Multimedium artist Iman Issa is the winner of the inaugural Fundació Han Nefkens MACBA Contemporary Art Award, presented by the foundation and the Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona. The award, which will be given biennially, includes 50,000 Euros (about $66,000), 20,000 in cash and 30,000 toward the production of a new project. The Egyptian-born Issa, who lives in Cairo and New York, will create a project in Barcelona in 2013. The foundation was established in Barcelona in 2009 to promote contemporary art.

According to an announcement, the award is intended to "help to consolidate the career of artists with many years' experience in this field but needing a definitive backing from the international artistic community." Artists of any age, sex or citizenship are eligible for the award, which is designed to "establish complicities and networks" and "favor the production of new works of art in Barcelona."

Issa, who creates sculptural installations that comment obliquely on social and political situations, won the Abraaj Capital Art Prize in August and will appear in the 2013 "generational" triennial at New York's New Museum.

Ten international "scouts" selected three artists from their respective geographical areas for consideration for the FHN MACBA prize. These 30 artists were then narrowed to between five and 10 by a committee, from which the jury selected the winner.

Serving on the jury were Nefkens (a Dutch writer and art collector) and MACBA director Bartomeu Marí, both of whom will be permanent members of the jury. This year's other jurors were Iwona Blazwick (director, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London), Adriano Pedrosa (independent curator, São Paulo) and Christine Tohmé (independent curator, Beirut).

The scouts were: Defne Ayas (Asia), Zdvenka Badovinac (Slovenia), Abdellah Karroum (Morocco), Sylvia Koubali (Turkey), Gabi Ngcobo (South Africa), Victoria Noorthoorn (Argentina), Manu Park (Korea), Beatriz Pérez (Colombia), Christoph Storz (India) and Barthélémy Toguo (Cameroon and Paris).


© Photo Santos Román