Marie-Jo Lafontaine was born in Antwerp in 1950. After starting her studies in law, she studied at La Cambre - Ecole Nationale Supérieure d'Architecture et d'Arts Visuels of Architecture and Visual Arts in Brussels, where she currently lives.
Her work is first made up of textile sculptures, then in the early 80's, video installations or more precisely video-sculptures of which she is one of the pioneers. However, her work also crosses the
Marie-Jo Lafontaine is thus an explorer of the images, of all the images, Marie-Jo Lafontaine is therefore an explorer of images, of all images (photographs, videos, installations), so much so that she renews the formal as well as the political part of the visual arts by integrating, always, the upheaval of the emotions.
Since then, Marie-Jo Lafontaine has exhibited her work in prestigious museums and galleries around the world, and has received international awards and prizes for a body of work that has developed over three decades.
In 1977, she was awarded the Prix de la Jeune Peinture Belge for her monochrome textile works, and in the same year, she won the Wilhem Loth Prize of the Mathildenhöhe Museum in Darmstadt. In 1992 she received the Media Award of the European Union for her video installations, and in 1998 the European Photography Award in Great Britain.
Marie-Jo Lafontaine also received a scholarship from MIT in Boston in 1985, and in 2008 she was elected "European Artist of the Year" in China.
Her works explore the art of the portrait or the representation of the body, the urban space or the relationship between the image and the text by developing, for that, a dramatic power and an unprecedented sense of color ... And Marie-Jo Lafontaine has exhibited them at the Museum of Modern Art, Centre Georges Pompidou, in Paris in 1981; at the Tate Gallery in London in 1985 and, in 1987 at the Documenta in Kassel, where an important video installation, Les Larmes d'Acier, was
presented. In 1999, a retrospective was devoted to his work at the Musée du Jeu de Paume in Paris, then, ten years later in 2008-2009, at the Botanique in Brussels, and many others ...
From the point of view of artistic commissions, let's mention for example in 2002, the Lost Paradise project at the Glass Pavilion BMW in Munich, Germany, and, in 2006, the I Love The World project which was elected by the city of Frankfurt and a group of banks for the official opening of the FIFA Football World Cup which took place the same year in Germany. This work in the public space was intended to be projected on ten thousand square meters of screens spread over ten buildings representing the "skyline" of Frankfurt. In 2002, Marie-Jo Lafontaine was the winner of the competition project for the new "Pier F" at Stockhlom Airport, and in 2012 of the "Icons of Art Basel - Rolls-Royce Artist Talks" program.
Marie Jo Lafontaine's work is of great plastic, aesthetic and dramaturgical intensity, realized with consistency and rigor over the
Alexandre Castant Essayist & Art Critic
1975-1979 Studies at the National Superior School of Architecture and Visual Arts
La Cambre, Brussels
1977 Prize of the Young Belgian Painting
Beginning of the textile environments
1978 Bronze Medal "Europe Prize for Painting, Ostend Belgium
1979 Critics' prize, Antwerp Belgium
1980 Beginning of the video installations, multi-screens and multi-sources
1985 Scholarship to M.I.T Boston, USA
1986 Scholarship "Fiacre" Ministry of Culture Paris
1986-1987 Lives in Villeneuve Les Avignons and Marseille France
Guest at the Avignon Festival
1987 Invited by Manfred Schneckenburger to Documenta 8 in Kassel, Germany. Presentation of the video installation "Les larmes d'acier
1990 Professor at the "Sommer Akademie" in Salzburg, Austria
1991 Founding member of the HFG Karlsruhe, Germany
1992 Professor "Plastik und Multimédia" HFG, Karlsruhe Germany
1992 Prize "Europäische Medium und Kommunikation" Germany
1995 Award "Wilheim Loth Kunstpreis" Darmstadt, Germany
1996 Beginning of audio and interactive installations with Todor Todoroff
1997 Award for Photography "photo 98, England
1998 Visiting professor at the "Bundesakademie fûr Kulturelle Bildung" Wolfenbüttel, Germany
2000 Prize for the competition "Kunst am Bau" Justizzentrum Bonn Germany
2001 Postage stamp "roses" artistic series of the Belgian Post
2001-2002 Award for the competition "Art for the Pier F" New wing of the airport Arlanda, Stockholm, Sweden
2002 BMW, project for the Glass Pavilion, Munich, Germany
2003 Award for the competition "Kunst am Bau" New Felix Nussbaum Museum built by Daniel Libeskind, Osnabrück, Germany
2004 Visiting professor at "U.D.K. Berlin, for postgraduate students
2005 Guest artist at "CORDOBA-Portugal JUNTA DE ANDALUCIA, Conseleria de Cultura UN ESPACIO PARA EL NUEVO ART foro internacional de reflexion y debate
2006 Prize of the competition " Sky Arena Project Frankfurt, Germany - I love the world ! The world soccer cup
2008 Shanghai fashion & culture Mediaaward 2007-China Fashion awards is China's first award ceremony dedicated to the discovery, reward and promotion of pioneers in culture and fashion industry
2009 Edward Steichen Prize, Luxembourg, awarding of the prize to the winner
2012 Icons of art Royce-Artist Talk Marie Jo Lafontaine and Alexandre Castant
2013 Protocol portrait of the Belgian Royal couple
2017 Prize for the competition "AZ Zeno, campus Knokke-Heist" art integrated into architecture
2019 Swimming pool of Saint-Josse-ten-Noode, "les bains de St Josse" art integrated into architecture
2020 Clinic Bethanien Zurich