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27 Oct 2017 - 11 Feb 2018

Christian Friedrich, Spectres of Want. Winner Cobra Artprize Amstelveen 2017

  • 7th edition of the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen goes to Christian Friedrich.
  • “… a very experimental mind that is not prepared to compromise”: jury chair, Domeniek Ruyters.
  • The Cobra Art Prize aims to encourage the contemporary art practice of an artist who translates the Cobra philosophy into the present.
  • Exhibition Spectres of Want can be seen from October 27 onwards.




Christian Friedrich: an exceptionally experimental mind, which is not prepared to compromise

Christian Friedrich (1977 Germany) is the winner of the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen 2017. The Cobra Art Prize encourages the contemporary art practice of an artist who translates the CoBrA philosophy into the present. Experiment, interdisciplinarity and radicality are at the heart of this legacy. By selecting Christian Friedrich (living and working in Amsterdam and Berlin), the jury honours an artist with a relatively hidden oeuvre.

This modest visibility gives Friedrich the freedom to steer a totally idiosyncratic course, which, in terms of subject matter, touches on the mysterious, the uncomfortable and the shameful.

Christian Friedrich, Spectres of Want 2017. Courtesy of the artist.

Jury chair, Domeniek Ruyters: “With Friedrich, the jury honoured an artist who has shown his possession of an exceptionally experimental mind, which is not prepared to compromise. Each step he makes as an artist incorporates shock and the risk of failure. Not many artists with his track record are willing to do that”.

Christian Friedrich Spectres of Want

28 Oktober 2017 – 28 january 2018

The prize consists of € 10,000,-, a publication and an exhibition at the Cobra Museum. In Friedrich’s work there is always a lot at stake: eschewing recognizable formats or artistic methods, he continuously and freely explores the ways power structures operate in the domain of the physical and the intellectual. A sense of threat is typically permeating his works, while something highly personal is at risk: the integrity of the human body, for example, or the power balance in intimate relations. For Spectres of Want, Friedrich developed three new groups of works, in which he obsessively and sensorially explores the human body as site for crisis and ecstasy.

Christian Friedrich at the Amsterdam Art Weekend

Skins is a temporary extension of Christian Friedrich’s solo exhibition Spectres of Want. Skins can be seen at the Goethe Institut in Amsterdam during the Amsterdam Art Weekend from 23 to 26 November. Daily visit: 11:00 – 17:00hrs.

Alongside Spectres of Want, a publication with texts by Martin Herbert and Xander Karskens will be published, designed by Studio Felix Salut.

Image courtesy of the Artist

This year marks the 7th award. Previous winners include Jennifer Tee, Nathaniel Mellors and Gijs Frieling.

The prize is awarded by the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen Foundation, and generously supported by the municipality of Amstelveen and the Cobra Museum.  The prize consists of an exhibition, a publication, and a sum of €10,000.

The jury for the Cobra Art Prize 2017 is composed of Domeniek Ruyters (chief editor at Metropolis M, chair), Roos Gortzak (director at the Vleeshal, Middelburg), Bart van der Heide (head of exhibitions at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam) and Xander Karskens (artistic director at the Cobra Museum of Modern Art). The Cobra Art Prize committee members are Marieke Sanders, Mels Crouwel, Eelco Dijk and Els Ottenhof.

#cobrakunstprijs #cobramuseum #amstelveen

The press about Spectres of Want:

‘Kunst die raakt aan het schaamtevolle’ (Art that touches on shamefulness), interview with Christiaan Friedrich in Parool (Dutch). Blendle.

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