Brigitte Waldach und Heiner Wemhöner bei der Preisverleihung 2020 © Marta Herford
Brigitte Waldach und Heiner Wemhöner bei der Preisverleihung 2020 © Marta Herford

Marta Award by the Wemhöner Foundation

Every two years since 2014, the foundation created by the Herford entrepreneur and art collector Heiner Wemhöner has been financing the Marta Award with an endowment of Euro 25,000. Alongside the award money, the award winners also receive the commission to produce a new work for the Marta Collection. The prize is awarded during the ceremonious opening of an individual exhibition, and also includes the production of an accompanying catalogue.

Every two years a preliminary jury proposes a maximum of ten candidates; individual applications are not possible. A second jury made up of the Board of trustees of the Foundation, a culturally engaged entrepreneur in the region as well as a director of another museum meets in private session to select the respective winner. The winner then has one year to develop a new work for the Marta Collection that is presented within the framework of an individual exhibition with accompanying publication.

Marta Award 2022: Lena Henke

In her works, which are characterized by a clear language of colour and line, the German sculptor Lena Henke explores the conditions and possibilities of sculpture, and reinvents the apparently familiar. Her installations intervene in the existing architecture onsite, and react to their spatial and social structures.

She will present her work for the Collection Marta in a solo exhibition in the Lippold Gallery.

Lena Henke was born in Warburg in 1982 and studied at the Städelschule, Frankfurt am Main, and at the Glasgow School of Art in Scotland. She graduated in 2010 under Prof. Michael Krebber in Frankfurt. She lives and works in Berlin and New York.

Marta Award 2020: Brigitte Waldach

In her text bubbles, spatial drawings and sound installations, the former master student of Georg Baselitz, Brigitte Waldach, explores intellectual and literary connections. She repeatedly engages intensively with German history, from the persecution of the Jews at the time of National Socialism, right up to the mythology of the Red Army Faction (RAF) of the 1970s, but also most recently with the “Goldberg Variations” by J. S. Bach.

Her work “Silence I” (2020) was created for the occasion of the Marta Award 2020 and was presented in the Marta show “Brigitte Waldach: Shimmer and Shine” alongside a selection of large-format drawings and a multifaceted room installation. After the end of the exhibition, the work went to the Collection Marta.

Brigitte Waldach was born in Berlin in 1966. In 2000 she completed her studies of free art at the Berlin University of Arts as a master student under Georg Baselitz after studying art education, art history and German. She lives and works in Berlin.

Marta Award 2018: Peter Wächtler

With his sculptures, movies, drawings and installations, Peter Wächtler explores the relationship between art and language, and addresses the interactions between picture and word.

His mobile for the Marta Collection, Untitled (Pens), 2010, is made up of oversized fountain pens cast in aluminium in various models. The everyday objects play on collective memories and biographies. The work appears as a kinetic sculpture, but actually begins with the thank you speech of the artist at the prize award ceremony 2018. Here he jumps from A to B, apparently losing his train of thought but then recovering it again self-confidently. The moving fountain pens become the symbol for his language, which moves just as freely and spontaneously around the room.

Peter Wächtler, born in 1979 in Hanover, studied at the Bauhaus University in Weimar and at the Kent Institute of Art & Design in Canterbury. He lives and works in Berlin and Brussels.

Marta Award 2016: Simon Wachsmuth

Simon Wachsmuth engages in his works in diverse ways with history, its reconstruction and representation. For his Marta work, Pax Optima Rerum (2017), he looks at the Thirty Years’ War, which ended in 1648 with the Peace of Westphalia. Here he places a special focus on its political consequences many of which have persisted into the present day, for example in terms of power distribution in and between states.

This engagement finally took shape in the form of a pictorial wagon, a wooden cart reminiscent of Mother Courage and Her Children, on and around which Wachsmuth gathers materials relating to the subject. With the presentation in 2017, however, he did not declare the work to be complete: it can be supplemented and extended by him with new material within the framework of new exhibitions.

Simon Wachsmuth was born in 1964 in Hamburg and studied painting and visual media sciences at the University of Applied Arts in Vienna. He lives and works in Berlin.

Marta Award 2014: Heike Mutter / Ulrich Genth

Heike Mutter and Ulrich Genth conceive location and context-bound works based on intensive research. They make reference to everyday objects but give them a certain twist to highlight their institutional structure.

For the Marta Collection in 2015, Mutter/Genth created The View, a complex installation that refers to a traditional branch of industry in the Herford region: the fitted kitchen. The equally filigree and expansive work in a modular rod construction with boards, lights, worktops and objects engages with the design and forms of use as speaking symbols and status signals. This elegant material collage is combined with elements from advertising, consumer culture and materials research.

Heike Mutter was born in 1969 in Munich and studied media art in Karlsruhe and Cologne. Ulrich Genth, born in 1971 in Tübingen, studied object art at the Academy of Fine Arts in Münster. They have been an artistic duo since 2013, and live and work together in Hamburg.