William Kentridge receives the 7th Ruth Baumgarte Art Award

William Kentridge in Melbourne (2012) © Peter Campbell

On the occasion of Ruth Baumgarte's 98th birthday, we are pleased to announce that the award of the 7th Ruth Baumgarte Art Prize this year will go to the internationally influential and world-renowned artist William Kentridge (born 1955); who lives and works in Johannesburg, South Africa. He follows the painter Michael Armitage (Nairobi / London). With EUR 20,000, the Ruth Baumgarte Art Prize is one of the most highly endowed honors for artists in Germany. The previous prizes went to Nan Goldin, Mona Hatoum, Amelie von Wulffen, Kader Attia and Judith Hopf.

“Social and political issues are also the big topic of contemporary visual arts. However, only a few artists manage to master them artistically and translate them into significant images and visual worlds of high impact. This includes William Kentridge, whose work has fascinated us since documenta 13. The “raging drawing” is the beginning and basis of his artistic method, which immediately reminded us of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, whose work we have been concerned with for a lifetime. The results are of the same intensity ”, justify the members of the jury Ingeborg Henze-Ketterer and Dr. Wolfgang Henze (Galerie Henze & Ketterer, Bern and estate management Ernst Ludwig Kirchner) the decision of the Foundation Advisory Board from their point of view.

William Kentridge is one of the most respected contemporary artists, working as a draftsman, creator of animated films, actor, director and set designer as well as a writer for film and stage. He studied at the Art Foundation in Johannesburg from 1976-78 and at the École Jacques Lecoq theater school in Paris in the 1980s. In his stop-motion animated films, which have been made since the 1980s, he reflects on the history and social circumstances of South Africa. His graphic stories combine his own autobiography with fictional characters. From the 1990s onwards, Kentridge devoted himself increasingly to theater and opera projects, for which he designed sets, costumes and animations and also directed. He has exhibited in the world's leading museums and is represented in important collections. An extensive retrospective is currently being presented in Hamburg's Deichtorhallen until August 1st.

The date for the ceremonial awarding of the art prize will be announced shortly.