June 13, 2018

Mona Hatoum Wins Ruth Baumgarte Art Award

BERLIN, GERMANY—The London-based Palestinian artist Mona Hatoum has been named the winner of the fourth Ruth Baumgarte Art Award. She will be presented with the $24,000 prize during a ceremony that will be held at Berlinische Galerie on June 23.

Known for her multimedia installations that feature a diverse range of media, including metal, light, glass, and bodily materials such as hair, Hatoum often creates works that interlace her personal experiences with issues of gender and the body. Born to Palestinian parents in Beirut in 1952, the artist attended the Beirut College for Women (now the Lebanese American University) before traveling to London in the 1970s. After the Lebanese Civil War broke out in 1975, she found that she was unable to return home, which motivated her to make political works about dislocation.

Commenting on Hatoum’s practice, the Ruth Baumgarte Foundation, which administers the award, said: “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.”

The selection committee comprised Beate Reifenscheid, director of the Ludwig Museum Koblenz; Reinhard Spieler, director of the Sprengel Museum in Hannover; Bettina Steinbrügge, director of the Hamburger Kunstverein; and Christian Nagel, founder of the Berlin- and Cologne-based Galerie Nagel Draxler.

Established in 2014, the annual award recognizes contemporary artists whose practices are anchored in the figurative tradition and who share the late artist Ruth Baumgarte’s interest in current global and sociopolitical questions. Previous winners of the prize include Amelie von Wulffen, Kader Attia, and Judith Hopf.

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