In residency in Brooklyn, NYC at ISCP
From November 2022 to January 2023
Open Studios on November 18th
1040 Metropolitan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211


Solo exhibition with Luce Gallery
Torino, Italy
06/10 – 02/12

Mirabel is a Paris-based painter who incorporates pensive figures into dissolving, dream-like interior spaces. By combining symbolic hues, tropical plants, household objects, and suggestions of exterior spaces with detailed portraits, the artist creates deeply intimate works that explore the immersive and transportive experience of recalling a memory. When viewed together, the paintings presented in Memory Palace pose deeper questions about how our memories can simultaneously coexist and conflict with our history, cultures, and even identity.

The exhibition’s title, Memory Palace, references the Method of Loci, a memory strategy that uses visualizations of a space well-known to an individual, to aid in their recollection of information. The idea is that you can mentally walk through your familiar space or “memory palace” and look at your memories to recall them more efficiently. For the artist, these familiar comforting spaces are the interior rooms of a home. In her own interpretation of a “memory palace,” Mirabel reveals the psychological process of how we recall and experience memories by juxtaposing elements from the exterior world with our interiors spaces. Each painting illustrates how some details — like ocean waves or a breeze through palm trees— are recalled more vividly than others, understanding that our memories work less like pristine photographs and function more like fragments of images, sounds, feelings, and tastes.


The International Studio & Curatorial Program (ISCP), Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy and 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair are pleased to announce the return of the Ritzau Prize 2022 for the third consecutive year. The 2022 prize winner is Johanna Mirabel, a painter and sculptor whose work explores the contradictions and complexities of cultural identity. The Ritzau Art Prize provides global visibility, professional development, and career enhancing residencies at ISCP in New York City to promising visual artists from the African continent and of African descent. Started in 2020 and continuing annually for three years, the prize was initiated by ISCP in collaboration with 1-54 Contemporary African Art Fair and is funded by Tauck Ritzau Innovative Philanthropy (TRIP)Adjani Okpu-Egbe was the inaugural recipient in 2020 and Micha Serraf was the award winner in 2021. 

Johanna Mirabel, represented by Véronique Rieffel Gallery, Paris, France, was competitively selected by the 2022 jury of distinguished contemporary African art experts: Evelyn Owen, Associate Curator at the AfricaCenter; Stephanie Baptist, the Founder and Director of the gallery Medium Tings; and Dodji Gbedemah, co-founder and director of Kente Royal Gallery.

“Mirabel has really good command of the medium,” said Baptist, “There is storytelling and historical relevance, but the work stands on its own without narrative.” Owen added, “ Each work could occupy ones’ thoughts for hours.”

Mirabel will participate in ISCP’s arts residency program from October to December 2022. She will benefit from 24-hour access to a private studio, participation in the program’s well-attended Open Studios, meetings with visiting critics, opportunity to speak about her art and practice in an ISCP public talk, and field trips alongside 34 peers from at least 25 different countries at any given time, among other program offerings. ISCP’s residencies focus on building community and professional discourse among residents. With an open-door policy and monthly events including lunches, internal critiques, and gallery walks, residents are provided a space and platform to share their work. After leaving the residency, Mirabel will join an even broader network of over 1,800 ISCP alumni in over 90 countries and a growing cohort of recipients of the Ritzau residency at ISCP.