The 35th Beckers Art Award – a grant of 200,000 SEK – has been awarded to Stockholm-based artist Laleh Kazemi Veisari who strives to understand the world and convey new perspectives through a variety of visual expressions.
Congratulations on winning the award Laleh! Please tell us about your artistry in general and what you create.
Thank you! I’m very happy about the award. In recent years my work has been shaped around collecting and piecing together fragments that consider experience, knowledge, memories and stories as material. Through intuition and research, I make connections and meaning, to develop an understanding of our complex and ever-changing world. The medium and material I end up working with are derived from my questions, and I try to listen carefully to the limitations and challenges that an idea may create and hold. I often work with series or installations, and might involve moving image, painting, drawing, sculpture, writing or montage.
What are you working on right now?
At the moment I am working with piecing together and deconstructing memory and place through painting, documenting practices and fiction. I work at the local level and move across regions to observe changing political and social fabrics. These processes are inscribed into a larger study and interest I have at the intersection of memory, the public, and the environment. Working diligently and over time, with tools such as careful sensing, abstraction, distance and closeness, this work is generating a vocabulary to understand how histories are constructed, how they change, and inform our present.
How did you win the award?
Initially and out of the blue, I had a studio visit from the jury, then unknown to me. During this visit I presented myself and my work. Then, in the late fall of 2021, it came as an incredible surprise when the jury contacted me to let me know that I would receive the Beckers Art Award in 2022. It was unbelievable, and I am sincerely grateful to everyone who made it possible.
What does it mean for you and your career to receive the Beckers Art Award 2022?
It is a great inspiration and honour to be part of the Beckers Art Award together with previous recipients. It gives me the opportunity and time to further explore, develop and focus on my artistic work, both now and in the future. The award exhibition that opened at Färgfabriken in Stockholm has provided me with the possibility and space to create new works that address and consider memory, time and vulnerability.
Where do you see your career going as an artist?
As an artist I want to focus my attention on making and presenting work that unsettle our understanding of time and place. This is to engage in our relationship with the world, with others, and with society. I do this in various ways, through transdisciplinary collaboration, community building, teaching, and cultural exchange. I feel curious about the ways in which my work will develop and transform over time.
Thank you for your questions.
Laleh Kazemi Veisari was born in 1983 and lives and works in Stockholm. Her work is interdisciplinary, engages collaborative processes and explores the imaginary, through social, spatial and environmental lenses. Her installations develop through mediums such as painting, drawing, sculpture and writing.
Laleh holds an MFA in Fine Art from Konstfack University of Arts, Crafts and Design, an MSc in interdisciplinary studies from the Department of Political Science at the University of Gothenburg and a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science. She was awarded the 2019 studio and research grant through the Bernadotte Programme and was the 2018 recipient of the Bror Hjorth drawing grant for young artists.
The Beckers Art Award jury explain why Laleh won the award: “Laleh Kazemi Veisari was awarded the 2022 Beckers Art Award because, in her ambitious quest to understand the world, she succeeds in creating a varied visual expression, which conveys new perspectives on the world. She creates art that in its poetically austere expression constantly shifts focus between the small concrete details and the incomprehensible diversity of the world. By deconstructing vast quantities of information, which are joined together in drawing, sculpture, painting, and text, she creates a presence where we’re included as co-creators and discoverers.”
The Beckers Art Award was established in 1987 and has identified and supported many young talented artists on the brink of a breakthrough in their careers. The winner is awarded a grant of 200,000 SEK in 2022, together with a solo exhibition that has, since 2001, been arranged and held in collaboration with Färgfabriken.
On Saturday 26 March, between 4:00-7:00 pm, the exhibition will be open in the evening with a finissage and Beckers Art Award 2022 scholarship distribution at Färgfabriken, Stockholm.
The exhibition will then continue to Höganäs Museum, where it will be open from
April 9 – May 8, 2022.