The Carnegie Art Award is both an exhibition and an art award. Its aim is to promote and support contemporary Nordic art and artists. This year the exhibition tour starts off in Kiasma in October. Artists will be awarded a total of 2 100 000 Swedish krona, that is 227 600 euro, in the award ceremony on 25 October 2007.
The Carnegie Art Award was established in 1998 as Carnegie Investment Bank's contribution to the promotion of contemporary Nordic painting. Until 2002, the Nordic exhibition tour was organised and the prizes awarded annually. In 2004, the event was reformed into a biennale, while the award money was also doubled.
In 2006, the first prize, one million Swedish krona, was awarded to Swedish Karin Mamma Andersson and in 2004 to Finnish Nina Roos. The second prize is worth 600,000, the third 400,000 krona, in addition to which a 100,000 krona young artist's scholarship is awarded. Other awarded Finnish artists are Petra Lindholm (Third Prize in 2006), Elina Brotherus (Young artist's scholarship in 2004), Carolus Enckell (Second Prize in 2001), Johan Scott (Third Prize in 2001), Petri Hytönen (Third Prize in 2000), Silja Rantanen (Second Prize in 1999) and Jussi Niva (Young artist's scholarship in 1998).
The compilation of the exhibition is a two-stage process. First, approximately 30 experts in Nordic art chose five personal favourites. All in all 143 Nordic artists were nominated for the 2008 Carnegie Art Award. From these a six-member jury chose 26 artists to participate in the exhibition. The invited artists are Thordis Aðalsteinsdóttir (IS), Torsten Andersson (SE), Nathalie Djurberg (SE), Gardar Eide Einarsson (NO), Anette H. Flensburg (DK), Jens Fänge (SE), Else Marie Hagen (NO), Ellen Hyllemose (DK), Jarl Ingvarsson (SE), Kristina Jansson (SE), Jesper Just (DK), Pertti Kekarainen (FIN), Jukka Korkeila (FIN), Ferdinand Ahm Krag (DK), John Kørner (DK), Tor-Magnus Lundeby (NO), Jussi Niva (FIN), Fie Norsker (DK), Allan Otte (DK), Silja Rantanen (FIN), Vesa-Pekka Rannikko (FIN), Kirstine Roepstorff (DK), Thorbjørn Sørensen (NO), Anna Tuori (FIN), Thór Vigfússon (IS), Karin Wikström (SE).
The Carnegie Art Award focuses on painting but defines its limits very openly, crossing the boundaries of technique. Participating works can be photography, videos or installations that in some way deal with questions relating to painterliness and pictorial representation, such as light, colour, surface, depth and form.
The jury, which is selected for three-year periods, includes Senior Curator Maaretta Jaukkuri from Kiasma and taking the chair of the jury this year is Tuula Arkio. Works chosen for the exhibition may not be older than two years. Thus, it is ensured that the exhibition and the accompanying book as well as the video introducing the artists give, as far as possible, an up-to-date representation of the current state of Nordic painting.