The Junger Westen Art Prize is the first award of its kind given by a German municipality after 1945. Founded in 1948 and endowed with 10,000 euros of prize money today, the prize is awarded every two years to an artist living and working in Germany up to the age of 35. It alternates between drawing/printmaking/photography, installation/sculpture, and painting. In this year’s Junger Westen, 16 artists were chosen from 483 applications, with Jeewi Lee being named the winner by the jury.
The works by the selected artists question and extend the categories of drawing, printmaking, and photography in key facets that these genres inherently entail. Jeewi Lee’s installations of traditional Korean paper floors are particularly successful in this regard. They exhibit traces of everyday use, color variations due to sunlight, or overlaps of histories printed on her materials for centuries whose authors precede Lee by generations.
The Junger Westen dates back to the 1948 Recklinghausen artist group of the same name (the young west), founded by Gustav Deppe, Thomas Grochowiak, Ernst Hermanns, Emil Schumacher, Heinrich Siepmann and Hans Werdehausen. Some of Germany’s most celebrated artists have won or been nominated for the Junger Westen early in their careers, such as Gerhard Richter (1967), Katharina Grosse (1993), Alicja Kwade (2007) or Michael Sailstorfer (2011).
Curator: Nico Anklam