Janek Simon receives the Polish art prize “Views” from the Deutsche Bank Foundation and Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw
Since 2003, the Deutsche Bank Foundation and Zacheta National Gallery in Warsaw have been awarding the “Views” prize for new Polish art: this year it goes to Janek Simon. The EUR 10,000 prize is awarded every two years by a German-Polish jury and provides a platform for young Polish artists. “Views” also helps draw international attention to the contemporary Polish art scene. Deutsche Bank was named “Patron of Culture 2006” by Poland’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in recognition of this commitment.
This year’s winner Janek Simon was born 1977 in Krakow and lives and works still there. He impressed the jury with the charming lightness with which he pragmatically addresses even serious topics. Simon, who draws his inspiration from all that surrounds him, deals with issues of political and institutional criticism as well as with more personal, autobiographical subjects. His curiosity and intuition lead him to take new artistic approaches that are always surprising.
The works of all the artists nominated for “Views” are on display until November 11 at Zacheta National Gallery. This year, Michał Stachyra, Rafał Jakubowicz, Olga Lewicka, Karol Radziszewski, the Sędzia Główny duo (Aleksandra Kubiak, Karolina Wiktor), Janek Simon and the Rusz Art Gallery duo (Joanna Górska, Rafal Góralski) displayed their works, most of which were created especially for the exhibition. The artistic statements are an impressive reflection of the vibrant young Polish scene. In a state of flux between the socialist past and global capitalism, the artists use absurd wit, criticize institutions or take up provocative contemporary issues such as the terrorist phenomenon.
On Monday, the international jury comprised of Sebastian Cichocki (Director of the Krokia Gallery and art critic), Britta Färber (Deutsche Bank Art), Elżbieta Jabłońska (winner of the 2003 “Views” prize), Beatrice Josse (Director of FRAC Lorraine), Hanna Wróblewska (Deputy Director of Zachęta National Gallery) Wojciech Kozłowski (Director of the Public Gallery GeronaGura / Greenmountains) and Jarosław Suchan (Director of the Sztuki Museum in Lodzs) chose the work of the winner Janek Simon from among those nominated.
This was the third time that the art prize “Views” has been awarded. The lists of nominees from the previous award ceremonies include names such as Monika Sosnowska, who was one of the favourites for the “Golden Lion” prize at this year’s Venice Biennale, and Paweł Althamer and Paulina Olowska, who now exhibit at major international art events. The prize is intended to encourage young artists who often receive little public attention despite international success since there is still a lack of collectors, sponsors and stipendia in Poland. Deutsche Bank has been involved in Polish art since the early 1990s and specifically buys the works of young artists for its collection. Exhibitions from the Deutsche Bank Collection have also been presented in Poland, such as “Man in the Middle” in 2004 in Krakow. Together with Zacheta National Gallery, the most renowned exhibition centre for contemporary art in Poland, the bank took this promotion concept one step further in 2003 and launched Views, through which it promotes the young Polish art scene. This support of the country’s artistic talent is part of the bank’s mission to make it possible for the individual to grow beyond his or her boundaries and in doing so to use the innovative strength of contemporary art.
Last year Deutsche Bank Polska S.A. received the prize “Patron of Culture 2006” for its commitment to Polish culture. This award, which is presented annually by Poland’s Minister of Culture and National Heritage, was granted in recognition of the special concept of Views. Since its establishment in 1995, Deutsche Bank Polska S. A. has dedicated itself to supporting not only cultural institutions such as the National Opera House and Zacheta National Gallery, but also social projects. One of the focuses of its activities is disadvantaged children.
In addition to the Polish art prize “Views”, which will be awarded for the third time in Warsaw this year, the Kandinsky Prize is the second high-calibre award for contemporary art that the Deutsche Bank Foundation has co-initiated and significantly supported. The first Russian prize for contemporary art will be awarded on December 4, 2007, in Moscow for the categories “Artist of the Year”, “Prize for the Best Young Artist”, “Media Art Prize” and the “Audience’s Prize”. The works of the award-winning artists will be on display in 2008 in Germany and the USA.
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Deutsche Bank’s Corporate Social Responsibility
Deutsche Bank is committed to the realization of a large number of corporate social responsibility activities that go beyond the sphere of the company’s business: through donations and sponsorships, the bank’s own projects and, to no small part, employees’ volunteer work. With a sponsorship volume of more than € 85 million, the bank, together with its foundations and non-profit organizations, is an active global corporate citizen dedicated to sustainability.
For more than 25 years, Deutsche Bank has been committed to promoting contemporary art. Under the motto “Art at Work”, the bank systematically acquires contemporary international art and displays it in bank buildings and exhibitions around the globe. With more than 50,000 works of art, the Deutsche Bank Collection is considered the world’s largest and most important corporate collection including works by Polish artists such as Wilhelm Sasnal, Wawa Tokarski and Piotr Uklansi. This year, the support provided by Deutsche Bank will include the German Pavilion at the Venice Biennale and the Frieze Art Fair in London. Furthermore, Deutsche Bank maintains a joint venture with the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, which shows a jointly developed art program.
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