21.07. – 11.08.2018
- Jacob Hoff
- Nina E. Schönefeld
- Alexandra Searle
- Nicolas Vionnet
- Nele Ouwens
- Renata Kudlacek
The Artist Prize series provides a stage for up-and-coming artists of all ages. This year’s shortlisted positions vary from large-scale dark atmospheric paintings (Hoff) over science fiction video installations explicitly featuring female heroines (Schönefeld) to minimalistic anthropomorphically shaped sculptures (Searle) and interventive installations making use of everyday objects (Vionnet). All 4 selected artists applied to the gallery as part of a competition for aspiring artists.
The prize for all shortlisted artists in 2018 was an Artsy promotion for one year.
Jacob Hoff’s work is about finding objects and places that set off an undefinedsense of meaning - a sign-characteristic - and to represent them in painting. He often useswalking as a method to come upon unexpected visual experiences, documenting his findingsphotographically. The artist’s approach to reality is absolutely subjective and fascination ishisonly guiding principle.Hoff prints the photos of his findings, then leaves them to ‘mature’. Theyhang on the walls or lie strewn around the floor of his studio – crumpling and fading as he getsused to them. He tries not to judge them but rather to let them sink into his consciousness. Often many months will pass before he chooses an image to use as sketch material for a painting. The act of painting is a process that draws equally upon memory, the objective realism of the snapshot and the material, compositional and gestural requirements of the painting itself.
Nina E. Schönefeld
Nina E. Schönefeld’s strong interest in new artistic and technical developments has resulted in interdisciplinary video installations - a system of light sources, sound, electronic machines, newly built sculptures and video screenings. Schönefeld examines the contemporary social and political climate. Through unusual installations and films, the artist questions the contemporary roles of female characters and heroes, exploring the relationship between art and the present digital age. Her movie stories imagine a world where, due to drastic changes, we need to fight for our democratic rights and survival. Schönefeld plays with stereotypes and creates female hero characters who are able to fly helicopters, hack into highly secured systems and who will change their identities and leave their former lives if they have to…
Alexandra Searle’s works take on anthropomorphic qualities, assuming postures or are forced into awkward positions. Either through their precariousness, or their materials, there is an unavoidable and inevitable temporality in the pieces, which we can identify and empathise with as a human viewer. Sculptural pieces frequently hug the architecture of their space, or are restrained and restricted by it; their material partly escaping in bulges of protest. The artist’s interest lies in the tumbling between what defines a hollow or a volume: to be trapped or to contain: to be within or without. Some works proudly bare their natural colour, while others scream of their shop-bought artificiality. Searle plays upon the known context of industrial and everyday materials, and presents these back to the viewer in a new way with their intended function removed or shifted, at one moment voluptuous, at another seemingly fragile.
Nicolas Vionnet is rooted in painting and is fascinated by irritations: He paints disruptive grey strips across his clouds and allows coloured surfaces to drip down the canvas in accordance with the laws of gravity. These interventions create a non-hierarchical dialogue with the environment, that opens up a field of tension. Vionnet uses the same strategy for his installations. Irritation and integration - and a subtle and precise intervention of the object. Vionnet: “The phrase ‘nonhierarchical dialogue with the environment‘ describes my conviction that the artwork itself may never be dominant. Indeed, there should be no hierarchy. Ideally, there is a balance between work and environment. This balance allows the viewer to perceive both components simultaneously.”