Artist Talk and Award Ceremony

Maria Lassnig Prize 2019 awarded to Sheela Gowda
Fri, June 7, 2019, 7pm, Kunstbau
Free Admission

Talk with Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director of the Serpentine Galleries in London, and Sheela Gowda, artist
Laudation: Ute Meta Bauer, Founding Director of the Centre for Contemporary Art in Singapore

In English

The Maria Lassnig Foundation and the Lenbachhaus are pleased to announce that the Maria Lassnig Prize 2019 will be awarded to the artist Sheela Gowda. The prize is given biennially to a mid-career artist. It was conceived by the Austrian artist Maria Lassnig before her death in 2014. Lassnig herself, who at the age of ninety-four had reached the zenith of her career, was only recognized as an artist late in her life.

Sheela Gowda (b. 1957 in Bhadravati, India) lives and works in Bangalore. She studied Painting in Bangalore and London. For her sculptures and installations, Sheela Gowda uses materials that, due to their consistency, color, and odor, create a narrative atmosphere and concomitantly unfold metaphorical power. Materials such as cow dung, kumkuma powder, incense, and coconut fibers, as well as hairs, needles, and threads combine connotations of everyday use with a poetic charge and refer to urban and rural life in India. Before Sheela Gowda turned to installations and sculpture in a minimalist formal language in the 1990s, she worked with expressive oil painting, in which her later themes were already laid out. Early on, the everyday life of the Indian middle class, the conflicts of women in their working and private lives, and images of political and social tension conveyed through the media had already become recurring artistic preoccupations.

Sheela Gowda was represented at the Kochi-Muziris Biennale in 2012, the Venice Biennale in 2009, documenta 12 and the Biennale de Lyon, both in 2007. Solo exhibitions were held in Birmingham, Hong Kong, Berlin, Dublin, Vassivière, Lund, Eindhoven, and in Oslo. Further solo exhibitions are scheduled for 2019 in Milan and Valencia. Selected participations in group exhibitions include those in Mönchengladbach, Beijing, Lyon, New Delhi, London, Bern, and Minneapolis. In 2014, she was a finalist of the Hugo Boss Award.

As the institutional partner for the Maria Lassnig Prize we will open an extensive solo exhibition of Gowda's work at Lenbachhaus in 2020, curated by Eva Huttenlauch.

The award ceremony will take place in the exhibition BODY CHECK. Martin Kippenberger and Maria Lassnig, followed by a garden party with drinks by Aqua Monaco.