Prix Meret Oppenheim 2024

Prix Meret Oppenheim 2024

Swiss Art Awards

Photos: Florian Spring, Keystone, Dennis Yulov, Betrand Gondouin. © BAK.

February 2, 2024
Prix Meret Oppenheim 2024
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Upon recommendation of the Federal Art Commission, the Federal Office of Culture is pleased to award the Prix Meret Oppenheim 2024 to outstanding Swiss culture practitioners: art historian Jacqueline Burckhardt, architects Marianne Burkhalter and Christian Sumi, and artist Valérie Favre.

Jacqueline Burckhardt
Throughout her multifaceted career, Jacqueline Burckhardt has successfully advocated the internationalization of the Swiss art scene and the recognition of contemporary art in society. As the co-founder and editor of the art magazine Parkett, Burckhardt played a key role in stimulating discussion about the current art of the time, with a focus on the transatlantic exchange of art and artist relationships. She collaborated with some of the most significant artists of her generation, from Laurie Anderson to Meret Oppenheim and Pipilotti Rist. In parallel to her mediation work, Burckhardt initiated a performance program at the Kunsthaus Zürich and directed the Sommerakademie at the Zentrum Paul Klee in Bern. She teaches and collaborates with architects and artists on projects such as the Novartis Campus in Basel, and presided over various cultural committees, thereby influencing the course of Swiss cultural policy. As a restorer, art historian, curator, author, editor, and organizer, Burckhardt brilliantly combines  theoretical knowledge as a restorer and art-historical analyst with aesthetic experience.

Marianne Burkhalter & Christian Sumi 
The architect duo Marianne Burkhalter and Christian Sumi are pioneers of modern timber construction. Their innovative use of form, space, and color in combination with timber and prefabricated compo­nents already attracted international attention in the 1980s and 1990s. Conscious of environmental issues, they did research into energy conservation, the reduction of materials and the use of new technologies. Burkhalter and Sumi create programmatic statements by linking technical and formal aspects and by taking the social and cultural dynamic of their buildings’ surroundings into account. They have long incorporated the concept of adaptive reuse into their work, exploring how existing buildings might be structurally and sustainably adapted, and thus preserved. Their designs are characterized by models of modernism, which they revamp in contemporary terms. , such as the Sunnige Hof housing cooperative in Zurich (2012) and the offices for Switzerland Tourism in Zurich (2019). Burkhalter and Sumi’s work was presented in the Architecture Biennale in Venice twice and over 100 of their handmade models for projects and study were acquired by the gta archive of ETH Zurich.

Valérie Favre 
Valérie Favre is a painter known for the mythical creatures and figures that populate her series of oil paintings. Her compositions are characterized by a fictional world full of unrest, contradiction, and contrast. Her expressive, dynamic paintings critically examine motifs from art history and literature. Coming from a background in theater and cinema, Favre began at the end of the 1980s to concentrate on the medium of painting within an art discourse dominated by conceptualism and minimalism. Valérie Favre quickly established herself as an important feminist painter in France. The Lapine Univers series (2001–2012), a hybrid female figure with long rabbit ears – heroine and anti-heroine in one – is one of her most talked-about inventions. Favre’s specificity was to work in parallel on different series which can span up to ten years. At a time when many artists are reinvesting the field of figurative painting and narrative, Valérie Favre’s pictorial work, developed over more than thirty years, appears to be a precursor.She is a professor of painting at the Berlin University of the Arts and was nominated for the Prix Marcel Duchamp in 2012, and her work has been on view at several international venues.

Publication and video capsules
The Federal Office of Culture is publishing the Swiss Grand Award for Art | Prix Meret Oppenheim 2024, featuring portraits and interviews conducted by Laura Arici with Jacqueline Burckhardt, Angela Lammert with Valérie Favre, and Nik Bärtsch and Luca Burkhalter with Burkhalter Sumi.

ISBN 978-3-907394-11-3; German, French, Italian, Romansh, English

Director Jessie Fischer is producing video capsules of the laureates in German and French with English subtitles. They will be first presented at the Swiss Art Awards 2024 exhibition and be online from June 11, 2024, at swissartawards.ch.

Prix Meret Oppenheim
Created in 2001 by the Federal Office of Culture in collaboration with the Federal Art Commission, the Swiss Grand Award for Art / Prix Meret Oppenheim is awarded on the recommendation of the Commission to artists, architects, curators, researchers, and critics whose internationally renowned work is of particular relevance and importance to Swiss artistic and architectural practice. Each award carries prize money of CHF 40,000.

For press inquiries please contact: media-kunst [​at​] schweizerkulturpreise.ch

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