Villa Romana has announced that its four fellowship recipients for 2018 are Jeewi Lee, Christophe Ndabananiye, Lerato Shadi, and Viron Erol Vert, reports Monopol. Villa Romana, one of Germany’s oldest cultural institutions, is located in Florence, Italy. It provides emerging German artists with the opportunity to develop their artistic practice during a prolonged stay in Italy.
A jury annually selects four painters and sculptors and awards them each a stipend of $1,800 and provides them with studio space as well as living quarters for a period of ten months. In addition, around ten international guest artists are invited to live and work there for two to three months at a time. Villa Romana presents five exhibitions that focus on the dialogue between German and Italian artists each year. The foundation also publishes artist books and annual catalogs featuring the work of the fellows.
Born in 1987 in Seoul, Lee studied painting at the Berlin University of the Arts and at Hunter College in New York. Lee produces site-specific installations, performances, and images, and often creates works that grapple with everyday traces that are not perceived, or are invisible to the eye. Rwandan-German artist Ndabananiye was born in 1977 in Lubumbashi in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Saarbrücken. Known for his series of self-portraits, Ndabananiye often explores family, home, language, and the trauma of exile in his works.
Born in 1979 in Mafikeng, South Africa, Shadi, studied art at the University of Johannesburg and is concerned with body politics, especially of black South African women, vis-à-vis institutional violence and the patriarchal and colonial strategies of exclusion and forgetting. Vert was born in Germany in 1975 and studied at the Berlin University of the Arts and at the Royal Academy of Antwerp. Vert uses his practice to explore contrasting elements between the Orient and Occident.
German artist Max Klinger, who died in 1920, acquired the Villa Romana in 1905 and set it up as his studio and home. Beginning in 1906, Villa Romana has operated as an independent nonprofit. Veronika and Joachim Burmeister have managed the site since 1973. Previous artists and fellows of the Villa Romana are Georg Baselitz, Max Beckmann, Katharina Grosse, Georg Kolbe, Anna Oppermann, Walter Stöhrer, and Dorothee von Windheim.