Art Prize Aachen

1983 until today

The Art Award Aachen is sponsored by the Association of Friends of the Ludwig Forum, the City of Aachen and the Aachen business community. It is awarded every two years by an international jury to prominent artists to whom the international art scene owes significant impulses. The prize is endowed with € 10,000.

Art Prize Aachen 2018: Walid Raad

Walid Raad, born in 1967 in Chbanieh, Lebanon, is one of the leading artists of his generation. As a participant in documenta 11 and 13 as well as numerous other exhibitions, including in Zurich, Paris, London, Naples and Berlin, he has also become known to a wider audience in Europe in recent years. After numerous international awards, he has now been unanimously awarded the Aachen Art Prize 2018 by the jury. Walid Raad currently lives and works in New York. In his multi-layered and medially wide-ranging oeuvre of photographs, videos, installations, sculptures, and performances, Walid Raad explores various themes: history and historicity, individual and collective memory, the effects of violence on the mind, body, tradition, and art, facticity and its mediation, photography, and the question of the document. Walid Raad’s oeuvre consists essentially of three major bodies of work: The Atlas Group (1989-2004), Scratching on things I could disavow (2007-present), and Sweet Talk: Commissions (1987-present).

The Atlas Group consists of an artistic archive of notebooks, films, videos, and photographs that focus on the events surrounding the wars in his native Lebanon, which Raad left in 1983. Raad has created a series of documents that explore the possibilities, as well as the limitations, of writing, documenting, and remembering the history of events of extreme violence. His archive includes both imagined and historical people, situations, and artifacts.

Scratching on things I could disavow consists of a series of sculptures, photographs, installations, videos, and performances dedicated to the emergence of new histories, economies, institutions, and collections around “Arab art.” Raad takes as his starting point the emergence of major new museums in Abu Dhabi, Doha, Beirut, and elsewhere in the Middle East to explore how artworks have been affected materially, as well as immaterially, by the wars that have ravaged the region in recent decades.

Sweet Talk: Assignments, was Raad’s longest art project. It consists of thousands of photographs that Raad has produced in Beirut since 1987. Following other extensive documentaries such as Walker Evans in the U.S., Bernd and Hilla Becher in Germany, and Jean Eugène Auguste Atget in Paris, Raad’s work follows Beirut’s ever-changing landscape during the hot and cold wars.

The artistic roots of Walid Raad’s art projects are linked to Western conceptual art and post-conceptual practices such as those of Hannah Höch, Hans Haacke, Sherrie Levine, Joseph Beuys and others. His performance works play an important role in the emergence of the lecture-performance genre.

The jury’s statement:
“In Walid Raad, the jury honors an artist whose practice stands for a significant expansion of the canon of art beyond Europe and the United States. The artist’s multi-year project entitled The Atlas Group not only directed attention to the tangled history of the Middle East, but also posed important questions about the relationship between fact and fiction in historical narratives. Walid Raad’s works are equally convincing due to their aesthetic precision and their high density of conceptual references, which is why the jury has found in him an excellent personality for this year’s Aachen Art Award.”

Jury of the Art Award Aachen 2018: Dr. Andreas Beitin, Director Ludwig Forum Aachen; Ernst Höhler, Verein der Freunde des Ludwig Forums e.V.; Johan Holten, Director Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden; Christiane Mennicke-Schwarz, Director Kunsthaus Dresden; Susanne Titz, Director Städtisches Museum Abteiberg Mönchengladbach.

Privious Winners

Franz Erhard Walther (2016)

Jury: Prof. Dr. Pia Müller-Tamm (Staatliche Kunsthalle Karlsruhe), Dr. Thomas Köhler (Berlinischen Galerie), Rein Wolfs (Bundeskunsthalle, Bonn), Dr. Andreas Beitin (Ludwig Forum Aachen), Ernst Höhler (Verein der Freunde des Ludwig Forums e.V.).

