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Sandra Mujinga. Photo: Benjamin Pritzkuleit.
Sandra Mujinga. Photo: Benjamin Pritzkuleit.

Sandra Mujinga Wins 2021 Preis der Nationalgalerie

Sculptor Sandra Mujinga has won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Germany’s premier award for young artists. Mujinga, a native of Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, who now divides her time between Berlin and Oslo, was recognized for her haunting work often featuring textiles taking the form of spectral figures and evoking a dystopian future. She will receive a solo exhibition at Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnhof next year, which will be accompanied by a publication. Mujinga was chose for the prize, awarded annually to an artist under forty, from among four nominees, the others being musician and installation artist Lamin Fofana, collaborative photographers Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, and conceptual artist Sung Tieu.

In addition to her sculptures, Mujinga also incorporates video and performance into her multivalent practice. Writing for in 2018, Sara R. Yazdani characterized the artist as “fabricat[ing] a world where tactile beings and atmospheres evolve through digital technologies into a continuation of the screens we scroll through every day.” In a joint statement, the members of the prize jury noted that “the topics addressed by [Mujinga’s] works resonate greatly with the present moment, while also seeming to come from a future already passed.” They continued, “These works remind us to be considerate of other living beings for the sake of our own survival, and that we can observe and learn from their various strategies of adapting to an ever-changing world.”

Though no funding is attached to the prize, which was established in 2013, it is sought after as a seal of approval, the type which can elevate a young artist’s career. Past winners have included Anne Imhof, Cyprien Gaillard, and Katharina Grosse.