Press Release

Beatriz Cortez wins the inaugural Frieze LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize

Event Date: 
4 October 2019
New York, NY

The Los Angeles-based artist has been selected to create a major new work for Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, New York, 2020.

Beatriz Cortez is the winner of the inaugural Frieze LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize, a new large-scale outdoor commission by an emerging artist. The prize has been established to enable an artist to create a new work that will be unveiled as part of Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center, New York: a program of works by leading international artists, curated by Brett Littman that will open on 22 April and coincides with Frieze New York (6 - 10 May, 2020).

Cortez’s proposal was selected from over 120 applications by artists from more than 30 countries, following an international open call. Applicants to the prize were judged on the innovative nature of their idea and its potential for realization.The 2020 Frieze LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize selection jury included as chair Brooke Kamin Rapaport (Deputy Director and Martin Friedman Chief Curator, Madison Square Park), and guest judges Taylor Aldridge (curator, writer), Megan Guzman (Director, Marketing, LIFEWTR), Brett Littman (Director, Noguchi Museum and Sculpture Garden), Loring Randolph (Director of Frieze New York), and Michaella Solar-March (Managing Director, Marketing and Experience, Rockefeller Center). Cortez will receive a generous budget to realize her artwork at Frieze New York 2020, under the curatorial guidance of Rapaport.

Cortez’ work will evoke a glacial erratic rock, similar to the numerous glacial erratics that define the landscape of New York City. The sculpture will age as the weather and atmospheric conditions change. It will invite the viewer to consider the lengths of time that are marked by the motions of the planet, the ways in which non-human worlds exist all around us, keeping different temporalities, as well as the ways in which matter is marked by its placement and its interactions with the world. 

Cortez said: “I am excited to have the opportunity to make this sculpture and place it in such a visible space in New York City, and through it to invite passers-by to imagine migration and movement in planetary ways, through processes that have taken millions of years and that continue into the future.”

The Frieze LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize is made possible through the ongoing partnership between Frieze and LIFEWTR, a premium water brand committed to advancing and supporting emerging artists on a global stage. The Prize underscores Frieze and the LIFEWTR brand’s shared commitment to providing support and visibility to emerging artists, promoting dialogue between artists of different generations, and making art accessible in the public realm. 

“In everything we do at LIFEWTR, we are dedicated to showcasing emerging artists and helping them advance their careers. Over the last two years, we have seen how the support of an artist’s work can positively impact the artist as well as the community," said Megan Guzman, Director, Marketing, LIFEWTR. "Frieze is a wonderful partner that shares our purpose and we are so proud that the inaugural Frieze LIFEWTR Sculpture Prize can make a lasting impact and deliver on our shared goal of supporting creativity globally.” 

Loring Randolph, Director of Frieze New York, said: “Frieze Sculpture at Rockefeller Center was a huge success this year as another highly-visible platform for galleries to showcase the work of their artists. Frieze has a history in New York of commissioning ambitious artist projects, and we are thrilled to add another award of this magnitude to our Frieze New York program through the support of LIFEWTR." 

Since its debut in 2017, LIFEWTR has worked with more than 20 artists from around the world providing each featured artist with global visibility and opportunities to advance their career and passion through a far-reaching platform and partnerships with art world industry leaders such as Frieze.


Frieze New York is supported by global lead partner Deutsche Bank.

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Beatriz Cortez, Generosity I, 2019. Courtesy: the artist and Commonwealth and Council, Los Angeles

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