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Press release, City of Speyer
February 8th 2019

The 2019 winners of the Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer for the Fine Arts have been selected.

Speyer, February 8, 2019 -–- In the final selection round of the 2019 Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer for the Fine Arts, a high-ranking jury deliberated on the original works of art submitted by selected artists. The jury of artists comprised Marcel Odenbach (Cologne/Düsseldorf), Karin Kneffel (Düsseldorf/Munich), Martin Liebscher (Berlin/Offenbach), Ben Willikens (Stuttgart) and René Zechlin, Director of the Wilhelm Hack Museum.

After long, intensive discussions the jury–chaired by Mayor Stefanie Seiler and Professor Andreas Bee, who lectures in art history in Braunschweig–awarded the Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer as follows:

The Grand Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer goes to Kristina Buch.

The fourth edition of the Grand Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer–established by the Hans Purrmann Foundation–has been awarded to Düsseldorf-based artist Kristina Buch. The Grand Award carries a prize of €20,000 and an individual catalogue publication, making it among the most valuable art awards in Germany. It honors an individual artistic achievement that expresses drive, risk-taking, the courage to experiment, openness, clarity and strength in color and form and an independent-minded message executed with conviction.

Kristina Buch was born in 1983 in Meerbusch-Lank and graduated with distinction (Meisterschüler) under Rosemarie Trockel at the Academy of Arts (Kunstakademie), Düsseldorf in 2013. In 2012 she was the youngest participant at dOCUMENTA 13 and has exhibited her work at locations such as the Bundeskunsthalle Bonn (2018), MALBA / Buenos Aires (2017), Istanbul Biennial (2015), Kunsthalle Basel (2015), Index The Swedish Contemporary Art Foundation (2014), Emily Harvey Foundation NYC (2013), Manifesta9 (2012), the German Embassy London (2010) and Lothringer 13 at the Städtische Kunsthalle Munich (2010). Her works are held in collections such as the Pinakothek der Moderne in Munich, the Museum Kunstpalast in Düsseldorf and the Borusan Contemporary Art Collection in Istanbul.

Kristina Buch, who studied biology and theology before turning to the world of art, covers the whole gamut of culture, science, social sciences and the humanities in the research that informs her work and–in so doing–opens unexpected dialogues. The jury members were particularly impressed by her work “One of the things that baffles me about you is that you remain unmurdered.“ and its subtly constructed installation.

Kristina Buch’s works stand out because of the poetic manner in which they negotiate complex themes where language, symbols and images dissociate and disintegrate before being brought together in an unexpected way to create a new semantic form. She was nominated for the Grand Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer by Professor Rosemarie Trockel of the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf.

The first artist to be awarded the Grand Hans Purrmann Award in 2012 was the Berlin-based Israeli artist Dani Gal (*1975). He was succeeded in 2015 by the film and video artist Loretta Fahrenholz (*1981) and again in 2017 by Sabrina Fritsch (*1979).

Ugor Ulusoy wins the Advancement Award in the Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer for the Fine Arts.

The Advancement Award in the Hans Purrmann Award of the City of Speyer for the Fine Arts was established by the city in 1965 to commemorate the 85th birthday of Hans Purrmann and has been awarded 19 times. The award includes a €6,000 prize and a dedicated catalogue publication. In accordance with the wishes of Hans Purrmann, it is given to deserving young artists who demonstrate a European perspective that also touches upon regional metropolitan and rural areas. This year’s award has been given to the artist Ugur Ulusoy, who was born in 1984 in Oberhausen. Painting and installations are the media of choice for this independent artist and student at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Braunschweig; previously he studied industrial design and architecture.

Ugur Ulusoy convinced the jury through his stand-alone, spatially expansive painted installations which blend set design, diorama and installation forms. His work is counter-cyclical in the best sense of the word, cutting across current trends to present a heterotopy of art-historical references that form overlapping layers in his paintings. The works evoke curious anticipation of his further artistic development.

Award ceremony

The prize-giving ceremony takes place at 4pm Saturday February 9th, 2019 in the historical Council Chamber of the city of Speyer. The ceremonial address will be given by Mayor Stefanie Seiler and Maria Leitmeyer, custodian of the Purrmann House, Speyer. 

Nominee exhibition at the Hans Purrmann Awards 2019

The city of Speyer will display the works of the 15 finalists (eight for the Advancement Award and seven for the Grand Award) in the Kulturhof Flachgasse between February 9th and March 10th, 2019. Entry is free Thursday–Sunday between 11am and 6pm.

Honoring Hans Purrmann

Both awards were created by the city of Speyer and the Hans Purrmann Foundation in memory of the painter Hans Purrmann, born in Speyer in 1880. Hans Purrmann was a pupil of Franz von Stuck and a member of the Berlin Secession movement. He was also among the founding members of the Académie Matisse in Paris and remained a lifelong friend of his teacher Henri Matisse. He enjoyed many years of artistic success in Germany, Italy and Ticino, Switzerland and he remains Germany’s great colorist of the 20th century.

The concept behind both awards has been shaped to reflect Purrmann’s values and the dynamics of his life: passionate drive, risk-taking, the courage to experiment, openness, clarity and strength in color and form set against a European backdrop. These are the defining features of his work that must find their contemporary form of artistic expression.

 

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