The 2019 Helvetia Art Prize goes to Kaspar Ludwig (*1989). He holds a Master’s degree in fine arts from the Academy of Art and Design in Basel. In his artistic endeavours, Kaspar Ludwig works in a variety of media. In his award-winning work "Why should I buy pillows when All I want Is sleep" he presents a floor and sound installation comprising several pillow sculptures made of sheets of metal which are inflated with compressed air. The same sheets of metal are used at the Carrara quarry, where they are inserted into the cracks in the stone and filled with water in order to break off pieces of the marble under high pressure. The sculptures convey an ambivalence: on the one hand the pillow symbolizes peace, softness and comfort, on the other hand, they have the potential to explode as part of the creative process. The recording devices attached to the pillows capture the ambient noises and amplify them via a sound system, thus making it possible to experience latent energies. Kaspar Ludwig impressed the jury with this precise spatial installation and by combining everyday objects with poetry. Using concise interventions or minor shifts, he stages found everyday objects in a new and unfamiliar setting. By tracing their origin and artistic use his constant interest in cultural-historical phenomena becomes clear. Kaspar Ludwig’s work is very promising. The Art Prize aims to make a substantial contribution to promoting his artistic development. The award-winning work of Kaspar Ludwig can be seen at Plattform 19, which is being held until 31 March 2019 at the Centre d'art contemporain (CACY) in Yverdon-les-Bains.
The members of this year’s jury for the Helvetia Art Prize are Ines Goldbach (Director of Kunsthaus Baselland), Olivier Kaeser (independent curator), Joanna Kamm (Director of LISTE – Art Fair Basel), Andreas Karcher (Head of the Helvetia Art Department), Nathalie Loch (Curator of the Helvetia art collection) and Karine Tissot (Director of Centre d'art contemporain Yverdon-les-Bains).
Start-up assistance as part of commitment to art
With the art prize, Helvetia Insurance promotes up-and-coming young artists embarking on their professional career. The Helvetia Art Prize is aimed at the graduates in fine arts and media art from Swiss universities of applied sciences. The prize is a dual form of assistance: on the one hand, the winner receives prize money of 15,000 francs and at the same time, has the opportunity to become known to an international expert audience and the general public with a solo exhibition at the art fair LISTE – Art Fair Basel. The art fair will be held from 10 to 16 June 2019. Since being established in 1996, the LISTE has actively promoted galleries and artists of the younger and middle-aged generation.
The Helvetia Art Prize is a key component of this internationally active insurance group's commitment to art. The prize has been awarded each year since 2004: initially under the name Nationale Suisse Art Prize and, since the merger of Helvetia and Nationale Suisse, as the Helvetia Art Prize. Helvetia, which also insures art, has one of the most important collections of contemporary Swiss art with a history dating back over 70 years. The collection focuses on painting, drawings and photography. Since 2015 Helvetia has had its own publicly accessible exhibition space in the Helvetia Art Foyer at the head office in Basel. This is where themed exhibitions, including works from the company's own collection, are staged as well as solo artist exhibitions.
The works of Kaspar Ludwig can be seen until 31 March 2019 atCentre d'art contemporain Yverdon-les-Bains.
2 to 31 March 2019
Wednesday to Sunday: 12-6 p.m.
Centre d'art contemporain
Place Pestalozzi, CP 649
Picture caption: "Why should I buy pillows when All I want Is sleep", 2019, work by Kaspar Ludwig, Helvetia Art Prize winner 2019
This media release can also be found on the website www.helvetia.com/media