The 26th edition of the international art prize STRABAG came to end, drawing our attention to the young talents in contemporary drawing and painting.
The STRABAG Artaward International has a special status among private art prizes in Austria as it provides a great endowment for the winners – the main prize and four recognitions with prize money total €35,000. The idea behind the award is to help young artists to develop their careers and form international connections, which is strongly emphasised by Dr. Thomas Birtel, CEO of STRABAG SE. Birtel presented on the 17th of June 2021 the main prize and the four recognition awards at the gallery space of STRABAG Artlounge in Vienna during the official ceremony.
Since 2009, the STRABAG Artaward is organised once every three years in order to honour young European artists. In the years 2021-2023, participants from Austria, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary and the Czech Republic are welcome to apply.
In January 2021, from among 835 applications, the online preliminary jury selected 61 (16 from Poland, 11 from Slovakia, 6 from the Czech Republic, 10 from Hungary and 18 from Austria), which were then evaluated in the final jury session. The session took place in April 2021 in Vienna, where the board (including: Vladimír Beskid, Roman Grabner, Vít Havránek, Edith Raidl, Anda Rottenberg, Hajnalka Somogyi, Tanja Skorepa, Wilhelm Weiß) distinguished five talented creators.
- ANOUK LAMM ANOUK / AT
- ROBERT GABRIS / SK/AT
- SAMUEL PAUČO / CZ
- NATÁLIA ŠIMONOVÁ / SK
- MARCIN ZAWICKI / PL
Anouk Lamm Anouk is a Viennese artist working mainly in poetry and painting, who identifies as non-binary. Their predominant mantra is No age, no gender, no origin. Based on the exploration of their identity in relation to society, early experiences and growing into a wrongly gendered body were transformed into a wide range of works. In confronting and transforming pain into beauty and power, Anouk challenges viewers through an examination of sex, eroticism and female liberation. Their last solo exhibition “THE VOID IS MY TEMPLE” took place in 2020 in Salon Schwarzenberg.
Robert Gabris is a Slovakian visual artist currently based in Vienna. His works include installations, fineliner sketches, print, photography, animation, performance and conceptual art. He perceives his art as a form of confrontation with identity issues, including his Roma origins, queerness, racism, and social exclusion. Gabris’ techniques rely on associations of words, sounds and pictorial representations through which he explores everyday life and social-political issues. He is frequently inspired by his own background and the natural world. Gabris has displayed his works in numerous group and solo exhibitions all around the world. In 2021, he received Jindřich Chalupecký Award – the Czech prize for young visual artists.
Samuel Paučo is a Slovakian painter, currently working at the Academy of Fine Arts in Prague. His works, which include paintings and installations, balance between abstraction and representation, formalism and conceptualism, aesthetics and poetry. In his art, Paučo often refers to the painting as a medium of expression in itself. His style draws on the rich sources of modern painting, and their thematization and authentication through prism of contemporary processes. Paučo’s works can be frequently seen in the Czech Republic and Slovakia – his last solo exhibitions included the “Thrliny” in Bratislava (2019) and “NA KONCI SVĚTA MÍRNĚ DOPRAVA” in Prague (2018).
Natália Šimonová is a Slovakian painter whose main focus is urban environment and socialist architecture. She treats the motif of public space as part of personal and social memory overshadowed by destruction. Šimonová relies on both classical and non-classical painting materials – she works, for example, with real rust, which is procedural and changes with time. In 2020, she was awarded the first prize in Maľba 2020 competition.
Marcin Zawicki is a Polish painter, draughtsman, and author of installations. Since 2010, he has been working as a teaching assistant at the Faculty of Painting at The Academy of Fine Arts in Gdansk, where he completed his Ph.D. in 2015. Zawicki’s art revolves around considerations about image and physical reality. Each of his paintings is based on a maquette – a three-dimensional sculptor’s model that he produces by himself. His art aims at widening the horizons of meaning and understanding the nature of vision and reality as a whole. He frequently exhibits his works in numerous galleries across Poland – his last solo exhibitions included “Decayed little planet” in Silecki Castle in Sosnowiec and “Neoplasms” in Tajna Gallery in Gdansk.
The live stream of the award ceremony can be view on the STRABAG Kunstforum YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28iG55JPOsw.
The exhibition with the works of the five shortlisted artists will last from 18 June till 13 August 2021. From October 2021, all award-winning artists will have a solo exhibition at the STRABAG Artlounge gallery space in Vienna.
Jury Session, photo by Eva Kelety
Jury Session, photo by Eva Kelety