Communicative long-range effects: Polish sculptor Alicja Kwade receives the ninth Robert Jacobsen Prize

Künzelsau. The Polish sculptor Alicja Kwade receives the ninth Robert Jacobsen Prize of the Charitable Würth Trust. The award includes prize money of EUR 25,000. The prize will be awarded next spring together with a presentation of the artist at Würth House Berlin.

The jury’s decision to award the prize to the thirty-year-old artist was reached unanimously. A number of exhibitions, for example at Kestner-Gesellschaft Hannover, at Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster or at Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum for Contemporary Art, Berlin have drawn attention to her promising oeuvre, which compels not only through its various creative designs but also through its impressive conceptual stringency. The artist herself expressed her ideas in an interview: “I am especially interested in those things and phenomena which are impossible to understand. This has nothing to do with blanking out consequences. This is not about what can be understood or experienced, this is about the abstract, the absurd, everything that cannot be explained or experienced and which is yet always present and about the attempt at understanding this.”

That is why you encounter very strange objects in her works. Gravel, for example, is cut like diamonds; coal briquettes are coated with gold and displayed or rather stacked in a room like a minimalist sculpture. A ubiquitous Euro pallet appears as a precious object manufactured from mahogany and coated with varnish, a ready-made product denaturalized through deep brilliance. You can also see elongated objects from wood, steel, glass and other materials which seem to be buckling under invisible pressure in the same manner. Just as in other cases, it is all about communicative long-range effects.

The objectuality of an object or the materiality of the material returns as a central theme again and again. The works presented up to now are positioned in a dialectic of form and material, of fiction and facts, of object and function, of small and big, of natural and artificial, of precious and worthless. It is always everyday objects that are displayed in new contexts. All this forms the exquisitely lively and stimulating character of this oeuvre which cunningly picks up, varies and reformulates many artistic traditions. Kwade was born in Kattowice, Poland, in 1979. Today, she lives in Berlin where she studied at the Universität der Künste Berlin from 1999 to 2005. She belongs to a generation of female sculptors who take up and adapt the principles and basic approaches of the prevailing artistic trends of the 1960ies, like Minimal Art, but without continuing to convey their content. The pictorial presence and formal impact of her individual works as well as their perfect implementation have convinced the members of the jury to award Alicja Kwade the Robert Jacobsen Prize 2010/2011.

Information: Robert Jacobsen Prize

Every two years, the Charitable Würth Trust awards the Robert Jacobsen Prize to contemporary artists. The prize is awarded in memory of the Danish sculptor Robert Jacobsen who died in 1993. Previous laureates of the Prize are Lun Tuchnowski (1993), Richard Deacon (1995), Magdalena Jetelová (1997), Gereon Lepper (1999/2000), Stephan Kern (2001/2002), Rui Chafes (2003/2004), Bernar Venet (2005/2006), and Monika Sosnowska (2008/2009) with Alicja Kwade (2010/2011) now joining an impressive selection of sculptors that have been honored with the Würth Trust’s Robert Jacobsen Prize.

The jury of the Robert Jacobsen Prize consists of the Chairman of the Trust, Professor Reinhold Würth, with C. Sylvia Weber, the Würth Collection’s director, serving as his deputy. Further jurors are Professor Hans Baschang, Munich, Sean Rainbird, the director of Staatsgalerie Stuttgart; Professor Harald Siebenmorgen, the director of Badisches Landesmuseum Karlsruhe, Lun Tuchnowski, sculptor, Munich; Professor Armin Zweite, director of Museum Brandhorst Munich as well as Maria Jacobsen, Robert Jacobsen’s widow, as an honorary member.

Information: Charitable Würth Trust

The Charitable Würth Trust was founded by Reinhold and Carmen Würth in 1987 to promote science, research, the arts and culture. It supports a myriad of projects in the field of arts and culture, research and science as well as training and education. The trust capital currently amounts to EUR 5.0 million.

The Charitable Würth Trust develops own activities and also promotes projects of other institutions focusing on the Hohenlohe Region. Particularly important projects of other institutions that have been promoted on a regular basis include Hohenloher Kultursommer as well as the international violin competition, which is organized every two years within the framework of this festival by Kulturstiftung Hohenlohe (Hohenlohe cultural foundation), the opera of Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland in Weikersheim and the work of the historical association for Württemberg-Franconia.

In 2005, the Competence Center Economic Education Baden-Württemberg was established under the patronage of the Charitable Würth Trust. The aim of this center is promoting the understanding of economic issues in schools.

Furthermore, the Charitable Würth Trust sponsors Freie Schule Anne Sophie, which was founded in Künzelsau in 2006. The school is a certified private school with all-day care for all school careers – from pre-school to high-school diploma. The school has its own educational concept.

The Charitable Würth Trust also manages the Foundation for the Promotion of Reinhold Würth Hochschule (College) of Heilbronn University, which is dedicated to the promotion of research and science at this university. The foundation was granted a trust capital of EUR 10 million by the Würth Group.

At the moment, the Charitable Würth Trust awards the following prizes:

  • Würth Prize of Jeunesses Musicales Deutschland
  • Robert Jacobsen Prize
  • Würth Education Prize