top of page

Ibrahim Mahama Becomes the First Artist to Win Dia Art Foundations Sam Gilliam Award

Ghanaian artist, Ibrahim Mahama was awarded the inaugural edition of the Sam Gilliam Award, taking home $75,000 and a public program to be held at one of Dia’s locations this fall. The award, which was established in 2023 by the unitary collaboration of the Dia Art Foundation and the Sam Gilliam Foundation, is structured to be an annual occasion recognizing "an artist working anywhere in the world who has made a significant contribution in any medium."



Ibrahim Mahama
Ibrahim Mahama


Mahama's win was preceded and decided by a five-member jury composed of Annie Gawlak, Gilliam’s widow and president of his foundation; Courtney J. Martin, Director of the Yale Center for British Art and appointed director of the Rauschenberg Foundation; Emiliano Valdés, Chief Curator of the Medellín Museum of Modern Art; Zoé Whitley, Director of Chisenhale Gallery; and Jordan Carter, Dia curator and co–department head.


According to the judges, Mahama was selected from an extensive roster of artists due to his continuous growth as an artist, in terms of the complexity, scale, and responsiveness to the site in his multifaceted material practice, as well as the meaningful impact of his ambitious work as a community-oriented practitioner.


In a press release, Jessica Morgan, Dia director said, “Mahama champions collaboration in his work; just as he gives renewed purpose to the materials he collects and recycles into artworks, he revitalizes his communities by turning castoff structures into institutions for convening, learning, art-making, and collective growth. This award honours both sides of his sophisticated practice.”


Mahama was first introduced to Gilliam’s prestigious work as a student by his mentor Kąrî'kạchä Seid'ou, and since then "it's been greatly influential to me ever since,” he noted in the release. 


Mahama became prominent for his politically inclined jute sacks open-air installations that are overlayed over architectural structures. He has notable projects to his name like the With Out of Bounds (2015) at the 56th Venice Biennale where he covered the walls of the Arsenale to create a sheathed walkway, a route between the global art context and lives touched by the fabric in the past.



malam dodoo national theatre 1992 – 2016. covering of the national theatre of ghana in charcoal jute sacks in 2016 as part of the exchange exchanger project
malam dodoo national theatre 1992 – 2016. covering of the national theatre of ghana in charcoal jute sacks in 2016 as part of the exchange exchanger project
 


4 views0 comments

Commenti


Ibrahim Mahama Becomes the First Artist to Win Dia Art Foundations Sam Gilliam Award

April 1, 2024

Art Report Africa

2 min read

bottom of page