BNL-BNP Paribas Group Award 2020




The work Sequoia Piece will become part of the BNL BNP Paribas Group Collection. It has been chosen by a jury of experts among the works of 15 finalists, virtually exhibited on the @bnl_cultura Instagram channel.

BNL BNP Paribas Group has decided to award the prize, even though MIA Fair 2020 could not take place due to the Covid-19 emergency restrictions.

Nils-Udo, Sequoia Piece, Vancouver 2012, llfochrome colour print on Di-bond, 128×128 cm, Ed. 1/5, Courtesy Photo&Contemporary, Torino/Milan

With his work Sequoia Piece (2012), an image of an installation the artist created in the Van Dusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, Nils-Udo (Laufnen, Germany, 1937) is the winner of the BNL BNP Paribas Group Award, which is awarded every year in Milan during MIA Fair, the international fair devoted to photography.

MIA Fair is one of the most eagerly awaited event for collectors and photography enthusiasts, exhibiting a wide range of artists from established to emerging ones from all over the world. Although the 10th edition of MIA Fair could not take place due to the health emergency BNL BNP Paribas Group, Main Sponsor of MIA Fair, wanted to reward the best artist and to promote the work of the 15 finalists by publishing them on the @bnl_cultura Instagram account.

The “virtual” exhibition gave art lovers the opportunity to discover and get to know the internationally recognized artist and their photographic works; a great opportunity for art enthusiasts, considering that Photography is one of the most representative expressive languages of the contemporary art system.

The new event of MIA Fair is scheduled for spring 2021, at the new location SUOERSTUDIO MAXI in Milan.

The reason that led the jury to award the prize to Sequoia Piece by Nils-Udo, represented by Valerio Tazzetti’s Photo&Contemporary gallery, was the attention shown by the German artist for the environmental impact control and the respect for the natural resources.

The environmental issue is nowadays a global concern of our time, as well as a theme of great interest for BNL BNP Paribas Group, in line with their  #PositiveBanking strategy. This issue derives from the ambition to generate a positive impact for a better future, with particular attention to the new generations.

Sequoia Piece is the image of the installation created by Nils-Udo, where energy, strength and the immensity of sequoias coexist harmoniously with the delicacy, elegance and the caducity of palm leaves, planted specifically around, above and below the imposing centuries-old trees. Nils-Udo is a well-known representative of the Art in Nature movement. He has focused his investigation on the inseparable bond between human condition, personal identity and the perfection of Nature, creating installations that are sometimes immense, sometimes almost miniaturised. He has developed works which will not remain the same forever. On the contrary, they will undergo the natural change of the biological cycle, letting nature intervene in his work.

With this Award,  BNL BNP Paribas Group confirms its constant effort to enhance the development of contemporary art in Italy and, in particular, of photography for its ability to recognize and narrate the reality of our time, thus reinforcing to its role as an agent that is attentive to society and people. Furthermore, BNL BNP Paribas Group is constantly engaged in spreading culture and knowledge as factors for stimulating individual and collective growth, with an inclusive approach and support for those with fewer opportunities.

As a matter of fact, BNL has shown in recent decades a sincere effort in promoting contemporary artists and enhancing socio-cultural initiatives related to photographic art, also acquiring numerous works, especially of young emerging talents.

The work of the winning artist will become part of the important BNL BNP Paribas Group Collection, which has also been enriched over the past years by the works of the artists awarded in the previous editions.

Milan, November 2020


BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas, strong in its role and history as one of Italy’s leading banking groups, has demonstrated in many occasions its willingness to defend Italy’s artistic heritage supporting the development of creative talents; this year BNL renews its commitment to promoting cultural initiatives by presenting the ninth edition of the BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas Award.

The competition, jointly organized with MIA Photo Fair and dedicated to photography and video, is intended to be a new opportunity to confirm BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas’ interest in the development of culture and research into contemporary art in Italy.

Participation in the BNL Gruppo BNP Paribas Prize is reserved to all photographs or video artworks by artists exhibiting through the galleries selected for MIA Photo Fair.

Given the purpose of this competition, which is to promote and disseminate contemporary art and culture in Italy, the winning artwork will be acquired by BNL.

List of finalists’ artworks:

African Arty  / Galerie Vèronique Rieffel – Alun Be

Barry Friedman LTD – Michele Alassio

c|e contemporary – Evelyn Bencicova

Contrasto Galleria – Marco Gualazzini

Die Mauer – Isabella Gherardi

Drawing room – Johanna Jaeger

Galleria Forni – Laurent Chéhère

Kourd Gallery – Vangelis Kyris, Anatoli Georgiev

Galleria Lilja Zakirova – Katerina Belkina


Pigment Gallery – Rubén Martín Lucas

Project 2.0 / Gallery – Rachel Nieborg

Red Lab Gallery – Alessandra Baldoni

Galerie Sit Down – Aurore Bagarry

Versus Art Project – Serkan Taycan


Check the finalists’ image gallery:

BNL BNP Paribas Award 2020 – The finalists


MIA Fair 2021 – Tenth edition

Milan, SUPERSTUDIO MAXI (via Moncucco 35)

Spring 2021

For further information:

MIA Fair Organization office

Via San Vincenzo 22 – 20123 Milan | Phone +39.02.83241412 –

Press Office

CLP Public Relations

Stefania Rusconi | Phone +39.02.36755700 ||

Press release and pictures on


Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google