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  • Jun 05, 2018

Mona Hatoum Wins Ruth Baumgarte Art Award

London-based Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum has been announced as the winner of the fourth Ruth Baumgarte Art Award. She will pick up the EUR 20,000 prize on June 23, 2018, at an official ceremony at the Berlinische Galerie, Berlin. 

Born in 1952 to Palestinian parents in Beirut, Hatoum is a multimedia and installation artist whose works deal heavily with issues of gender, race, conflict, and the impacts of socio-political affairs on a personal level. Concepts of homeland and dislocation in her works show the influence of her family’s history of exile from Palestine, as well as her own experience of being unable to return home during the 1975 Lebanese Civil War. She has won the Roswitha Haftmann Prize, the Käthe Kollwitz Prize and the Joan Miró Prize, among others. Key works by Hatoum include Measures of Distance (1988), Present Tense (1996), and Hot Spot (2013).

Hatoum was selected by a jury composed of members of the advisory council for the Art Foundation Ruth Baumgarte, which administers the award. Jurors included Professor Beate Reifenscheid, director of Ludwig Museum Koblenz; Dr. Reinhard Spieler, director
of Sprengel Museum Hannover; Bettina Steinbrügge, director of Hamburger Kunstverein; and Christian Nagel, founder of Berlin- and Cologne-based Galerie Nagel Draxler. Commenting on Hatoum’s practice, the foundation stated in a press release: “The creation of opposing emotions such as attraction and disgust, fear and fascination at the sight of her works runs through her entire oeuvre—from early performances to current installations and sculptures. Hatoum's art always remains poetic and minimalistic.”

Established in 2014, the Ruth Baumgarte Art Award is presented annually to a living artist, and is one of the most highly endowed art prizes in Germany. Named after Ruth Baumgarte (1923–2013), who worked as an illustrator for press and books before becoming a professional artist in her own right, the prize was launched by her foundation to support the careers of contemporary artists working in the figurative tradition across mediums. Previous winners of the prize include German painter Amelie von Wulffen, French-Algerian multidisciplinary artist Kader Attia, and German sculptor and installation artist Judith Hopf. 

Phoebe Tam is an editorial intern of ArtAsiaPacific.

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