five + two =


Opening exhibition nominees MK Award 2017

Friday November, 17 at 6 p.m. will see the opening, at TENT Rotterdam of a special exhibition presenting new work by Peter Fengler, Saskia Janssen and Ad de Jong, the nominees for the MK Award 2017, amounting to € 5.000. The MK Award Foundation grants it biennially to honour sincere and coherent artistic activity; it pays homage to the creative legacy of the late Emmo Grofsmid and Karmin Kartowikromo, owners of the former MKgallery Rotterdam/Berlin.

This year, at the fifth anniversary of the MK Award Foundation, sees the third edition of the MK Award. The three nominees will present new works in TENT Rotterdam. The exhibition also features video portraits of the three artists, produced by Rotterdam film maker Marieke van der Lippe, allowing the audience and the award’s jury an in-depth view in the ways each of the three nominees define their position and ambition as visual artists.

This year’s jury consists of Reyn van der Lugt (art collector and curator), Gil & Moti (artists, winners MK Award 2015), Adriana Gonzalez Hulshof (founding director Amsterdam Art Weekend), Berry Koedam (director RAM Gallery and RAM Foundation) and Vincent van Velzen (art historian and critic a.o. Metropolis M, curator). The jury was unanimous in its selection of the three nominees:

Peter Fengler (1964) surprisingly included in his documentation a custom made video. Fengler, founding father and creative director of De Player, created a podium for himself that for many years has allowed him to focus on a coherent and personal niche in the arts: performances and sound art. He thus continues in the footsteps of Fluxus, providing that historic with ever new and inspiring turns.

In De Player Fengler also introduces ever new generations of artists of various creative disciplines, that just like him offer a mix hi art and lo art, making it appealing to ever new audiences.

“Fengler’s various art projects plus all his related activities as an artist are always very young, and fit very well in this day and age!”, thus the jury.

Even though the various projects of Saskia Janssen (1967) may sometimes be hardly recognizable as visual art, they are nevertheless recognized as such by the jury. It really appreciates this artist’s great personal involvement with diverse groups at the edges of society, and with the issues and thematics that play a role there. Janssen’s identifying with these results into a consistent body of works, that points out problematic issues of these our times, that shows unbounded engagement, and that stretches the definitions of what it might mean to be an artist.

“In all het projects Janssen points out problematic issues of our times”, thus the jury.

Even though well known for a long time, artist Ad de Jong (1953) once more surprises the jury. Both his autonomous works as well as commissioned projects in 3D are characterized by an attractive, ‘painterly’ visual language, the result of a very specific use of materials and colour, as well as a playfull handling of space.

The jury has great respect of the Amsterdam based artist space W139 of which De Jong is one of the founding fathers; even after all these years it is still of great relevance for contemporary art. The jury also greatly appreciates all other ways by which De Jong promotes the work of younger colleagues.

“Through a playful handling of space and a specific use of materials and colour Ad de Jong’s works are characterised by an attractive and ‘painterly’ visual language”, thus the jury.

Exhibition and award ceremony

The exhibition presenting new works by the three shortlisted artists opens on Friday evening November 17 at 6 p.m. in TENT Rotterdam; it will be on show through December 17.

The festive MK Award 2017 ceremony will take place on Friday December 1, also at TENT.

This exhibition is part of the ‘TENT Welcomes’ programme of TENT Rotterdam and was financially made possible by Mondriaan Foundation.

MK Award Foundation thanks its Benefactors, TENT Rotterdam and CBK/Centre for Visual Arts Rotterdam.

About the MK Award

The MK Award stimulates and celebrates visual artists that are working consistently to create an idiosyncratic oeuvre, keeping away from any hypes-of-the-day.

The MK Award Foundation pays homage to the creative legacy of gallery owners Emmo Grofsmid (1951-2011) and Karmin Kartowikromo (1948-2011) of the former MKgallery Rotterdam/Berlin.
Like them, the MK Award extends confidence and trust to visual artists. It’s all about the development of the visual arts, as well as about the position artists take up within the arts, and about her/his role for society at large.

Previous winners of the MK Award include Melanie Bonajo (2013) and Gil & Moti (2015).