Glass art by Ulla Forsell
Competition | 12-04-2022

Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass 2022 winners announced

The Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass 2022 has launched, with an exhibition of European contemporary glass at the Veste Coburg Art Collections and the European Museum of Modern Glass in Rödental, Germany, from 10 April to 25 September 2022.

From 400 applications, 90 artists were selected for the exhibition. From these, an international jury selected seven award winners.

The first prize, worth 15,000 Euros, went to the Norwegian Æsa Björk. Her work ‘Fragments’, which consists of two large, convex lenses, is based on a sophisticated manufacturing technique. The fragile, pâte de verre texture of the blistered, in some places perforated glass surface, with its silvery sheen and resulting reflections, is reminiscent of the Big Bang and the creation of the Universe.

Æsa Björk won first prize with ‘Fragments’ (2021). Photo: Dieter Ertel.

The Irish artist Alison Lowry won the second prize of 10,000 Euros for her sculptural group of christening gowns and baby shoes, executed in the delicate pâte de verre technique. The work is a touching memorial to the decades of tragic treatment of illegitimate children in church-run mother-and-baby homes in Ireland. Read more about her work here.

Alison Lowry’s ‘Adhlacadh dúinn le dinit’ (Bury us with Dignity) (2021) won second prize. Photo: Dieter Ertel.

Judith Röder from Germany received the third prize of 5,000 Euros, for an installation made of superficially antiquated overhead projectors. Discarded window panes serve as projection templates. These seemingly unimportant remnants are recontextualised in the projected image, reminiscent of micro and macro photographs from nature.

Judith Röder’s ‘Projektion VII’ (2021) won third prize. Photo: Judith Röder.

Other award winners were Petr Stanický, Czech Republic, who receives the Senior Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung prize for an artist aged over 45 years (5,000 Euros), Slovakian Kristína Ligačová received the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung prize (2,000 Euros) and Zuzana Kubelková of the Czech Republic, received the Achilles-Stiftung prize for an artist aged under 35 (2,000 Euros). The Honorary Prize in memory of Otto Waldrich (2,000 Euros, donated by Gertrud Bartelmus) was awarded to the Swedish artist Ulla Forsell.

The Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass exhibition presents a Europe-wide overview of current trends and developments in contemporary glass art. The judges felt that the levels of artistic achievement, technically, conceptually and in terms of complexity, had increased significantly in the last 10 years.

“The magical material glass has a variety of surprising effects, evokes emotions in a special way and makes you think,” commented the director of the art collections, jury member and exhibition curator, Sven Hauschke.

Many of the works submitted featured socially relevant topics. Problems such as the extinction of species, climate change, environmental destruction and exclusion were addressed with sculptures or multimedia installations. The coronavirus pandemic was also reflected.

Exhibition visitors who attend up to 8 August are invited to vote for the Visitors’ Choice Award, worth 2,000 Euros, and the Young Visitors’ Choice Award, worth 500 Euros.

The Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass 2022 is organised by the Veste Coburg Art Collections in cooperation with the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung foundation.

Veste Coburg Art Collections are at: Veste Coburg, 96450 Coburg, Germany.

The European Museum of Modern Glass is at: Rosenau 10, 96472 Rödental, Germany.

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Main image: ‘To The Last Drop’ (2021) by Swedish artist Ulla Forsell won the The Honorary Prize in memory of Otto Waldrich. Photo: Dieter Ertel.

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