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Monika Baer, Natascha Sadr Haghighian Take Home Berlin’s Biggest Art Prizes

Berlin.

HOLGER BOEHM/SHUTTERSTOCK

The recipients of two of Berlin’s most prestigious awards for artists have been announced: the Hannah Höch Award has been given to painter Monika Baer, and the Hannah Höch Förderpreis has been awarded to artist Natascha Sadr Haghighian.

Haghighian, who represented Germany at this year’s Venice Biennale, will take home €38,000 (about $42,000), with the funds divided two ways. About €10,000 (about $11,000) is a cash purse that will go to the artist, and the remaining funds will go toward an exhibition and a publication. At the Biennale, Haghighian created an installation titled Tribute to Whistle, taking the form of a makeshift immigration detention center with boulders scattered on the floor. In the installation, she did a performance in a suit with a mask shaped like a rock that obscured her face.

The artist, who has been known to change her name repeatedly, often altering her date of birth and nationality depending on the occasion, was selected by an independent jury comprized of artist Selda Asal, the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein’s director Kathrin Becker, and curator Britta Schmitz.

Through the Hannah Höch Award, which is named after the famed Dadaist, Baer will receive a €25,000 (about $28,000). The award is given every two years to an artist based in Berlin. The Senate Department for Culture and Europe in Berlin said in a statement that it had chosen Baer because of her “use of a variety of painterly techniques and approaches, from monochrome to realism and the concrete breaking up of canvas.” A solo exhibition supported by the prize will open in June of 2020 at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein in Berlin.

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