In March 2017, artists Judith Fegerl (born 1977), Anja Ronacher (born 1979), Toni Schmale (born 1980), and Anne Speier (born 1977), all living and working in Vienna, were nominated for this year’s BC21 BostonConsulting & BelvedereContemporary Art Award.
‘It’s my great pleasure to be able to present the highly esteemed and most generous privately endowed art prize in Austria, the BC21 Art Award,’ said Stella Rollig, CEO and artistic director of the Belvedere and the 21er Haus, who added, ‘I appreciate the successful collaboration between the Belvedere and the BCG as a model for supporting up-and-coming young artists. Especially in economically challenging times, this cannot always be taken for granted.’ With this award the Boston Consulting Group, an international management consulting firm, supports the fundamental role art has as a catalyst for societal change. Dr. Antonella Mei-Pochtler, senior partner at BCG, is convinced that ‘in times of rampant change more than ever, art assumes an admonitory and enlightening role. Art questions boundaries and broadens the horizon. This is what we need now more than ever.’ As curator Luisa Ziaja points out, experience of the past few years has shown that the winners are not the only benefactors from this initiative. Ultimately, all nominated artists are afforded a wider reception via the exhibition, its catalogue, and their exposure to an international jury.
The BC21 Art Award was established to demonstrate the potential of art to overcome traditional ways of thinking and acting in order to open up new dialogues. Previous prize-winners were Constantin Luser (2007), Nadim Vardag (2009), Lucie Stahl (2011), Anna Witt (2013), and Nilbar Güreş (2015). The main goal of the award is to support up and coming artists with an exhibition and an accompanying publication, together with a renowned nomination and selection jury, to get international attention and build networks.
Among this year’s nomination jury were Séamus Kealy (Director, Salzburger Kunstverein), Simone Menegoi (curator and author, based in Milan), Cosima Rainer (Director, Galerie der Stadt Schwaz), and Vivien Trommer (curator and writer, based in Frankfurt am Main). Each jury members chose one artist independently of one another.
This year’s selection jury consisted of Marius Babias (Director, Neuer Berliner Kunstverein), Zdenka Badovinac (Director, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana), Francesco Manacorda (Artistic Director, V-A-C Foundation), and Stella Rollig (CEO and artistic director, Belvedere and 21er Haus). On 3 October 2017, Anne Speier was awarded the prize of 20,000 Euros.
21er Haus, Vienna
BC21 ART AWARD 2017
Judith Fegerl – Anja Ronacher – Toni Schmale – Anne Speier
Curator: Luisa Ziaja
20 September to 19 November 2017
Quartier Belvedere, Arsenalstraße 1,