2019 Wolfgang Hahn Prize: Jac Leirner / Museum Ludwig, Cologne

In 2019, the Ge­sellschaft für Mod­erne Kunst am Mu­se­um Lud­wig rec­og­nized the Brazilian artist Jac Leirn­er with the Wolf­gang Hahn Prize. Jac Leirner, born in São Pau­lo in 1961, has been pur­su­ing a sub­tle anal­y­sis of so­cial and rep­re­sen­ta­tio­n­al sys­tems for many years. Found, of­ten in­dus­trial­ly man­u­fac­tured ev­ery­day ob­jects from which she cre­ates in­s­tal­la­tions, col­lages, and sculp­tures ac­cord­ing to the prin­ci­ples of col­lect­ing, ac­cu­mu­lat­ing, and clas­si­fy­ing play an im­por­tant role in her work. This re­sults in dense, of­ten min­i­mal­ist works that play with the aes­thet­ic, rep­re­sen­ta­tio­n­al, and so­cio-cul­tu­r­al lev­els of mean­ing of the ob­jects.

Jac Leirn­er was born in 1961 in São Pau­lo, where she cont­in­ues to live and work to­day. In 1982 her first ex­hi­bi­tion took place there. This was fol­lowed in 1991 by in­sti­tu­tio­n­al so­lo ex­hi­bi­tions at the In­sti­tute of Con­tem­po­rary Art in Bos­ton, the Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in Ox­ford, and the Walk­er Art Cen­ter in Min­neapo­lis. Since then, Leirn­er has cont­in­u­al­ly ex­hibit­ed at a va­ri­e­ty of renowned in­sti­tu­tions around the world. For in­s­tance, she had a ma­jor ret­ro­spec­tive at the State Art Gallery of São Pau­lo (2011) and al­so ex­hibit­ed at the Museo Ta­mayo Arte Con­tem­porá­neo in Mex­i­co Ci­ty (2014), the Mu­se­um of Con­tem­po­rary Arts of Shang­hai (2016), and the Ir­ish Mu­se­um of Mod­ern Art in Dublin (2017). Leirn­er has par­ti­ci­pat­ed in nu­mer­ous bien­nials, in­clud­ing the São Pau­lo Bien­nial in 1989 and 1994, the Venice Bien­nale in 1990 and 1997, the Ha­va­na Bien­nial in 2000, and the Bi­e­n­al do Mer­co­sul in Por­to Ale­gre, Brazil, in 2005 and 2015. In Ger­many Leirn­er’s works were shown at Doc­u­men­ta IX in 1992 and in the same year at the Josef-Haubrich-Kun­sthalle in Cologne.

2019 Wolfgang Hahn Prize: Jac Leirner / Museum Ludwig, Cologne. Award cer­e­mony and open­ing, Museum Ludwig, Cologne (Germany), April 9, 2019.

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