Sculptor Sandra Mujinga Has Won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Germany’s Top Prize for Young Artists

The artist will receive a solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof in 2022.

Sandra Mujinga receives the Nationalgalerie preis 2021 (c) Nationalgalerie - Staatliche Museen zu Berlin / Benjamin Pritzkuleit

Sandra Mujinga has won the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Germany’s most prestigious award for young artists.

The international jury, which included Chisenhale Gallery’s Zoé Whitley and Haus der Kunst’s Andrea Lissoni, had nominated four other artists and collectives at the beginning of the year, including music and installation artist Lamin Fofana, photography duo Calla Henkel and Max Pitegoff, and conceptual artist Sung Tieu.

Each of the shortlisted artists created a small solo exhibition of new and recent works at the Hamburger Bahnhof in Berlin. Mujinga received the award at the museum last night.

Born in Goma, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mujinga now lives between Berlin and Oslo. The artist, who is represented by Croy Nielsen in Vienna and The Approach in London, recently closed a solo exhibition at the Swiss Institute in New York. Her sculptures and installations oscillate between the figurative and abstract, and often occur as ghostlike figures made with carefully executed, otherworldly textiles. At the Hamburger Bahnhof, Mujinga presented faceless, towering figures in a green-washed space, as well as a large, ominous ship-like sculpture.

“The topics addressed by her works resonate greatly with the present moment, while also seeming to come from a future already passed,” said the jury in a joint statement. “These works remind us to be considerate of other living beings for the sake of our own survival, and that we can observe and learn from their various strategies of adapting to an ever-changing world.”

As part of the prize, Mujinga will receive a solo exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof in 2022 and an accompanying publication.

The award is handed out every two years to an artist under 40 who lives in Germany. Previous winners over the years have included Anne Imhof, Cyprien Gaillard, and Katharina Grosse.

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