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Sandra Mujinga is the winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021. BMW as long-term partner of Germany’s most prestigious contemporary art award.

On the evening of October 7, 2021 the winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie was announced at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the BMW Group Cultural Engagement supports the Preis der Nationalgalerie for over 15 years now.

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Berlin. On the evening of October 7, 2021, the winner of the Preis der Nationalgalerie was announced at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. Celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, the BMW Group Cultural Engagement supports the Preis der Nationalgalerie for over 15 years now.

The jury, consisting of Emre Baykal, chief curator, Arter, Istanbul; Sven Beckstette, curator at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin; Gabriele Knapstein, director, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin; Emma Lavigne, president, Palais de Tokyo, Paris and Yesomi Umolu, director curatorial affairs and public practice, Serpentine Galleries, London, decided after intense discussions on Sandra Mujinga (born 1989 in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo) as the prize winner. With the award Mujinga wins a major solo exhibition next year in one of the Nationalgalerie’s institutions as well as an accompanying publication.

“The jury has decided to award this year’s Preis der Nationalgalerie to Sandra Mujinga. Sandra Mujinga works across a variety of media, with her presentation at Hamburger Bahnhof placing a focus on her sculptural practice. On the one hand, the works display a great sensibility for craft and materiality. Yet, with them, Mujinga is also able to reconcile contradictory experiences: ostensibly familiar forms disappear before we are able to grasp them; her spectral figures appear ominous, but also seem to offer their protection; although static, they exhibit an inherent dynamism; and they are both finished, but also seemingly in a state of becoming. Her negotiation of these contradictions opens up a space for imagination on the part of the viewer. The topics addressed by her works resonate greatly with the present moment, while also seeming to come from a future already passed. They 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”, stated the jury in its unanimous decision.

“Since 2013, after being awarded the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Marianna Castillo Deball, Anne Imhof, Agnieszka Polska, and Pauline Curnier Jardin have come up with incredibly impressive presentations for the Hamburger Bahnhof. I would like to give my sincerest thanks to the members of the jury for today’s lively discussion and congratulate Sandra Mujinga, whose exhibition we will now spend the coming year preparing,” stated Dr Gabriele Knapstein, head of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

Dr Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, said about the newly announced winner, “Looking at past nominees and their later careers, the significance of the shortlist has become very clear. As long-standing partner, we would like to warmly congratulate Sandra Mujinga as this year’s winner. We are very much looking forward to her upcoming exhibition.”

In addition to Sandra Mujinga, the shortlisted artists for this year’s Preis der Nationalgalerie included Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sung Tieu and Lamin Fofana. Their works will be presented as part of a group exhibition at Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin until February 27, 2022. During this period, visitors will be given the opportunity to vote for their favorite at Following the exhibition of the shortlisted artists, all votes will be counted and the winner of the audience award will be announced. Among all participants tipBerlin raffles one of the limited BMW Art Car miniatures of the 1975 designed BMW Art Car by Alexander Calder. With his design for the BMW 3.0 CSL, the artist laid the foundation for what is today internationally known as the BMW Art Car Collection.

After the award ceremony, more than 250 international guests and friends of the Nationalgalerie celebrated the winner Sandra Mujinga with the longstanding partner BMW.

The Preis der Nationalgalerie was founded in 2000 by Freunde der Nationalgalerie and supported by BMW as exclusive partner for 15 years now. The award focuses on young important positions of today. Eligible are artists of all nationalities who at the time of their nomination live and work in Germany and are under the age of 40. Previous awardees amongst others were Monica Bonvicini (2005), Cyprien Gaillard (2011), Anne Imhof (2015), Agnieszka Polska (2017) and Pauline Curnier Jardin (2019).

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For further questions please contact:
Prof. Dr Thomas Girst
BMW Group Corporate and Governmental Affairs
Head of Cultural Engagement
Telephone: +49 89 382 247 53

Dr Fiona Geuss
Staatliche Museen zu Berlin
Preußischer Kulturbesitz
Press Officer Nationalgalerie
Telephone: +49 30 3978 34 17

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