2023 Northern Trust Purchase Prize

Amada Cruz, Illsley Ball Nordstrom Director and CEO, & José Carlos Diaz, Susan Brotman Deputy Director of Seattle Art Museum at Northern Trust Purchase Prize Announcement, EXPO CHICAGO 2023. Photo by Kyle Flubacker.

Each year EXPO CHICAGO and Presenting Sponsor Northern Trust select artworks from the fair’s EXPOSURE section– featuring galleries ten years and younger– to be purchased for an institution’s permanent collection. Since 2013, the award was gifted to one institution, but in 2022 it expanded to three U.S. institutions located in East, West and Midwest regions. Previous institution recipients include The Art Institute of Chicago; The Arts Club of Chicago; Block Museum of Art, Northwestern University; DePaul Art Museum, DePaul University; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago; Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; Pérez Art Museum; Portland Art Museum; Saint Louis Art Museum; Seattle Art Museum; Smart Museum of Art, University of Chicago; Speed Art Museum; Walker Art Center. Learn more about the Northern Trust Purchase Prize artists and gallery recipients below.

2023 Northern Trust Purchase Prize Recipients & Winners

The 2023 Northern Trust Purchase Prize has been awarded to three national institutions: Seattle Art Museumthe Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg; and Saint Louis Art Museum

“The Northern Trust Purchase Prize shares with the EXPOSURE section a spirit of inclusion and mission to enhance visibility of underrecognized artists and arts regions. The artists in the EXPOSURE section, presented by up-and-coming galleries ten years and younger, have the opportunity to be included in important institutional collections from around the country, and, in turn, the institutions gain by adding to their holdings the work of exciting creators that perhaps were under their radar.”
— Aimé Iglesias Lukin | 2023 EXPOSURE curator & Director and Chief Curator of Visual Arts at Americas Society in New York

Seattle Art Museum

Mohau Modisakeng, Phahamong III, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Martin Art Projects.

Seattle Art Museum will acquire the painting Phahamong III by Mohau Modisakeng from Martin Art Projects.

“The paintings reflect on the theme of sacred places and places of ritual. In these works the figures stand in juxtaposition to the natural landscape of a forest or mountain observing a ritual of cleansing (such as a river).” — Mohau Modisakeng | Artist

“With a passion for both new and established artists from South Africa and its diaspora, I am absolutely thrilled to be showing the first body of paintings from Mohau Modisakeng at EXPO CHICAGO. I am especially proud that one of these works will now be in the Seattle Art Museum, to be enjoyed and appreciated for many generations. Thank you to the Seattle Art Museum, the Northern Trust and EXPO CHICAGO.”
— Igsaan Martin, Founder and Director | Martin Art Projects

“We’re so thankful to be able to acquire a painting by Mohan Modisakeng. It enhances our efforts to collect living artists, especially those from outside the United States. It bridges many areas of our collection and we look forward to seeing it in Seattle.”
 José Carlos Diaz, | Susan Brotman Deputy Director for Art, Seattle Art Museum

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Claudia Pena Salinas, Ahau Can, 2023. Courtesy of the artist, Dario Lasagni, and Embajada.

The Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg will acquire Ahua Can, a mixed-media sculpture by Claudia Peña Salinas from Embajada.

"I am honored that Katherine Pill, senior curator of contemporary art at the St. Petersburg Museum of Fine Arts has selected Ahua Can for the Northern Trust prize. It’s very meaningful to also have this acquisition happen in Chicago, the city where my family still lives and where I went to school." — Claudia Peña Salinas | Artist

"We are so grateful for this prize, not only is it an important endorsement of Claudia's practice but it represents crucial support for a small independent operation like our gallery to continue promoting the work of artists like Claudia who expand the language of contemporary art and shed light on new accounts of influence and historical knowledge." — Manuela Paz | Co-Founder and Director, Emajada

"Claudia Peña Salinas weaves a research-based practice with a rigorous dedication to refined craft, producing a body of innovative conceptual work that is beautiful, evocative, and compelling. Ahua Can is an ideal addition to our encyclopedic museum, a work that stands powerfully on its own and will be richly generative in dialogue with our collections. We look forward to welcoming this work and introducing the artist to our community." — Katherine Pill | Senior Curator of Contemporary Art, Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg

Saint Louis Art Museum

Wore Lagunju, Irawo II, 2023. Courtesy of the artist and Montague Contemporary.

Saint Louis Art Museum will acquire the large-scale painting Irawo II by Wole Lagunju from Montague Contemporary.

"I am honored to be included in the permanent collection of the St. Louis Art Museum. It feels serendipitous that the work “Irawo II” —which translates from the Yoruba language as ‘destiny’—is being chosen and it is the fulfillment of a dream."
— Wole Lagunju | Artist

"We are thrilled to have Wole Lagunju joining the esteemed ranks of the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM), and hope that his work continues to draw attention to the potential interplay between historical Yoruba traditions and how we navigate the contemporary Western landscape." — Montague Hermann | Founder and Director, Montague Contemporary

“We are very excited at the Saint Louis Art Museum to acquire Wole Lagunju’s Irawo II. This is a painting which has a powerful presence and will be a significant addition to our ongoing collecting of African contemporary art. Full of layered meanings, the work will also be a wonderful complement to the Yoruba beaded crowns in the Museum’s encyclopedic collection.” — Min Jung Kim | Barbara B. Taylor Director, Saint Louis Art Museum