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.

Bielefeld honors Ruth Baumgarte with the name of a light rail

The "Ruth Baumgarte" train
Pictured: Martin Ueckmann, Dr Jürgen Büschenfeld, Ursula Pasch and Cornelia Christian
© Westfalen-Blatt, June 15, 2021

We are pleased to announce that one of the new Bielefeld trams will bear the name of the artist Ruth Baumgarte. The "Ruth Baumgarte" train with the number 5020 is already used in passenger traffic. By the end of 2022, 21 ultra-modern Vamos light rail vehicles will be put into operation, and the jury of experts selected among other Lina and August Oetker, Hermann Delius and Friedrich von Bodelschwingh.

"As the artist and founder of the Samuelis Baumgarte Gallery, she made a lasting contribution to the Bielefeld art and culture scene. We would like to honor this by naming the Vamos Railway."

Cornelia Christian, moBiel, 2021

"In doing so, we want to bow to the achievements of the deserved and esteemed citizens on the one hand and to make a contribution to the city's culture of remembrance on the other."

Kai-Uwe Steinbrecher, moBiel, 2021

The Ruth Baumgarte Art Foundation would like to thank moBiel for their commitment and their contribution to the culture of remembrance in the city of Bielefeld.

RELOADED IN 2022 - Become, who you are! - Ruth Baumgarte - The Art of Living

We are pleased to announce, that the immersive retrospective will return on 06 March until 06 June 2022 at the Museum for Art and Cultural History, Dortmund.

Become, who you are! - Ruth Baumgarte - The Art of Living

We would have celebrated the Opening today - Become Who You Are! Ruth Baumgarte – The Art of Living

Opening 15 November 2020, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund








15 November 2020, Museum für Kunst und Kulturgeschichte, Dortmund

Due to containment measures in respect of Covid-19 pandemic, museums are closed in Germany. We will inform you as soon as possible about the exhibition opening.

The retrospective exhibition Werde, die du bist! Ruth Baumgarte – Lebenskunst leads visitors through the life and work of the German artist Ruth Baumgarte in four thematic chapters featuring approximately 180 drawings, paintings and historical documents. She is presented as a representational artist and her relationship with the contemporary is emphasised, for example, when it comes to her self-identification and self-perception as an emancipated woman or when looking into the characteristics of her work.

This includes her early work dealing with the human-nature conflict, or her Africa cycle, which explored subjects such as (forced) migration and displacement long before an art-historical discourse on this topic was established in the Western world.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 264-page publication with an introduction by curator Dr Eckhart Gillen, published by Hirmer Publishers.

 Explore the exhibition online

In Memoriam - Ruth Baumgarte in Berlin-Karlshorst

Tribute to the Artist Ruth Baumgarte in Berlin-Karlshorst

Inauguration of the memorial stele for Ruth Baumgarte in Berlin-Karlshorst by the Head of the Art and Culture Department, Lichtenberg District Office in the Stadthaus, Dr Catrin Gocksch, Chairman of the Foundation Alexander Baumgarte and District Mayor Michael Grunst on October 30, 2020.

Warm Invitation to attend the Unveiling of the Memorial Stele

Friday, 30th October 2020, at 2:30 pm

At the Entrance of the Rheinsteinpark

Access via Rheingoldstraße 32

10318 Berlin-Karlshorst

The artist Ruth Baumgarte (1923-2013) is honoured in Berlin-Karlshorst for her regime-critical, artistic processing of the racially, religiously, and politically motivated crimes during National Socialism with a memorial stele. The stele is being erected close to Rheingoldstraße 32, a place where Ruth Baumgarte, together with her mother, lived during her years of study at the Hochschule für bildende Künste (Academy of Fine Arts) (1939-1945) up until the final battles of the Soviet troops entering Berlin-Karlshorst. Ruth Baumgarte, too, experienced the political and racial persecution and consequential repressive measures of the Nazi regime amongst her friends and family. This way, her awareness for Sinti and Roma families living in Berlin-Karlshorst was sharpened, and she began portraying families fleeing from the Genocide in her works, against all political directives.

In the presence of Michael Grunst, district mayor of Berlin-Karlshorst, and Alexander Baumgarte, Chairman of the Art Foundation Ruth Baumgarte, the official unveiling of the memorial stele took place during an event open to the public. Manfred Becker, member of the Memorial Stele Commission, and Dr. Catrin Gocksch, Head of the Section of Fine Arts and Culture uncovered the stele.

Become Who You Are! Ruth Baumgarte – The Art of Living - 15 November 2020 – 21 February 2021

Opening, Sunday, 15 November 2020, 11am

The retrospective exhibition Werde, die du bist! Ruth Baumgarte – Lebenskunst leads visitors through the life and work of the German artist Ruth Baumgarte in four thematic chapters featuring approximately 150 drawings, paintings and historical documents. She is presented as a representational artist and her relationship with the contemporary is emphasised, for example, when it comes to her self-identification and self-perception as an emancipated woman or when looking into the characteristics of her work. This includes her early work dealing with the human-nature conflict, or her Africa cycle, which explored subjects such as (forced) migration and displacement long before an art-historical discourse on this topic was established in the Western world.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 200-page publication with an introduction by curator Dr Eckhart Gillen, published by Hirmer Publishers.

Press information

Michael Armitage Receives the 6th Ruth Baumgarte Art Award

©Fotografie Michael Armitage and Alexander Baumgarte, Hannover 2020, Ruth Baumgarte Art Foundation

"With Michael Armitage, the jury is honouring an artist who combines elements of Western European art history with the artistic tradition of Africa in his colourful, large-format oil paintings, developing his very own personal style. [...] Michael Armitage has become one of the most exciting artistic voices of the present day within a short time," said Dr Reinhard Spieler, Director of the Sprengel Museum Hannover and member of the award jury, explaining the foundation advisory board's decision.

Still represented at the Venice Biennale 2019, the first Michael Armitage exhibition was held in Africa this spring at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town. The artist has once again succeeded in forging a link between Europe and Africa with the upcoming major solo exhibition of his work at the Haus der Kunst in Munich starting in September 2020. Michael Armitage studied at the Slade School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools in London, which he graduated from at the age of 26 in 2010. Commuting between London and Nairobi also influences Michael Armitage's innovative painting style, which combines European painting tradition with specifically East African cultural themes. Political and economic criticism are tangible and pointedly sharpened through images and reports from newspapers, the Internet or television. Creating timelessly mythical symbols of human existence between the conflicting poles of love and violence, dream and reality, life and death despite the topicality.