This year, the Preis der Nationalgalerie will be awarded for the eleventh time. From September 16, 2021 to February 27, 2022 the four shortlisted nominees will present their works at Hamburger Bahnhof. The winner will receive a solo exhibition in the museum, while the other finalists have the chance to win the coveted public prize. Exhibition visitors can easily vote for their favourite artist online at tipBerlin and, with a bit of luck, win a unique collectors’ piece of art.
Nationalgalerie Prize: Four artists are selected by the jury
For over 20 years, the distinction has been awarded to “vital positions of contemporary art that reflect the internationality and vividness of the German art scene and have already gained importance through their artistic approach”. In the first round of jury judgement, the artists Lamin Fofana, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga and Sung Tieu trumped about 80 fellow contestants. The preselection was picked by 25 external curators.
These curators “have an overview of the output of artists living in Germany. But they are also observing the international art scene and know which artists have chosen Germany as their home and haven’t had the chance to present a solo-exhibition or found a gallery that represents them yet”, Gabriele Knapstein, head of Hamburger Bahnhof, explains.
All five 2021 candidates are based in Berlin, but that’s by coincidence, she says. And yet the shortlist is evidence that the city has remained attractive for artists – even though the cultural infrastructure is threatened by continually rising rents.
Nominated: Sandra Mujinga’s in-depth examination of the concept of sculptures
With her understanding of spatiality, Sandra Mujinga blurs the boundaries of classically conceptualised space and drafts criticism on anthropocentric thinking. In doing so, the artist who lives in Oslo and Berlin is engaging with the concept of sculptures intensively and could thus convince the jury in the first round.
Nominated: Lamin Fofanas crafts acoustic surroundings
Music producer, DJ and artist Lamin Fofanas made an impression on the jury with a courageous approach to creating acoustic surroundings. His works reflect his journey from Sierra Leone and Guinea to Berlin via the US and connect it to a critical analysis with topics like flight, identity and migration. Thereby Fofana manages to open spaces of listening which are dispositive for communal life.
Nominated: Sung Tieu is a multimedia artist
Born in Vietnam, Sung Tieu works with multimedia expressions and crafts surroundings for visitors to experience. She also explores acoustics, for example, investigating noise attacks. For her contribution she falls back on archive documents on the recruitment agreement between the GDR and Vietnam.
Nominated: Henkel and Pitegoff trace socio-urban change
Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, originally from the US, stand out with the power of observation with which they share with the audience in photographs – as passive observers as well as in an actively shaping role. In operating project spaces, for examples, they succeed in tracing the socio-urban change of Berlin.
Audience award’s winner to be announced in October
The winner of the audience choice award will be announced in October, before presenting a solo exhibition in the Hamburger Bahnhof museum.
Until then, you can vote for your favourite online – and with a bit of luck, you might soon call a real collector’s item your own. Among all participants we’re raffling a miniature BMW Art Car, designed by artist Alexander Calder. In painting the BMW 3.0 CSL in 1975, Calder laid the foundation for the Art Car Collection. As a tireless innovative artist he freed racing cars from their formal structure by leaving his own unique thumb print on them.
Hamburger Bahnhof Invalidenstraße 50-51, Moabit, more info here.