Nikolaus Gansterer. Photo: Eva Kelety.

Nikolaus Gansterer Wins Ireland’s MAC International Prize

Austrian artist Nikolaus Gansterer has been named the winner of the third edition of the MAC International Prize, Ireland’s largest award for contemporary artists. Chosen from a pool of more than eight hundred artists, he will receive $25,000.

Gansterer was recognized by the biennial award, known as Ireland’s Turner Prize, for his mixed-media installation Wor(l)ding: a meshwork of sense in flux. The piece is featured in the MAC International exhibition at the MAC in Belfast, alongside works by ten shortlisted artists and collectives: Anca Benera & Arnold Estefan, Ali Cherri, Larissa Fassler, Invernomuto (Simone Bertuzzi & Simone Trabucchi), Ronan McCrea, Aisling O’Beirn, Vesna Pavlović, Renata Poljak, Larissa Sansour, and Özge Topçu. The artworks, which will be on display until March 31, address issues ranging from fake news to archaeological inquiries.

The prize jury was made up of Hugh Mulholland, senior curator at the MAC; Anne Barlow, director at Tate St Ives; and Başak Şenova, curator of CrossSections, an interdisciplinary platform that is hosting programming in Vienna, Helsinki, and Stockholm over the course of three years, from 2017 to 2019.  

Roisin McDonough, chief executive of the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which partially funds the award, said: “The prize represents a serious commitment to the promotion of contemporary visual arts, and it does much more than reward the remarkable talents of a single, winning artist. It raises Northern Ireland’s profile as a serious player on the international arts scene and it creates the opportunity for audiences here to encounter some of the freshest, most exciting and ambitious work currently being produced by artists around the world.”

Tourism Northern Ireland and the Belfast City Council also back the award. Previous recipients of the prize are the inaugural winner Mairéad McClean and Jasmina Cibic.