Since 2016, the Ehrenhof Prize, worth 15.000 Euro, has been awarded by the Kunstpalast jointly with the Düsseldorf entrepreneur Dr. Georg Landsberg on the occasion of the Rundgang. As part of the prize’s realignment, the newly named Landsberg Prize focuses on alumni of Kunstakademie Düsseldorf who graduated circa 10 to 12 years ago. The award is regarded as the most valuable prize for academy graduates in Germany. It is composed of 7.500 Euro in prize money and additional 7,500 Euro for the artist’s public relations.
Alex Grein (*1983), winner of the Landsberg Prize 2022, explores the question of how images can persist in the digital age. In doing so, the Düsseldorf-based artist examines different categories of images and establishes a link between the virtual and the material.
The award, which was initiated jointly by the Düsseldorf entrepreneur Georg Landsberg and the Kunstpalast, is aimed at artists who graduated from the Academy of Art Düsseldorf several years ago.
Alex Wissel (*1983) presents a selection of his latest works. The artist works on the threshold between high art and popular culture. In the past few years, his activities included running a bar in Düsseldorf which served as a venue for many of his artist friends for art performances and temporary exhibition. Moreover, Alex Wissel has developed concepts for several films.
Wissel’s artistic work makes use of all available media, ranging from drawings to room installations.
At NRW-Forum the artist Monika Stricker (*1978), winner of the Landsberg Prize in 2020, is showing a selection of her latest paintings as well as a projection.Her works delves in-depth into the anatomy of the human body and its sexual function. The artist, who thus far has primarily worked as a sculptor, uses painting and projection as additional media with which she explores routes of access to physical experiences. Stricker’s pictures exude an intense sensuality which is at the same time fuzzy and disturbing. The artist completed her studies with Rita McBride in 2005. She lives and works in Brussels.
The first artist to be awarded the Landsberg-Preis has been selected by this year’s jury: the painter Sabrina Fritsch (*1979). Sabrina Fritsch works with a form of abstract painting that picks up on and consolidates different traditional strands of 20th-century avantgarde art, moving them forward to new solutions. Fritsch expands the field of painting and demonstrates that through the art of formal reduction and concentration, crucial innovations may arise.
In 2018, at the annual open house days of the Academy of Art, the so-called Rundgang, Aurel Dahlgrün (*1989), student of Christopher Williams, was awarded the Ehrenhof Prize for his work “19 weeks of water”.
The jury was composed of Dr. Georg Landsberg, the founder of the prize, Dr. Stefanie Kreuzer, Museum Morsbroich Leverkusen, Prof. Rita McBride, Academy of Art Düsseldorf, Prof. Mischa Kuball, Academy of Media Arts Cologne, as well as Felix Krämer, Director General of the Kunstpalast.
With this exhibition, the second bearer of the Ehrenhof Prize is introduced to the public. At the same time, this presentation is the contribution of Museum Kunstpalast to the Festival Düsseldorf Photo 2018. Morgaine Schäfer was born 1989 in Wolfsburg and studied at the Düsseldorf Academy of Art with Christopher Williams. She received the Prize for her work „Westen – wschód“ (West), in which she reflects her own history, questioning her identity with the help of photographs of her family. Her exhibition at Museum Kunstpalast elaborates this topic and makes use of a series of wooden reliefs that were crafted by one of her ancestors in the tradition of timber-framed decorations of Lower Saxony at the beginning of the 20th century. A photograph of these reliefs in their current presentation is the starting-point for her work.
Morgaine Schäfer reflects on the potential of the photographic medium while asking at the same time for the liability of the ethic implications of traditional handicraft and regional identities. With her work, Morgaine Schäfer refers to the complex and contradictory ways in which identity is shaped today. On the occasion of the exhibition an artist’s book will be published.
Following an initiative by the donor, Dr. Georg Landsberg, the Ehrenhof Prize was established in 2016. In collaboration with Museum Kunstpalast, this prize will be awarded annually to graduates of the Düsseldorf Academy of Art. During the traditional spring exhibition Rundgang a jury determines a winner and awards the prize. In addition to the prize money the award includes a small museum exhibition with an accompanying publication the following year.
The first laureate is Ulrike Schulze. She was born in 1985 and completed her studies with Rebecca Warren in 2016. In her sculptural works, she usually reflects on the places and conditions of her presentations, as in her current exhibition at Museum Kunstpalast, which she entitled “Panama”. With a small number of raw objects made of building slabs, clay or concrete, she analyzes space. The cautious, yet precise positioning of her sculptures transforms the architecture into an equally important formal element of her work – certain peculiarities of the place become apparent, and the transitions from installation to exhibition space get murky. The indeterminacy of the work brings us to “Panama”. Apart from the real country, playful associations are triggered: for instance to the popular childrens’ story “Oh wie schön ist Panama” by Janosch, or to the artist Panamarenko. Both represent individual realities, the quest for utopias, for (fantastic) journeys and the power of vision and creation.