The Prize of the Böttcherstraße in Bremen, which is endowed with € 30,000, will be awarded for the 45th time in 2016. The Prize is one of the most important awards for young contemporary art in Germany. Ten distinguished curators independently recommend one artist each whose work is then displayed at the Kunsthalle Bremen. In the course of the exhibition a high-ranking jury will determine the winner of the prize. Winners in the past years include Nina Beier (2014), Daniel Knorr (2012), Thea Djordjadze (2009), Ulla vonBrandenburg (2007), Clemens von Wedemeyer (2005), Tino Seghal (2003), Olaf Nicolai (1999), Olafur Eliasson (1997) and Wolfgang Tillmanns (1995).
Alongside Rembrandt, Adriaen van Ostade (1610–1685) occupies an outstanding position in Dutch genre art. Ostade was a master of the art of etching. His light, extremely subtle and detailed etchings not only reveal an intimate observationof his subjects but also a fine sense of humor. Whereas his early prints testify to a certain tendancy to caricature, his later works reproduce external reality without a moralizing or cold analytical gaze. In his oeurvre of fifty etchings, van Ostade faithfully depicted contemporary life: inns, peasant hovels, stalls, hostelries and simple people drinking, smoking, dancing and gambling.
The exhibition, with around one hundred works on display, for the first time in Germany brings together Ostade’s entire printed work. In addition to the etchings from the holdings of the Kunsthalle, the exhibition also presents a major collection of exquisite prints from a private collection. Along with his small etchings, which will be shown in various stages to illustrate the creative process, copper plates and preliminary drawings from renowned public collections, such as the Hamburger Kunsthalle, the Department of Prints and Drawings in Berlin and the Städel Museum in Frankfurt are displayed. Through these drawings it is possible to follow the origins of the etchings and the transformation of Ostade’s style in the 1640s and early 1650s.
Fig.: Adriaen van Ostade, Die Sänger am Fenster, 1665, etching, 26,2 x 20,7 cm, Private Collection, Photo: Die Kulturgutscanner-Rosenau
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 in the Kunstverein Bremen and the Bremer Landesbank.