The “Friends” are a circle of citizens who are interested in art and who actively promote and support the Ludwig Forum and art and culture in Aachen. The association was founded in 1971 and regularly initiates and co-finances exhibitions and round tables with artists, curators and art critics, as well as book publications and art excursions. Examples of their activities are the conference that accompanied the exhibition “West Arch – A Young Generation in Architecture” (2010), the Pawel Althamer exhibition (2010), the series of talks that accompanied “Videokunst” (2010), film evenings for the “Hyper Real” exhibition (2011), lectures relating to the “Nie wieder störungsfrei!” exhibition (2011) and the exhibition and catalogue of the works of Phyllida Barlow (2012/13).
At the end of 2012, the “Young Friends” association was established. Through special guided tours, art studio visits, film shows, exhibition previews, silk screen workshops, excursions and many other types of events, they facilitate glimpses of and insights into what goes on behind the scenes. In 2013, the “Young Friends” initiated and ran the LUFO Bar.
Over the years, the “Friends” have made it possible to stage special events in the LUFO. Their most prominent achievement is certainly the organisation of the “Kunstpreis Aachen” (Art Prize Aachen), which they initiated in 1980 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the “Neue Galerie”. The prize is awarded every two years to an artist who has provided significant inspiration for the art scene in previous years. The prize winner gets 10,000 EUR and an exhibition in the Ludwig Forum. The selection of the prize winner is made by a jury of international experts chaired by the “Friends” association president. The prize is financed in large part by the association, and by the City of Aachen, the Ludwig Forum and cultural institutions of the Aachen business world.