New Heads – Fondation BNP Paribas Art Awards

The New Heads – Fondation BNP Paribas Art Awards project, initiated in 2012, develops fertile synergies between HEAD’s MA graduates in Fine Arts and key personalities in contemporary art. Through a collective exhibition, visibility at the artgenève art fair and the awarding of prizes worth a significant amount of money, ‘New Heads’ supports the work of young graduates and builds bridges with the professional art scene. 

Every year, an independent exhibition curator is invited to select the candidates among the MA graduates in Fine Arts who are nominated for the New Heads – Fondation BNP Paribas Art Awards and to set up a collective exhibition in the school’s curatorial area, LiveInYourHead. Curators in the last five years include Giovanni Carmine, Director of Kunsthalle in St. Gallen, Marc-Olivier Wahler, Director of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at Michigan State University, Nicolas Trembley, art critic and curator, and artists Latifa Echakhch and Jeanne Graff. 

The New Heads – Fondation BNP Paribas Art Awards, worth CHF 12,000, are awarded by an international jury of art professionals as well as a jury of Groupe BNP Paribas Suisse associates. These prizes represent significant financial support to help young graduates integrate into the professional art world. In addition, award-winning artists will see one of their works integrated into the prestigious Fondation BNP Paribas Suisse collection. The awards also include a New Heads prize awarded by Le Temps, consisting of a limited edition of a reproduction of a work by the award-winning artist which is offered to subscribers of the Swiss newspaper. 

Moreover, since 2015, the Fondation BNP Paribas Art Awards have been associated with the artgenève art fair, thanks to ‘New Heads’. By presenting their works, this unique partnership between a foundation and a major showcase for contemporary art in Geneva provides young artists with a professional platform and increased visibility.

The Fondation BNP Paribas Suisse, working together with HEAD – Genève, shares a common ambition: to develop up-and-coming talent in the field of fine arts and facilitate professional integration in the art world.