Art Prize of the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken 2001/2002



23 February – 8 March 02


For the fifth time, the Federal Association of the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken (BVR) awards the creativity and expertise of younger artists. With a total funding amount of more than € 69,000, the art prize of the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken is one of the best-priced promotion awards in the field of painting and graphics in Germany. This year, the section "Kunstfenster Europa" focuses on artists from Eastern Europe and awards an artist from the upcoming generation in Poland for his creative work. With the newly initiated special prize "Kunstfenster Neue Medien", R + V Versicherung integrates video work into the existing art prize. The presentation of the works at KW Institute for Contemporary Art gives the prizewinners the opportunity to present their work to a broad public on a high-profile platform. The prize-winning works were shown from February 23 to March 8, 2002.

By the end of August 2001, a total of 650 artists between the age of 25 and 40 from Germany and Poland submitted their works for the 2001/2002 art prize edition. Out of all participants, a high-profile jury selected the award winners. This years jury consisted of Prof. Jörn Merkert (Director of the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin), Anda Rottenberg (former Director Galeria –Muset Stucki, Warsaw), Dr. Britta Schmitz (Oberkustodin Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin), Prof. Jeffrey Shaw (Head of the Institute for Visual Media, Center for Media Technology, Karlsruhe), Gertrude Wagenfeld-Pleister (Member of the Board Oldenburger Kunstverein, Oldenburg), Anselm Franke, and Dr. Christoph Vitali.

Establishing free creative spaces

"The promotion of the freedom of individuals in the community is a matter for us – also in the field of fine arts," says patron Pleister while describing the initiative of the cooperative banking group. The art prize, which was first awarded in 1992, consciously places itself there, where state support no longer takes effect and young artists take the step into professional independence. However, the idea behind the prize goes far beyond the prize money: the exhibition at KW and the subsequent travelling exhibitions offer the artists a public forum whereas the exhibition catalogue presents artists and their works to the general public.

The prizewinners

The first prize, worth € 15,340, will be donated to the Cologne artist Silke Schatz, the second prize of € 10,225 to the Berlin artist Heike Klussmann. The jury will award the third prize of € 5,115 to the artist Yehuda Altmann from Munich.

Silke Schatz, born in Celle in 1967, graduated from the College of Fine Arts, and after studying at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago, US, she followed a Masterclass with Thomas Huber. In addition to awards and scholarships at The Villa Massimo Academy in Rome and a DAAD Scholarship among others, Silke Schatz has drawn attention to her work in numerous exhibitions. The artist lives and works in Cologne.

The second prize is awarded to the work by artist Heike Klussmann (born 1968). After completing her studies at the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf and the Hochschule der Künste in Berlin, Klussmann took a lecture at the Art College of Design Pasadena in Los Angeles from 1999 to 2000. Klussmann lives and works in Berlin.

Yehuda Altmann was born in Israel in 1964, graduated from the Hadassa Academy in Jerusalem and has lived in Munich since 1998. His interest is dedicated to historically determined places and situations, he seeks the connection between the visual and narrative information inherent in them.

Further prizes are awarded by the jury in the form of seven prizes, each with the amount of € 2,560. The prizes for these awards are Mathias Beckmann (Cologne), Susanne Fleischhacker (Braunschweig), Dr. Klaus Fritze (Cologne), Margarete Hahner (Berlin), Aris Kalaitzis (Leipzig), Min-Seon Kim (Münster) and Hague Yang (Frankfurt).

Traditionally several regional special prizes supplement the art prize of the German People's Banks and Raiffeisenbanken. This is how Rebekka Brunke receives the € 2,560 special prize of the Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken in Weser-Ems. Isabel Zuber is awarded the Special Price of the Badische Volksbanken and Raiffeisenbanken, which is also equipped with € 2,560. The special prize awarded by the Volksbank Leipzig with a total amount of € 1,540 goes to Uwe Kowski.

Special Prize "Kunstfenster Europa"

In this year’s edition, the Kunstpreis opens its eyes to the art scene of a neighboring European country: the diversity of the Polish submissions ensured a lively discussion in the jury. The artist from Warsaw, Grzegrorz Stachanczyk receives the special prize "Kunstfenster Europa" in the amount of € 5,115. Patron of the special prize was Anda Rottenberg, former director of Galeria Zachęta – National Gallery of Art in Warsaw, who is now working as a Visiting Consultant at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Special Prize "Kunstfenster New Media"

For the first time, developments in media art will also be integrated into the Art Prize of the Deutsche Volksbanken und Raiffeisenbanken. With the invitation to tender for the special prize "Kunstfenster New Media", R + V Versicherung takes account of the changes in the new technologies of the past years and extends the funding concept for young artists in the area of painting and graphics. Jury member Jeffrey Shaw, director of the Institute for Visual Media at the Center for Art and Media Technology in Karlsruhe, presents the artists and their works to the public. The jury will award the prize money of € 15,340 to the artist couple Dagmar Keller (29) and Martin Wittwer (32) for the first prize, to the Leipzig artist Maix Mayer (39) for the second, and for the third prize to Philipp Lachenmann (39) from Munich.