MILAN — Maria Iorio and Raphaël Cuomo have won the tenth edition of the biennial art award Premio Furla. Both were born in Switzerland and are currently based in Berlin, where they work as a duo, frequently exploring Italian identity through their art.
They were selected from a pool that included four other emerging Italian talents.
This year, the awards ceremony moved from Bologna, Italy — home of the Fondazione Furla and Furla headquarters — to Milan, considered a more international setting, and artists were asked to develop projects with a nude theme.
Benno Tempel, director of the Foundation Gemeentemuseum Den Haag in the Netherlands and a member of the jury, named Iorio and Cuomo as winners of the Nude Prize today during a press conference held at the Palazzo Reale, a former city government building that currently houses exhibitions.
Iorio and Cuomo will now be able to complete their latest project with full backing from the Fondazione Furla, and their work will be displayed in a special retrospective at the Palazzo Reale from March 5 to April 15, 2015, alongside pieces from each of the previous Premio Furla winners. Iorio and Cuomo’s project will also be presented at both Miart, Milan’s contemporary art fair, and at the Fondazione Querini Stampalia during the 56th Venice Biennale next May.
In addition, the duo will be able to spend three months artists-in-residence at the SOMA arts organization in Mexico City.
“We had no idea, we knew there was an artistic residence but we didn’t know where,” said Iorio, noting she has never been to Mexico. “With Raphaël, we often work on themes related to migration, and Mexico seems like a good place to explore that.”
“This will really allow us to concentrate on developing our work,” Cuomo added.
The other finalists were Luigi Coppola, Maria Adele Del Vecchio, Francesco Fonassi and Gian Maria Tosatti. The latter received an invitation from this year’s patron artist Vanessa Beecroft to spend time working in her Los Angeles studio.
Fondazione Furla president Giovanna Furlanetto was quick to note that all Premio Furla finalists have gone on to successful careers in the art world, and suggested that in the future, she would like the award to give Italian artists even greater visibility “outside our borders.”