By  on February 7, 2006

MILAN — American-born photographer and filmmaker Margaret Salmon was awarded the first Max Mara Art Prize for Women last month.

The award was curated by Iwona Blazwick, director of London's renowned Whitechapel Gallery, which pioneered artists such as Frida Kahlo, Jackson Pollock and Cristina Iglesias. It was announced at the Art Biennale in Venice last June, with the purpose of nurturing and promoting emerging talent based in the United Kingdom. Salmon, 30, who lives in Harrogate, North Yorkshire, proposed a film trilogy.

Her "work draws on the revolutionary aesthetics of early avant-garde cinema to create emotive and hauntingly beautiful family dramas observed from a feminine perspective," Blazwick said in a statement. The prize will grant Salmon a six-month residency in Italy.

"The main ambition of the Max Mara prize is to offer a female artist living in the U.K. a unique opportunity to focus on a new body of work through a residency in what is considered one of the most challenging cultural environments in the world — Italy," said Luigi Maramotti, chairman of the family-owned company.

"I am especially grateful for the opportunity to work in Italy, the birthplace of Neorealism, which has been a major influence and inspiration for my work," Salmon said.

The Maramottis are major art collectors and are involved in art and restoration projects.

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