Artist and Berlin resident Katja Strunz (*1970 Ottweiler) has won the “Vattenfall Contemporary 2013”. Her sculptures and site-related installations of shaped metal, steel and wood are minimalist constructions which unfold in space. Her rigorous, objectless formal canon derives from the appropriation and reformulation of various abstract movements from Constructivism to Minimal Art. By adding random objects and rendering visible traces or origin and wear, she reflects the ephemeral fragility of works of art and the materials of which they are made.
The Jury was impressed by Katja Strunz’s masterful treatment of space, which she has already demonstrated at a number of exhibitions. This experience will enable her, in the Jury’s opinion, to conquer the challenge presented by the exhibition hall at the Berlinische Galerie, which is 10 metres high and 40 metres long. Her reflected references to constructive avant-garde forms, combined with an awareness of the transitory nature of art, convinced the Jury that this is an independent position within contemporary art.
The prize is a reconceived edition of the “Vattenfall Kunstpreis Energie”, instituted in 1992 and since awarded annually. In 2010 it was redesigned together with the Berlinische Galerie. It has since been bestowed on artists of international renown living and working in Berlin. The award entails a personal exhibition at the Berlinische Galerie, the production of an exhibition catalogue and a purchase for the Vattenfall collection. Previous winners were Julian Rosefeldt (2010), Angela Bulloch (2011) and Michael Sailstorfer (2012).
The members of the Jury were: Torsten Meyer (management of Vattenfall), Anne-Katrin Reinecke (manager of Local Partnerships Benelux, Central Europe, Nordic, Vattenfall), Petra Roettig (Gallery of Contemporary Art, Hamburger Kunsthalle), Michael Sailstorfer (winner of Vattenfall Contemporary 2012), Thomas Köhler (Director of the Berlinische Galerie), Heinz Stahlhut (Head of the Fine Arts Collection, Berlinische Galerie)