18 June 2021

STRABAG Artaward International 2021

Jury meeting, STRABAG Artaward International 2021, photo: Eva Kelety
STRABAG Artaward International 2021
Jury meeting, STRABAG Artaward International 2021, photo: Eva Kelety

In its 26th edition, the international art prize again honors strong young positions in contemporary painting and drawing. The award ceremony was broadcast live on 17 June!

The STRABAG Artaward International is one of the most highly endowed private art prizes for painting and drawing in Austria: a main prize and four recognitions with prize money totaling € 35,000 are awarded annually. Since its internationalization in 2009, the STRABAG Artaward has been announced in a three-year cycle in European countries in which STRABAG operates as a construction group. In the years 2021-2023, artists from Austria, Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary are invited to apply.

In January 2021, 835 artists applied. During the online preliminary jury, the eight members of the international jury from all participating countries reviewed the accepted submissions. 61 positions were then invited to submit their works to the final jury session: 16 from Poland, 11 from Slovakia, 6 from the Czech Republic, 10 from Hungary and 18 from Austria. The final jury session took place in April 2021 in Vienna in front of the original works.

Main Prize:

Recognition Awards:

STRABAG’s cultural commitment remains firmly entrenched, even when traversing global crises and challenging times. We are full of pride and joy to see how the STRABAG Artaward International is helping to advance many young artists’ careers, contributing to the significant process of forging international networks between a generation of emerging artists. I warmly congratulate this year’s award winners and look forward to their solo exhibitions at STRABAG Artlounge!

Dr. Thomas Birtel, Vorstandsvorsitzender STRABAG SE

Dr. Thomas Birtel, CEO of STRABAG SE, presented the main prize and the four recognition awards at the gallery space of STRABAG Artlounge in Vienna on 17 June, 2021. The main prize was presented to Anouk Lamm Anouk. The exhibition with the works of the five shortlisted artists can be visited from 18.6.-13.8.2021. A catalog will be published to accompany the exhibition. From October 2021, all award-winning artists will have a solo exhibition at the STRABAG Artlounge gallery space in Vienna.

This year’s submissions to the STRABAG Artaward International have demonstrated impressively that painting, as a supposedly outmoded and obsolete medium, maintains its relevance in a digital age and proves to be extremely resilient.

Roman Grabner, Curator at Universalmuseum Joanneum and jury member

The live stream of the award ceremony will begin at 6:30 p.m. on 17 June, 2021, on the STRABAG Kunstforum YouTube channel.
Direct link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28iG55JPOsw

Exhibition duration: 18.6.-13.8.2021

Information on the five shortlisted artists

Anouk Lamm Anouk, photo: Marleen Roubik

Anouk Lamm Anouk

Anouk Lamm Anouk is a painter, poet and everything in between. Or as they say: “I am nothing, no one”, which could be a reference to their embedding in Zen Buddhism. Anouk identifies as non-binary. Reduction as condensation was their early goal that lead them to develop a deeply personal approach to abstraction. Based on the exploration of their identity and body in relation to society, early experiences and growing into a wrongly gendered body were transformed in a wide body of work. In confronting and transforming pain into beauty and power, they challenge viewers through an examination of sex, eroticism and female liberation.

Robert Gabris, selfportrait

Robert Gabris

I describe the content of my work as a critical confrontation with identity issues, especially confrontations of different groups, excluded from society. The starting point of my work deals with new experimental forms of drawing as resistance to exclusion and racism. I belong to the Roma ethnic group, but don’t define myself as a Roma artist. My work shows a much more constant interest in multiple questions of diverse and convertible identity, the queer body and its existence, possessed in different physical and mental bodies, in relation to normative society and its boundaries.

Samuel Paučo, photo: Petr Foltýn

Samuel Paučo

We could say that Paučos specific style is a delicate balance between tradition and innovation, an unmistakable combination of impulses and experience, drawing on the rich sources of modern painting, and their thematization and authentication through prism of contemporary processes. The artist is thus gradually reaching a self-confident style that oscillates between the vitality of an expressive gesture, preserving continuity with classical painting, and his anchoring in the contemporary discourse of conceptual way of thinking.

Natália Šimonová, selfportrait

Natália Šimonová

Natália Šimonová’s work currently engages with researching the urban environment in Slovakia and abroad through painting. She paints specific objects that represent significant aspects of Socialist architecture in urban settlements. All this is overshadowed by the question of destruction, which she depicts through both classical and non-classical painting materials – she works, for example, with real rust, which is procedural and changes.

Marcin Zawicki, photo: Michał Algebra

Marcin Zawicki

My art contains considerations around image and reality. In order to better understand the relations between the physical material and the image that I research, some information about the process accompanying the creation of my paintings is important. Each painting is based on a maquette – a three-dimensional sculptor’s model that I also produce. This unique way of working opens up wide horizons of meaning, affording scope to understand the nature of vision and indeed of reality as a whole.

The text has been published in partnership with the organisers of STRABAG Artaward International 2021.


ArtistAnouk Lamm Anouk, Robert Gabris, Samuel Paučo, Natália Šimonová, Marcin Zawicki
ExhibitionSTRABAG Artaward International 2021
Place / venueSTRABAG Kunstforum, Vienna, Austria
Dates18 June – 13 August 2021

See also