In 2014, the Prize of the Böttcherstraße (Kunstpreis der Böttcherstraße), will be awarded for the 44th time in Bremen. With its prize money of 30,000 Euros for the winner, it is one of the most important and oldest awards for young and emerging artists in German-speaking countries. Ten well-respected curators each nominate an artist; works by the ten nominees are presented in a group exhibition at the Kunsthalle Bremen. During the course of the exhibition, the five members of a high-ranking jury select the recipient of the Prize. In recent years, the winners have included Daniel Knorr (2012), Thea Djordjadze (2009), Ulla von Brandenburg (2007), Clemens von Wedemeyer (2005), Tino Sehgal (2003), Heike Aumüller (2001), Olaf Nicolai (1999), Olafur Eliasson (1997), Wolfgang Tillmanns (1995) and Martin Honert (1993).
Anonymus Bolognese or Roman engraver
Screaming Man / Schreihals (nach Agostino Carracci), early 17th century
Copper Engraving, 17,8 x 12,7 cm (Papier), 16,7 x 11,6 cm (Platte)
Kunsthalle Bremen – Der Kunstverein in Bremen, Department of Prints and Drawings, Photo: Karen Blindow
Sacred and allegorical figures emerge from the picture. Serpentine bodies arrest the gaze with a dizzying dynamism. From athletic banner-swayers to bodies in free fall, from a screaming Fury to the quiet swoon of the Virgin Mary — Italian graphic art of the sixteenth century captures on paper every conceivable form of psychological emotion and physical movement. Even today, the copper engravings, etchings and woodcuts continue to surprise and amaze. Artists competed in the representation of the affects and human movement in order to give proof of their observational acuity, inventive capacity and technical virtuosity. With works from the important and to a large extent unknown holdings of Italian graphic art in the Collection of the Kunsthalle, the exhibition is a journey through pivotal epochs in the history of art: from the High Renaissance through Mannerism to the beginnings of Baroque. Among the represented artists are Marcantonio Raimondi, Parmigianino, Ugo da Carpi, Andrea Andreani, Federico Barocci and Agostino Carracci.
Sarah Morris, Jardim Botânico [Rio], 2013 (Detail), 59,81 m x 4,07 m
© Sarah Morris
The American artist and filmmaker Sarah Morris (* 1967) has created a monumental, panoramic mural for the central entrance hall of the Kunsthalle Bremen. Jardim Botânico [Rio] (“Botanical Garden”) is related to the artist’s new series of works entitled Rio but also reacts to the architecture of the museum. The spectacular installation combines luminous colours and abstract grid structures with rectangular and curved forms to form a spectacular environment. The numerous layers of brilliant pigments and
household enamels give rise to visual rhythms as well as to tactile, almost relief-like structures.
Morris works in the tradition of geometrical painting of modernism as well as of the 1960s with marked references to the oeuvre of Piet Mondrian, the American color field painters, Op Art and Victor Vasarely. She continues this tradition creatively into the future and instils new life into a reduced formal language through her dynamic, intensively colourful compositions. But with the shiny colours of her striking paintings and murals the artist also reflects critically on the illusionary world of Hollywood film and the surface aesthetics of glossy magazines, fashion and advertising.
The exhibition has been realised with the generous support of the Supporters’ Circle for Contemporary Art of the Kunstverein Bremen and the Bremer Landesbank.