Villa Romana Prizewinners 2012
Four artists receive fellowships at the renowned artists' house
||The Villa Romana Prizewinners of 2012 have emerged: Wolfgang Breuer, Nine Budde, Sophie Reinhold and Yorgos Sapountzis were selected from fifteen nominees by this year's jury, made up of the artist Antje Majewski and Anja Nathan-Dorn, director of the Kölnischer Kunstverein. The Villa Romana Fellowship entails a ten-month residency (February through November 2010) at the artists' house Villa Romana in Florence, a free studio, and a monthly grant. It is offered by the Villa Romana Association and funded by the Deutsche Bank Foundation, federal government representatives in culture and the media, and additional private sponsors.
The Villa Romana Prize is not only the oldest German art prize, but also the longest standing example of Deutsche Bank's commitment to art: the bank has been supporting this renowned prize for contemporary art in Germany since 1929, thus documenting in an impressive manner its long tradition in fostering young art. In conjunction with this, the Deutsche Bank Foundation has been supporting the activities of the Villa Romana Association for many years-not only financially, but also in the form of personnel, with bank staff taking on association mandates on an honorary basis.
Wolfgang Breuer (*1966) studied at the Städelschule in Frankfurt. The artist, who lives in Berlin, installs "City Furniture"-for instance glass containers, bus stops, and metal storefont grates-in exhibition spaces, where they become signs for destruction, control, and violence. In 2006, his works were on view in Wolfgang Tillman's London exhibition space Between Bridges; in 2009 the KunstWerke in Berlin gave him a solo show.
The performances, videos, and installations of Nine Budde (* 1975) work with the presence of her protagonists, who can be young skaters or, for instance, an exorcist. She investigates social realities with an alert, often humorous gaze and an innate sense for the formal qualities of her works. The Berlin-based artist has already participated in numerous international exhibition projects, such as the KUB of the Kunsthaus Bregenz, the Glassbox in Paris, and the Moscow Biennale for Young Art.
Sophie Reinhold (*1981) is interested in the relationship between painting ground and color, pictorial object and space. The Berliner studied at the Hochschule für Grafik und Buchkunst, the Akademie der bildenden Künste Wien and the Kunsthochschule Weissensee. She sees herself as a painter and works with old master techniques on a marble ground; she also investigates the conceptual ordering of images and works with plastic foils and fluorescent lights. Although Reinhold has only just graduated this year, the Kunsthalle Exnergasse in Vienna already gave her a solo show together with Hannes Schmidt in 2010.
Yorgos Sapountzis (*1976) also lives in Berlin. He first studied restoration in Athens before switching to the art academy there. He studied with Rebecca Horn at the Berlin Universität der Künste from 2002 to 2004. Sapountzis uses the public space and its monuments for his dance-like interventions. He organizes collective performances in which stone sculptures are veiled in colorful cloths. This year, he has taken part in based in berlin, as well as shows at the Kunstraum Innsbruck and the Louisiana Museum in Copenhagen; he's had solo shows at the Fondazione Morra Greco in Naples and at his galleries Isabella Bortolozzi (Berlin) and Freymond-Guth Fine Arts (Zurich).
The Villa Romana is a place for contemporary artistic production and international exchange. Only ten minutes away from the city center in Florence, it unites the tranquility of a large garden plot with the urban reality of a major city. With exhibitions and a wide spectrum of events and invitations to international guest artists, the Villa Romana carries on a dialogue with producers and public alike, situating itself in the international art context and fostering communication among Mediterranean cultures. In Florence, a city rich in art historical treasures, the Villa Romana has defined itself as a forum for contemporary art that initiates a dialogue with the public on site and collaborations with international partners.