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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