Paulina Olowska (2014)

Jury: Dr. Ulrike Groos (Kunstmuseum Stuttgart), Sabine Breitwieser (Museum der Moderne, Salzburg), Dr. Brigitte Franzen (Ludwig Forum, Aachen), Ernst Höhler (Friends of the Ludwig Forum)

Phyllida Barlow (2012)
Jury: Marion Ackermann (Kunstsammlung NRW (Art Collection NRW), Düsseldorf), Chris Dercon (Tate Modern, London), Brigitte Franzen (Ludwig Forum, Aachen), Ernst Höhler (Verein der Freunde des Ludwig Forum (Friends of the Ludwig Forum)) and Dirk Snauwaert (Wiels Centrum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Brussels)

Pawel Althamer (2010)
Jury: Joachim Plum (Kuratorium  (Board of Trustees) Kunstpreis Aachen), Ulrich Wilmes (Haus der Kunst, Munich), Rein Wolfs (Kunsthalle Fridericianum, Kassel), Markus Heinzelmann (Museum Morsbroich, Leverkusen), Brigitte Franzen (Ludwig Forum, Aachen)

Aernout Mik (2008)
Jury: Stephan Berg (Kunstmuseum Bonn), Wim van Krimpen (Gemeentemuseum Den Haag), Sir Norman Rosenthal (Royal Academy of Arts, London), Harald Kunde (Ludwig Forum, Aachen)

Roman Signer (2006)
Jury: Paula van den Bosch (Bonnefantenmuseum, Maastricht), Bernhard Mendes Bürgi (Kunstmuseum Basel), Veit Görner (kestnergesellschaft, Hannover), Harald Kunde (Ludwig Forum, Aachen)

Andreas Slominski (2004)
Jury: Wulf Herzogenrath (Kunsthalle Bremen), Enrico Lunghi (Casino Luxembourg, Luxembourg), Britta Schmitz (Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin), Harald Kunde (Ludwig Forum, Aachen)

Tacita Dean (2002)
Jury: Theodora Fischer (Laurenz Foundation, Basel), Baert de Baere (Museum voor Hedendaagse Kunst, Antwerp), Thomas Kellein (Kunsthalle Bielefeld), Harald Kunde (Ludwig Forum, Aachen)

Michael Asher (2000)
Jury: Saskia Bos, Carla Schulz-Hoffmann, Ulrich Loock, Wolfgang Becker

Richard Tuttle (1998)
Jury: Vincente Todoli, Thomas Deecke, Dieter Schwarz, Wolfgang Becker

Katharina Fritsch (1996)
Jury: Markus Brüderlin, Klaus Bussmann, Bice Curiger, Wolfgang Becker

Christian Boltanski (1994)
Jury: Suzanne Pagé, Uwe M. Schneede, Hendrik Driessen, Wolfgang Becker

On Kawara (1992)
Jury: Katharina Schmidt, Harald Szeemann, Jean Louis Froment, Wolfgang Becker

Ilya Kabakov (1990)
Jury: Maria Corral, Bernard Ceysson, Jan Hoet, Wolfgang Becker

Richard Long (1988)
Jury: Nicolas Serota, Kasper König, Dieter Ronte, Wolfgang Becker

A.R. Penck (1985)
Jury: Jean-Christophe Ammann, Klaus Gallwitz, Wolfgang Becker

Luciano Fabro (1983)
Jury: Achille Bonito Oliva, Rudi Fuchs, Alfred Pacquement, Wolfgang Becker

Ludwig Forum Aachen
Jülicher Straße 97–109
52070 Aachen
Tel. +49 (0)241 1807-104
Fax +49 (0)241 1807-101

Opening hours
Tue-Sun 10am-5pm
Thu 10am-8pm
Closed on Monday

Tue-Fri 1pm-5pm

Guided tours and workshops
+49 241 432 4998

Regular € 6.00
Reduced € 3.00

More Information

No events in date-range