The German association of galleries and art dealers (BVDG) and Koelnmesse (the convention center in Cologne, Germany) have awarded the 2015 Art Cologne Prize, which honors “exceptional performance in the communication of art,” to longtime Dusseldorf dealer Hans Mayer. He’s marking the half-century anniversary of his gallery’s founding this year.
Mayer, who is known for showing minimal, Zero, kinetic, and new-media artists, including Heinz Mack, Günter Uecker, Victor Vasarely, Tony Oursler, and Nam June Paik, first opened up shop in Esslingen, Germany, in 1965, and in 1967 started a gallery with Paris art dealer Denise Rene in 1967. He moved his operations to Dusseldorf in the early 1970s, where he has been ever since.
Among Mayer’s other achievements: he helped found Kunstmarkt Köln (one of the earliest art fairs and the predecessor of today’s Art Cologne fair), and collaborated on projects with Kraftwerk.
Mayer is joining in impressive cast of past winners. That list: Harald Szeemann (1989), Annely Juda (1993), Rudolf Springer (1995), Ingvild Goetz (2001), Nicholas Serota (2004), Rudolf Zwirner (2006), Harald Falckenberg (2009), family Grässlin (2010), Michael Werner (2011), Fred Jahn (2013), Rosemarie Schwarzwälder (2014).