Vordemberge-Gildewart Award 2020

23/02/2020 > 05/04/2020

Vordemberge-Gildewart Award 2020

Images for this exhibition

Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart (1899 - 1962) was one of the first artists to create an entirely abstract body of work. His innovative spirit was akin to that of the artists of De Stijl, the movement he joined in 1925. His name is also attached to a European prize for artists under the age of 35. The Vordemberge-Gildewart Award will be presented in The Hague for the first time on Saturday 22 February. The ten nominees have been announced. They are: Salim Bayri, Deborah Bowmann, Bob Eikelboom, Ricardo van Eyk, Eva Giolo, Nadia Guerroui, Sharon Van Overmeiren, Emma van der Put, Dan Walwin and Charlott Weise. Their work can be seen at GEM museum of contemporary art from 23 February to 5 April 2020.

The award was launched by the Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation, which was established in memory of the German-Dutch De Stijl artist by his widow Ilse Engelina Leda. The award has been presented in a different country each year since 1983. The Netherlands has hosted the ceremony twice before, in 1989 and 2000, when Guido Geelen and Mark Manders received the award.

All ten nominees studied art in the Netherlands or Belgium. They were chosen by five independent scouts, all of whom work in the contemporary art world: Caroline Dumalin (curator at Wiels), Hicham Khalidi (director of the Jan van Eyck Academy), Jan van der Ploeg (artist), Noor Mertens (director of Kunstverein Langenhagen) and Philippe van Cauteren (director of SMAK). An international jury will choose the winner of the Vordemberge-Gildewart Award 2020. The winner will be free to spend the prize money – paid in Swiss francs, and equivalent to 48,000 euros – as he or she sees fit.

The collaboration with the Vordemberge-Gildewart Foundation is in line with the tradition of highlighting new talent at GEM, which is part of Kunstmuseum Den Haag. As part of this tradition, the museum expressly links new work to its own collection, to which a painting by Friedrich Vordemberge-Gildewart was recently added. This new acquisition, entitled Konstruction No. 5, was acquired by Theo van Doesburg in 1925 in an exchange of work with Vordemberge-Gildewart, and later ended up in a private collection. The painting will form the centrepiece of a small exhibit in the Mondrian & De Stijl wing of Kunstmuseum Den Haag that is due to open on 22 February. Another small exhibition, which is due to open a week after the award ceremony, will cover Vordemberge-Gildewart’s time in the Netherlands (1938 - 1954), when he developed his skills as a typographer and designer, and increasingly embraced the ideal of De Stijl that the world around us should be filled with art.

‘Vordemberge-Gildewart was a groundbreaking artist, both in his work and in his attitude to life’, says director Benno Tempel. ‘The award established in his name underlines this free-thinking attitude, and is designed to highlight and encourage young artists in Europe. I am terribly proud that this prestigious award is returning to the Netherlands again after a twenty year absence.’