Kerstin Brätsch, the New York–based painter known for her digital abstractions, many of which resemble geodes or marbled surfaces, has won the Munch Museum’s Edvard Munch Art Award. Given to a contemporary artist inspired by the Norwegian painter, the award comes with $65,000, a residency in Oslo, and a solo exhibition at the Munch Museum.
Brätsch’s work was recently the subject of a major survey at the Museum Brandhorst in Munich. On view there were more than 100 paintings, installations, videos, and projections. Many ponder the circulation of images, the role of chance in art making, and the relationship between the artist’s hand and her canvas in the digital age. Brätsch’s work has also always been partly about the nature of artistic collaborations today, and she’s been a part of two notable duos: DAS INSTITUT (with Adele Röder) and KAYA (with Debo Eilers), the latter of which was included in this year’s Whitney Biennial.
Brätsch is the second winner of the Edvard Munch Art Award. (The first prize was given in 2015 to Camille Henrot, the Paris-based artist whose work can currently be seen at the Palais de Tokyo.) She was selected by a jury that was headed up by former Centre Pompidou director Alfred Pacquement and also included the New Museum’s artistic director, Massimiliano Gioni; the Robert Rauschenberg Foundation’s director, Kathy Halbreich; the Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw’s director, Joanna Mytkowska; and curator and critic Simon Sheikh.
A jury statement about Brätsch, who will have her Munch Museum show in 2020, reads in part, “Brätsch has already proven herself in a series of impressive exhibitions and projects, through which the jury finds her work particularly significant. The jury believes that Kerstin Brätsch has a strong potential to develop her career further in the years to come, and will follow her future work with great anticipation.”