Juan Uslé: winner of 2020 Contemporary Drawing Prize

Daniel & Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation, Paris / France

April 1, 2020
April 1, 2020
Daniel & Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation
88 boulevard Malesherbes
75008 Paris

T +33 6 44 13 99 14
[email protected]


Three artists were competing for the 13th edition of the Drawing Prize:
Callum Innes, Scottish artist, born in 1962
Florian Pumhösl, Austrian artist, born in 1971
Juan Uslé, Spanish artist, born in 1954

This year the Paris Drawing Fair, during which the Foundation was to exhibit, the works of the three selected artists, was cancelled due to the Covid-19. Florence and Daniel Guerlain asked the jury, to vote by email, to chose the winner from the Foundation’s Counsel, Patricia Moyersoen. She’s the one who has been collecting jury votes since the beginning of the Prize

The laureate receives an endowment of 15,000 EUR and the two other selected artists 5,000 EUR each. A work by the winner will be offered to the Musée National d’Art Moderne, Paris by the Foundation.

Juan Uslé’s watercolours—gradations of colour and plays of transparency—effectively bring together the history of abstraction and memories of landscapes. Drawing, painting, repeating the gesture… Juan Uslé develops his subtle shades of blues, greens, greys and blacks, blended with the occasional yellow or red, by listening to the beating of his heart and his breathing. “I analyse the reaction of one colour to another,” he says, “and decide on their transparency or density by applying numerous variations to my lines.” He uses words such as vibrations sounds, flow or fluidity, and when asked which were his favourite watercolours, he replied: “the most dynamic, expressive and in a sense musical. His work focuses on specific movements, creating rhythm and plays on light. The different surfaces seem to move backwards and forwards, giving rise to a toing and froing within the work and a new spatial form that redefines conventional perspective. Juan Uslé produces drawings in a ritualized manner, which makes him feel at once disconnected and totally bound to the world.” Extract from the text by Marie Maertens

He is represented by the galleries Lelong (Paris, New York), Frith Street Gallery (London) and Cheim & Read (New York).

About the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation's Drawing Prize
Daniel and Florence Guerlain have not only been content to put together the most important collection of contemporary drawings in France. As early as 1996, they created their own contemporary art foundation and in 2006 they launched the Contemporary Drawing Prize dedicated to artists for whom drawing—work on paper or cardboard, collages, wall drawings is a significant part of their work.

All graphic means are allowed—pencil, charcoal, ink, wash tint, gouache, watercolour, pastel, felt tip or sanguine—except for computer or mechanical processes.

The three artists nominated, each year, by a committee of six experts may be of French or foreign nationality on condition that they entertain a privileged cultural link with France through institutional exhibitions, studies or being in residence there.

The winner is chosen by a jury of French and foreign collectors renewed each year

Members of the 2020 jury were: Clifford Davis (United States), Davíd Samuelsson (Iceland), Carlos Usandizaga (Spain), Carlo Boyl di Putifigari (Italy), Béatrice Charon, Thierry Gontier, Hervé Halgand, Florence and Daniel Guerlain (France).

The prize receives the support of the Daniel & Florence Guerlain Foundation’s Cercle des Amis, La Maison Guerlain, Neuflize OBC, Artcurial, AXA XL insurance, Artprice by ArtMarket.com, Voisin Consulting Life Sciences, Groupe Élysées Monceau, Groupe Pasteur Mutualité, the Salon du Dessin, Beaux-Arts de Paris, Château Seguin, La Maison Champagne Ruinart, Vodka Beluga, Rova Caviar Madagascar.

Past Winners: Silvia Bächli, Switzerland (2007), Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, Chile (2009), Catharina Van Eetvelde, Belgium (2010), Marcel Van Eeden, Netherlands (2011), Jorinde Voigt, Germany (2012), Susan Hefuna, Germany (2013), Tomasz Kowalski, Poland (2014), Jockum Nordström, Sweden (2015), Cameron Jamie, United States (2016), Ciprian Muresan, Romania (2017), Mamma Andersson, Sweden (2018), Claire Morgan, Irland (2019)

Contact: Daniel & Florence Guerlain Contemporary Art Foundation, T +33 (0)6 44 13 99 14, FDG2 [​at​] wanadoo.fr