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Kerstin Brätsch accepts 2017 Edvard Munch Art Award
Kerstin Brãtsch. Image courtesy of the artist and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise (New York and Rome).

OSLO.- The Munch Museum announced Kerstin Brãtsch as the recipient of the 2017 Edvard Munch Art Award, an international biennial award bestowed on a contemporary artist. It consists of a monetary prize ($65,000 USD), a solo exhibition at the Munch Museum, and a residency in conjunction with Edvard Munch’s studio in Oslo. An acknowledgement of Edvard Munch’s historical significance and enduring relevance to contemporary culture, the Award promotes the development of young and talented artists within the visual arts. Brätsch was selected by 2017 Jury members Alfred Pacquement, Massimiliano Gioni, Kathy Halbreich, Joanna Mytkowska, and Simon Sheikh, who were appointed by Munch Museum Director Stein Olav Henrichsen.

In regard to its nomination of Brätsch, the Jury states: “Playing with artistic alter egos and collaborative pseudonyms, Kerstin Brätsch raises critical questions of subjectivity in a time in which identity is constantly being challenged and reshaped through the digital communication of our hyper-mediated reality. Painting is at the core of Brätsch’s work, but she approaches the tradition of the medium through elaborate use of a variety of media spanning from drawing, photography, graphic design and sculpture to performance, video and installation. In her work different modernist myths and beliefs are evoked and transformed, as she revisits the history of abstraction from a feminist perspective, sparking a joyful criticism of notions of originality, authorship, spirituality and purity.”

Throughout her career, Brätsch has sought to destabilize and expand the definition of painting, continually challenging its delimitations. Always questioning and provoking the idea of subjectivity in relation to the figure of the painter, Brätsch often works in collaboration as part of DAS INSTITUT and KAYA, as well as with other collectives including UNITED BROTHERS. The artist uses playful humor, traditional craft techniques, and acts of collaboration to subvert the painterly rubric of pigment-on-canvas.

Edvard Munch (b. 1863-1944) was a Norwegian painter and one of Modernism’s most significant artists. Depicting intense psychological themes, Munch pioneered expressionist art from the beginning of the 1900s onward. His radical experimentation within painting, graphic art, drawing, sculpture, photo and film has cemeted his legacy in Norway and the art historical canon. His work has had significance on the development of German Expressionism, Surrealism, and for a number of prominent contemporary artists, such as Tracey Emin, Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Marina Abramović and Bjarne Melgaard. The Award thus serves to strengthen contemporary art in an international context.

The EMAA announcement also coincides with the MET Breuer’s exhibition Edvard Munch: Between the Clock and the Bed, which opens on November 15.

Kerstin Brätsch (b. 1979, Hamburg, Germany) lives and works in New York. She received MFAs from New York’s Columbia University in 2007 and Berlin’s Universität der Künste (under Prof. Lothar Baumgarten) in 2008. Her work has been exhibited at various prestigious international institutions including the 2017 Whitney Biennial; MoMA/PS1, New York; The 54th Venice Biennale; the New Museum, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Sculpture Center, New York; Kunsthalle Zurich; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin; Kölnischer Kunstverein, Cologne. This past summer, Brätsch was the subject of a comprehensive career survey at Museum Brandhorst in Munich. She is represented by Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York.

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