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Calling all artists: Apply for the Henrike Grohs Art Award

Applications to the third Henrike Grohs Art Award are now open. The Henrike Grohs Art Award is a roving biennial art prize conceived by the Goethe-Institut and the Grohs family in memory of the former Head of Goethe-Institut in Abidjan, Henrike Grohs.

Sabelo Mlangeni Henrike Grohs Art Award
Sabelo Mlangeni, iGoligotha, outside Burlafingen, 2017

The Henrike Grohs Art Award has been established to pay tribute to the outstanding artistic talent on the African continent and to acknowledge that the working conditions for young professional artists are indeed challenging, even more so in times of a global pandemic.

Dr Asma Diakité, Regional Head of Programmes at the Goethe-Institut Johannesburg, stresses the importance of the award.

‘The prize offers emerging talent international visibility and creates a platform to showcase the diversity of contemporary Pan-African Visual Arts practice. It thereby challenges the long-standing, misguided conceptions about the multifaceted continent,’ says Diakité. ‘Like the late Okwui Enwezor once said “If we have an open mind, Western art doesn’t have to be seen in opposition to art from elsewhere, but can be seen in a dialogue that helps protect the differences and decisions that present the material circumstances and conditions of production in which artists fashion what their view of enlightenment can be.” The past two editions of the Henrike Grohs Art Award have brought about a range of inspiring and evocative artistic works and we look forward to its third iteration with excitement.’

Jackie Karuti Henrike Grohs Art Award
Jackie Karuti, Fossils, 2018, Performance + video PHOTO by James Muriuki

The main prize is awarded by an international jury after a shortlist is compiled by a selection committee. The winning individual artist or collective will receive a cash prize of 20.000€ and 10.000€ towards the production of a publication on the winner’s work. Two artists or collectives will be selected as runners up and will be awarded a cash prize of 5.000€ each. Each iteration of the awards’ ceremony is celebrated at a different biennale or major art event on the continent.

Jackie Karuti (Kenya) was awarded the 2020 Henrike Grohs Art Award, with Sabelo Mlangeni (South Africa) and Akwasi Bediako Afrane (Ghana) as runners up. The ceremony was scheduled to take place at Dak’Art – Biennial of Contemporary Art but was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The funds allocated to the awards ceremony were redistributed to the top 17 artists on the shortlist.  

Akwasi Bediako Afrane Henrike Grohs Art Award
Akwasi Bediako Afrane, Enter the TRONS, 2019, TRON city installation constructed using discarded electronic gadgets IMAGE courtesy Anwar Sadat Mohammed

How to apply

All applications must be submitted using the online application form found on the website. Submissions will close on 17 September 2021.

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