July 2, 2017 - Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen - 13th Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen
July 2, 2017

Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen

Niele Toroni is painting at the art gallery Basel, 2007. Photo: Stefan Meier.

13th Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen
Niele Toroni
July 2–October 15, 2017

Award ceremony: July 2, 11am, exhibiton opening at 3:30 pm

Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Unteres Schloss 1
57072 Siegen
Hours: Tuesday–Sunday 11am–6pm,
Thursday 11am–8pm


On July 2, 2017 the conceptual painter Niele Toroni was awarded with the 13th Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen. To mark his receipt of the award, he opened a major presentation (July 2 to October 15, 2017) of his work in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen at the same day.

In an exciting sequence of 12 rooms, it will be possible to see already existing works on canvas and paper as well as new interventions painted on site, over an exhibition area totalling 700 sqm.

For fifty years now, Niele Toroni has been experimenting with imprints of a no. 50 paintbrush repeated at regular intervals of 30 cm. This work, simple as it may seem at first glance, can only be realised by the painter himself. Every imprint of the brush is unique, distinct from all the others, like the painter's ultimative signature, the trace of his existence.

The picture carriers vary: canvas, wood, paper, aluminium, oilcloth, also “found objects” can be carriers of the brush imprints, as well as photographs, posters or the sides of cupboards. But above all, Toroni's painting extends beyond the classic boundaries of the picture into the surrounding architectonic space and transforms everyday situations.

Toroni is one of the key representatives of conceptual, concrete painting. In 1966/1967 he formed a group of artists together with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier and Olivier Mosset, which was named “BMPT” by the art critics and questioned the traditional methods of art through radical gestures. The artists asked themselves whether painting was still up-to-date in a world inundated with images, and whether representational and abstract painting had reached their limits. Toroni, the painter-poet, found a disarming response—not without an ironic wink. It is no longer possible to conceive of 20th century art without Niele Toroni and his radical painting.

Toroni's works can be found in many public and private collections all over the world and have been exhibited at the documenta 7 (1982) and 9 (1992) in Kassel. The biennials in Venice (1976) and SãoPaulo (1991), as well as many museums all over the world have also shown his paintings, which have been awarded the Wolfgang Hahn Prize in 2003 and the Prix Meret Oppenheim in 2012. These awards are now followed by the Rubens Prize from the City of Siegen.


Winners of the Rubens Prize before Niele Toroni have included:
Hans Hartung (1957), Giorgio Morandi (1962), Francis Bacon (1967), Antoni Tàpies (1972), Fritz Winter (1977), Emil Schumacher (1982), Cy Twombly (1987), Rupprecht Geiger (1992), Lucian Freud (1997), Maria Lassnig (2002), Sigmar Polke (2007), Bridget Riley (2012)


T +49 (0)271 405 77 0 / F +49 (0)271 405 77 32 / info [​at​] mgk-siegen.de

Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
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