Artist Agnieszka Polska has won Germany’s Preis der Nationalgalerie (National Gallery Prize) for young artists. The biennial award recognizes Berlin-based artists under forty years old. While the honor does not include prize money, recipients are given the opportunity to stage an exhibition at one of the German state museums.
Born in in Lublin, Poland, in 1985, Polska lives and works in Kraków and Berlin. At the award ceremony at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart on Friday, October 20, the jury stated, “Throughout her work, Polska ingeniously interweaves some of the most pressing issues of our time. She deftly creates a poetic and affective relationship between the visual and acoustic language of our digitally infused daily lives by using contemporary imaginary and cultural references—including scientific theories, early animation, and the utopian inclination of the avant-garde.” Polska’s upcoming exhibition will be mounted at Germany’s Nationalgalerie in the fall of 2018.
The jury included Zdenka Badovinac, director of the Moderna galerija, Ljubljana; Hou Hanru, artistic director of the MAXXI Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo, Rome; Sheena Wagstaff, chair of modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; Sven Beckstette, curator at the Hamburger Bahnhof Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin; and Udo Kittelmann, director of the Nationalgalerie Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
This year’s four nominees were all women—in addition to Polska, Sol Calero (Venezuela), Iman Issa (Egypt), and Jumana Manna (USA) were finalists. Previous winners of the prize include Monica Bonvicini, Omer Fast, and Cyprien Gaillard. The 2015 recipient, Anne Imhof, won the Golden Lion at this year’s Venice Biennale for her work Faust at the German pavilion.
The $11,700 Förderpreis für Filmkunst (Prize for Film Art) was also presented at the Hamburger Bahnhof gala. It was awarded to Sandra Wollner, from Austria, for her film The Impossible Image, 2016.