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Peter Fischli and David Weiss to Receive Wolfgang Hahn Prize Cologne 2010
Fischli Weiss, Ohne Titel / Untitled, 1998-2000. C-Print, gerahmt, 156 cm x 216 cm (gerahmt/framed) AP. Copyright Peter Fischli David Weiss, Zürich 2010. Courtesy Sprüth Magers Berlin London, Galerie Eva Presenhuber Zürich, Matthew Marks Gallery New York.

COLOGNE.- The Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst at Museum Ludwig will be awarding the Wolfgang Hahn Prize for 2010 to the Swiss artists Peter Fischli and David Weiss. To mark the association’s 25th anniversary, it has succeeded in purchasing a substantial group of works in collaboration with Museum Ludwig and the City of Cologne. The award ceremony and the jubilee celebrations will be held on 19 April 2010, the day before the opening of Art Cologne.

“Fischli/Weiss are among the most influential and perhaps ingenious artists in Switzerland. Not only have they come to be known for their captivating humour and the clarity with which they see the facticity of things, but also for having influenced a whole generation of young artists”, said Heike Munder - guest juror and Director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich - in her summary.

The purchases made with the purse of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize includes a selection of photographs from the Airport series, which the artists made between 1988 and 2008 and which depicts banal, everyday scenes at otherwise unnamed airports. These carefully composed works radiate a curious calm and tranquillity. A further acquisition is the plaster sculpture 4 Frauen [4 Women] from 1989. In addition, Fischli/Weiss will present a new radio installation in German made especially for Museum Ludwig. For this Fischli/Weiss will edit current radio broadcasts to create a one-hour tape that will play concealed inside a radio. The first visitors will scarcely notice that this is not a live broadcast. But with each passing day the listeners will become increasingly bewildered, because occurrences and times of day no longer tally, however up-to-date they may seem. The entire group of works will be on show at Museum Ludwig for the prize-giving ceremony.

Kasper König, Director of Museum Ludwig, says: “These works by Fischli/Weiss are a fantastic addition of quintessential importance for the contemporary collection at Museum Ludwig“.

The acquisition of this representative and extensive group of works is certainly quite exceptional. Not least because to celebrate its jubilee, the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst has teamed together with Museum Ludwig to make the acquisition. “Our special thanks go to Peter Fischli and David Weiss”, says Wolfgang Bornheim, President of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst. “It is their generosity that has actually made this acquisition possible. And also to our members who, apart from their normal subscriptions, in some cases have made considerable additional donations“. The Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst has donated 120,000 euros for the purchase on its 25th anniversary. The extra funds for the purchase were supplied by Museum Ludwig and the City of Cologne.

Fischli/Weiss number among the foremost artists of our day; they concern themselves in their works with the culture around us. Their use of everyday materials and symbols is no less a part of their practice than a self-reflective approach to “making art”. With humour and irony, they adapt everyday objects and situations and introduce them to the art arena, thus raising philosophical and theoretical questions about how we interpret the world. Drawing on a wide range of media – film, photography, slide projections, sculpture, texts and installations – they have developed an oeuvre with a ramified system of reference. Among other distinctions, Peter Fischli (born 1952) and David Weiss (born 1946) have represented Switzerland at the Venice Biennale, and participated in the documenta 8 in 1987 with their film The Way Things Go. Between 18 October 2002 and 19 January 2003 the AC-Saal at Museum Ludwig was host to the exhibition “„Peter Fischli + David Weiss”. The two artists have worked together since 1978 and both live in Zurich.

This year’s Jury consisted of guest juror Heike Munder, Director of the Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, Prof. Kasper König, Director of Museum Ludwig, Dr. Wolfgang Bornheim, President of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, Gabriele Bierbaum, Member of the Board of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, Sabine DuMont Schütte, Member of the Board of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, Robert Müller-Grünow, Member of the Board of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst, and Enno Scholma, Treasurer of the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst. In keeping with the statutes of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize COLOGNE, the jury had to select an internationally acclaimed artist for the award from 45 nominations made by the association’s members. As major requirements for the award of the prize, the artist has to be able demonstrate a consistent development in their creative output, and their work must be under-represented at Museum Ludwig but nevertheless of importance for the furtherance of the collection.

With the Wolfgang Hahn Prize COLOGNE, the Gesellschaft für Moderne Kunst honours the creative output of contemporary artists and acquires works from them for Museum Ludwig. This acquisition prize has been instituted in memory of Wolfgang Hahn (1924 – 1987), chief conservator at the Wallraf Richartz Museum / Museum Ludwig and a far-sighted collector in Cologne.

The award of the Wolfgang Hahn Prize in 2010 will be the sixteenth time it has been conferred.

The artists to have received the Wolfgang Hahn Prize since 1994 are:
James Lee Byars (1994), Lawrence Weiner (1995), Günther Förg (1996), Cindy Sherman (1997) Franz West (1998), Pipilotti Rist (1999), Hubert Kiecol (2000), Raymond Pettibon (2001), Isa Genzken (2002), Niele Toroni (2003), Rosemarie Trockel (2004), Richard Artschwager (2005), Mike Kelley (2006), Peter Doig (2008), Christopher Wool (2009).

Museum Ludwig | Kasper König | Wolfgang Hahn Prize | Peter Fischli | David Weiss |

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