Established in 1985, the Peter Mertes Stipendium is one of
the most renowned opportunities for young artists in the
German Rhineland. Each year two artists are awarded a
stipendium which is paid in installments over the following
12 months. These solo exhibitions mark the completion of the
2016 edition that were awarded to Israel Aten and Katharina
Israel Aten presents recent paintings and photographic selfportraits.
A series of works on Japanese Tatami Judo mats
were created during wrestling matches that the artist stages
in his studio. Martial arts fighters oppose each other on
the painted surfaces, leaving traces of impact that become
integral to the structure of the works as marks are added
and subtracted in a second phase of painting. These are
presented with a soundscape made in collaboration with Björn
Castillano, Friedemann Dupelius and Pitt Wenninger and under
special lighting conditions that the artist created using a
combination of artificial and natural sources. Aten seeks to
create an environment that ‘reflects on the struggle for
power between light and darkness’. His work makes reference
to his hometown of Detroit and its cultural and industrial
roles in the production of techno music, cars and robotics.
Katharina Monka’s installation engages with the
Kunstverein’s architecture, building a new structure within
the exhibition hall. Accompanying photographs include an
image of a male subject reenacting the pose from Wilhelm
Lehmbruck’s sculpture ‘Große Sinnende’ (1913) that depicts a
nude female figure. The installation reflects gender roles
as well as the multi-layered relationship of the subject and
object. Through a vocabulary of modular sculptures which
regularly reappear as fragments in her work, the artist
plays with our subconscious memory for shapes. Her work
reflects upon the conditions of her own artistic practice as
well as the function and operation of the institution.
Israel Aten and Katharina Monka were selected by a jury
comprising Professor Anne-Marie Bonnet, Universität Bonn;
Kristina Scepanski, Director Westfälischer Kunstverein,
Münster and the artist Christoph Westermeier who received
the Stipendium in 2010.
Israel Aten (b. 1986, Detroit, USA) studied at Savannah
College of Art and Design in Savannah, USA and at
Kunstakademie Düsseldorf. His work has been exhibited at
Westfälischer Kunstverein Münster and Contemporary Fine
Arts, Berlin. Aten lives and works in Düsseldorf.
Katharina Monka (b. 1986, Wunstorf) studied at Kunstakademie
Münster with Maik und Dirk Löbbert and at Kunsthochschule
für Medien in Cologne. Monka’s work has been exhibited at
Kunsthalle Düsseldorf and at Kunsthalle Münster. She has
held solo-exhibitions at Galerie Cité des Arts, Paris and
Simultanhalle Cologne. She lives and works in Düsseldorf.
The Peter Mertes Stipendium, and this exhibition is funded
by the Peter Mertes Wine Company. Katharina Monka’s
exhibition received additional support from Kunststiftung
NRW. Bonner Kunstverein is supported by Stadt Bonn and
RheinEnergie Stiftung Kultur.
Alle Bilder: Mareike Tocha
Bonner Kunstverein und Artothek
Peter Mertes Stipendium 2016: Israel Aten, Katharina Monka
7 July – 3 September 2017