Renate Bertlmann wins 2017 Grand Austrian State Prize


Since its conception in 1950, this prestigious award has been given to only two female artists (Brigitte Kowanz (2009); Maria Lassnig (1988)), making Bertlmann the third in its history. The Grand Austrian State Prize (German: Großer Österreichischer Staatspreis) is presented by the Minister of Culture on behalf of the Republic of Austria, to an individual who has shown an exceptional contribution to either literature, music, visual art or architecture. Since 1971, the prize has been given to only one person a year in one of the four categories.

Renate Bertlmann (b.1943, Vienna) is a leading feminist avant-garde visual artist, who since the early 1970s has focused on issues surrounding themes of sexuality, love, gender and eroticism within a social context, with her own body often serving as the artistic medium. Her diverse practice spans across painting, drawing, collage, photography, sculpture and performance, and actively confronts the social stereotypes assigned to masculine and feminine behaviours and relationships.

Her work has been the subject of many important institutional exhibitions and is included in various public collections. In 1975 she was included in the radical feminist exhibition MAGNA. Feminismus curated by VALIE EXPORT at Galerie St. Stephan, Vienna. In 2016, a comprehensive monograph of her work edited by Jessica Morgan and Gabriel Schor was published by Prestel.

Recent exhibitions include Renate Bertlmann: Two Climaxes, Richard Saltoun Gallery, London (2016); Renate Bertlmann: Amo Ergo Sum, Sammlung Verbund, Vienna (2016);The World Goes Pop, Tate Modern, London (2015) and Burning Down The House: The 10th Edition of the Gwangju Biennale, South Korea (2014).