Earlier this year the Loewe foundation launched the Loewe Craft Prize, an annual international award celebrating excellence in craftsmanship. With this forward-looking initiative, Loewe and creative director J. W. Anderson sought to recognize uniquely talented artisans whose artistic vision and will to innovate set a new standard for the future of craft. A prestigious team selected as winner British silversmith Alex Brogden, who met the task by creating an elegantly modern bowl, lined with delicately undulating ridges.
For the first edition the jury of prominent experts were from the worlds of design, architecture, industry, journalism, art criticism and museum curatorship including Anderson, ceramist Claudi Casanovas, and master weaver and textile-designer John Allen.
The panel selected a winning work from among submissions by 14 finalists.
The incentive for the competition goes back to the roots of LOEWE, a leading luxury house that started as a collective of artisans in 1846.
“Craftsmanship has immense importance for me and is an immense source of inspiration. That’s why I wanted to create a platform to highlight what has been done by hand by potters, basket weavers, furniture designers, jewelers and other professionals who work quietly and are often underestimated. In fact, there is nothing more difficult than finding a way to create an object that has its own formula and is expressed in the same language of its creator, creating a dialogue that previously did not exist.” notes Jonathan Anderson, Creative Director of Loewe.
Brogden, an internationally-celebrated craftsperson in his own right, has exhibited his work in all four corners of the globe. Alex was inspired by the importance of crafts in an increasingly digitized and profit-driven world while designing the trophy.
“As a contemporary craftsman I am very aware of our relationship with materials,” the artist said in a statement. “How things are made is as important to me as what it is made of, and is at the root of all good design. The Loewe Craft Prize is a welcome new platform to highlight the particular value of crafted objects in a world where they are increasingly rare.”
Brogden wins €50,000 in cash to further his craft but all fourteen finalists will be rewarded with a special exhibition in Madrid May, 2017.