Jac Leirner
2019 Wolfgang Hahn Prize

April 10 – Au­gust 25, 2019

Award cer­e­mony and open­ing: Tues­day, April 9, 2019, 6:30 p.m.

In 2019, the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst am Mu­se­um Lud­wig will rec­og­nize Jac Leirn­er with the Wolf­gang Hahn Prize. The Brazilian artist, born in São Pau­lo in 1961, has been pur­su­ing a sub­tle anal­y­sis of so­cial and rep­re­sen­ta­tio­n­al sys­tems for many years. Found, of­ten in­dus­trial­ly man­u­fac­tured ev­ery­day ob­jects from which she cre­ates in­s­tal­la­tions, col­lages, and sculp­tures ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­ples of col­lect­ing, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing, and clas­si­fy­ing play an im­por­tant role in her work. This re­sults in dense, of­ten min­i­mal­ist works that play with the aes­thet­ic, rep­re­sen­ta­tio­n­al, and so­cio-cul­tu­r­al lev­els of mean­ing of the ob­jects.

The year 2019 is a spe­cial mile­s­tone for the Wolf­gang Hahn Prize. For the first time, the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst is hon­or­ing a South Amer­i­can artist for her in­ter­na­tio­n­al­ly rel­e­vant oeu­vre. This will broa­d­en the per­spec­tive of the award to­ward de­vel­op­ments in glob­al con­tem­po­rary art. Leirn­er’s work, lo­cat­ed at the in­ter­sec­tion of min­i­mal­ism, con­cep­tu­al­ism, and In­sti­tu­tio­n­al Cri­tique, is an im­por­tant ad­di­tion to the col­lec­tion of the Mu­se­um Lud­wig. Thanks to the ded­i­ca­tion of its mem­bers, the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst is pre­sent­ing the Wolf­gang Hahn Prize for the twen­ty-fifth year in a row.

Jac Leirn­er’s work Mu­se­um Bags (1985/2018) will be ac­quired by the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst for the col­lec­tion of the Mu­se­um Lud­wig on the oc­ca­sion of the award cer­e­mony and pre­sent­ed in the con­text of the per­ma­nent col­lec­tion. The award al­so in­cludes a publi­ca­tion in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the artist, edit­ed by the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst.

About Jac Leirn­er

Jac Leirn­er was born in 1961 in São Pau­lo, where she cont­in­ues to live and work to­day. In 1982 her first ex­hi­bi­tion took place there. This was fol­lowed in 1991 by in­sti­tu­tio­n­al so­lo ex­hi­bi­tions at the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art in Bos­ton, the Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in Ox­ford, and the Walk­er Art Cen­ter in Min­neapo­lis. Since then, Leirn­er has cont­in­u­al­ly ex­hibit­ed at a va­ri­e­ty of renowned in­sti­tu­tions around the world. For in­s­tance, she had a ma­jor ret­ro­spec­tive at the State Art Gallery of São Pau­lo (2011) and al­so ex­hibit­ed at the Museo Ta­mayo Arte Con­tem­porá­neo in Mex­i­co Ci­ty (2014), the Mu­se­um of Con­tem­po­rary Arts of Shang­hai (2016), and the Ir­ish Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in Dublin (2017). Leirn­er has par­ti­ci­pat­ed in nu­mer­ous bien­nials, in­clud­ing the São Pau­lo Bien­nial in 1989 and 1994, the Venice Bien­nale in 1990 and 1997, the Ha­va­na Bien­nial in 2000, and the Bi­e­n­al do Mer­co­sul in Por­to Ale­gre, Brazil, in 2005 and 2015. In Ger­many Leirn­er’s works were shown at Doc­u­men­ta IX in 1992 and in the same year at the Josef-Haubrich-Kun­sthalle in Cologne.

About the Wolf­gang Hahn Prize

This year marks the twen­ty-fifth pre­sen­ta­tion of the Wolf­gang Hahn Prize by the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst. The prize is pri­mar­i­ly in­tend­ed to rec­og­nize con­tem­po­rary artists who have al­ready made a name for them­selves in the art world through their in­ter­na­tio­n­al­ly rec­og­nized oeu­vre, but who are not as well known in Ger­many as they de­serve to be. The prize mon­ey of a max­i­mum of 100,000 eu­ros comes from con­tri­bu­tions by the mem­bers and is used to ac­quire a work or se­ries of works by the artist for the col­lec­tion of the Mu­se­um Lud­wig. The prize in­cludes an ex­hi­bi­tion or­ganized by the Mu­se­um Lud­wig with works by the prize win­n­er as well as an ac­com­pany­ing publi­ca­tion. The name of the award hon­ors the me­m­o­ry of the pas­sio­nate Cologne col­lec­tor and paint­ing re­s­tor­er Wolf­gang Hahn (1924–1987), who was in­volved in vari­ous ways with Eu­ro­pean and Amer­i­can avant-garde art in Cologne. The Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst is in­debt­ed to his ex­em­plary work as a col­lec­tor, a found­ing mem­ber of the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst, and head of the res­to­ra­tion work­shops at the Wall­raf Richartz Mu­se­um and the Mu­se­um Lud­wig.