Andrea Büttner (b. 1972, Germany) was announced as the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women last night. Büttner lives and works in London and Frankfurt. Shortlisted artists Becky Beasley and Elizabeth Price were also in attendance. I first looked at the Max Mara Art Prize for Women when Margaret Salmon won in 2007. This Prize offers women the chance to not only disseminate their work to a larger audience, but to create through a 6-month residency. How I would love one of those!

The Prize celebrates the diversity that female artists bring to contemporary art, with regards to aesthetics and discourse. It also provides a platform in which they can reach a wider audience. It is a unique initiative set up to promote and nurture female artists based in the UK, enabling artists to develop their potential through the conception of a new work. Shortlisted candidates are asked to develop a proposal for their desired projects, which is then judged by an all female panel. The judging panel for the third Prize, of which Iwona Blazwick is Chairwoman, included artist Fiona Banner; gallerist Alison Jacques; art collector Valeria Napoleone; and art critic Polly Staple.

This year’s winner, Andrea Büttner, will undertake a 6-month residency in Italy, where she can realise her vision. Büttner’s residency will be divided into two locations. The first section will take place from 26 April 2010 at the American Academy in Rome and the second part at the Pistoletto Foundation in Biella. The work will then be offered to the Collezione Maramotti for acquisition and presented at the Whitechapel Gallery in an exhibition in Spring 2011.

Andrea Büttner works in a variety of media, sometimes using old-fashioned items such as woodcuts and pressed flowers, and is especially interested in the area where art and religion overlap. In the last five years Büttner has held solo exhibitions at Pawn Shop in Los Angeles, Crystal Palace in Stockholm, Goethe-Institute in Dublin, London’s ICA, and in 2009 at Croy Nielsen in Berlin, amongst others. She has studios in East London and in Frankfurt.

Andrea Büttner said: “I am very grateful for this opportunity and for the support and trust the Max Mara Art Prize judges show in my work. I look forward to my residency in Italy, and the time it affords me to concentrate on developing a new body of work.”

Iwona Blazwick, OBE, Director, Whitechapel Gallery and Chairwoman, Max Mara Art Prize for Women, said: “We are delighted to announce Andrea Büttner as the winner of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. “It is absolutely of the moment; the range of media she uses references art from German Expressionist woodcuts to photography. We eagerly await the results of her 6-month residency in Italy and look forward to showing her work at the Whitechapel Gallery.”

Andrea Büttner is definitely worth keeping an eye on!

Image credit

© Andrea Bütner, Nativity, 2007, wood cut, 3 panels of 180 cm x 80 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Hollybush Gardens