French brothers Florian & Michael Quistrebert from Juliètte Jongma gallery in Amsterdam win the first NN Group Art Award, announced at Art Rotterdam.
Gallerists who were represented at the art fair submitted 35 artworks for consideration for the award. The most important jury criteria for the NN Group Art Award were the completion of an art education in the Netherlands, outstanding quality of work, and authentic and innovative craftsmanship.
The jury for the award, which consisted of a museum curator, a collector, an art journalist and the conservator of the NN Group Art Collection, arrived at their decision after an exciting selection round.
‘Every submission was of high quality, and every artist had a clear signature. This affirms Art Rotterdam’s quality and reputation, and the strict admission criteria that it upholds for gallerists,’ according to the jury.
The jury recognised the artists’ passion through various aspects of their work. They create their own interpretation of today’s commercial visual culture, which is especially enticed by decorative elements. They use materials such as car paint and beer, and they smear modelling paste across burlap. They also use saws, chisels and files. And the result is ‘sculptural paintings’. It is the jury’s opinion that the brothers very consistently apply their ideas to their art.
Their works take root in the traditions of geometric-abstract art, pop art and optical art. On one hand, their work shows a clear link to modern art history, such as the work of Jan Schoonhoven. On the other hand, the brothers explore – and frequently surpass – the boundaries of painting. Here, light plays a crucial role. In some works, the surface colour changes when the viewer changes position. Some observers describe it as mind-blowing, a hallucination. In addition, tiny LED lights invite the observer to touch the work. The jury agreed that there is a linear development to be seen in this visually appealing work.
NN Group Art Award is a new contemporary art award introduced by NN Group to recognise exceptional talent. A EUR 10,000 cash prize accompanies the award to help the artists further develop their work. In addition, NN Group will also purchase one piece from the Quistrebert brothers, to add to the Group’s art collection. This work will be on display at the NN Group headquarters in The Hague as of March.
Art Rotterdam will take place from 9 – 12 February in the Van Nelle Fabriek in Rotterdam.