MONA Announces Prinzhorn Prize Winners

MONA Announces Prinzhorn Prize Winners

alt textMountain Man by Nicole Eisenman

The Museum of New Art (MONA), the first artist-run museum in the world, has announced the winner of its Prinzhorn International Art Prize for contemporary artists. The Detroit museum was founded in 1996 by artists who wanted to create a space for the exploration of new art and to encourage critical discourse in the region. Over the years, MONA has become the proving ground and springboard for hundreds of artists, both new and established.

The winners of this year’s Prinzhorn Prize have been chosen because their work is conceptually and emotionally rewarding, both illuminating current artistic dynamics and offering poignant insight into the human condition. All six artists demonstrate adventurousness, conceptual strength, and skillful execution in their work.

The Prinzhorn Prize will be given annually, and invites an exhibition from each artist to be showcased at the museum’s new Detroit location.

Olaf Breuning
Christo & Jeanne-Claude (Lifetime Achievement recipients)
Nicole Eisenman
Tracey Emin
Dana Schutz
Jessica Stockholder

This is the first year for the Prinzhorn Prize. For better or worse, there is no “actual” prize or money award. The museum briefly toyed with the idea of a trophy of some sort, but in the end felt such things should be saved for sporting events. Museum Director Jef Bourgeau said: “Seriously, I remember someone in committee saying it’s just an honor to be nominated. I disagreed, saying something about a tree falling in a forest. Real honor and prestige is in the winning and in its announcement, acknowledgement and recognition.”

The museum is artist-run, and so its project funding comes from Detroit artists. Although a very modest counterpart to larger awards, the Prinzhorn Prize is still an active attempt to call attention to those artists whose work continues to enrich all our lives by bringing new vision to it.

The Prinzhorn is sponsored by the Museum of New Art (MONA), and nominations are invited and will be decided each year by an independent jury of artists that will change annually.

Secondary to the awarding of the Prize, recipients are also given an open-invitation to exhibit at the Museum of New Art in the coming months. The museum has served as Detroit’s contemporary museum since 1996 and has survived solely by the generosity of artists.

“Detroit has been suffering economic decline and troubles long before the current recession, but the music and the art community especially has remained strong and vital throughout – despite being insulated from and significantly unexplored by the outside world. The announcement of this Prize and the possible related solo exhibitions give hope as a needed remedy for this situation”, said Bourgeau .