, round tables and seminars in France and abroad in collaboration with universities and museums. It participates in various fairs and biennials around the world in order to increase the visibility and presence of women artists. In addition to the AWARE Prize, AWARE gives a voice to women artists by supporting their art production through open calls for projects and by publishing original interviews with the artists.