press release

Magali Reus wins Prix de Rome 2015

Artist Magali Reus (The Netherlands, 1981) received the Prix de Rome 2015, the oldest and most prestigious award in the Netherlands for artists under the age of 40, from the Dutch Minister of Education, Culture and Science, Jet Bussemaker, in the presence of Her Majesty the Queen Máxima. Reus received this award for her new work "Leaves." The award comes with a 40,000 Euros cash prize and a work period at the American Academy in Rome.

The international jury decided to present the award to Magali Reus in recognition of the high quality of her presentation and the fact that one looks forward to seeing which step the artist will be taking next in her development. In the words of the jury: "The artist works with both focus and restraint towards a new course, while making clear-cut choices. She is able to translate this process into a stimulating presentation that is both formal and personal and gradually unveils its meaning to the viewer." The jury was intrigued by the puzzling yet beautiful idiosyncrasy of the presented objects: their references to digital reality remain fragmented, while their enigmatic materiality raises more questions than can be answered.

After studying at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie in Amsterdam, in 2002, Magali Reus enrolled at Goldsmiths College in London, after which she attended Amsterdam's Rijksakademie van beeldende kunsten in 2013 and 2014. Reus lives and works in London. Her recent exhibitions include solos at The Approach in London, SculptureCenter in New York City, The Hepworth in Wakefield and the Westfälischer Kunstverein in Münster. Reus' oeuvre consists of sculptural objects that establish a connection between 21st-century consumer products and the human body and between the aesthetic and the imperfect. For the 2015 edition of Prix de Rome, Reus chose to present five new works within the "Leaves" series. Reminiscent of padlocks, these large-scale objects are simultaneously alienating, seductive and detached.

The other nominees for this year's Prix de Rome besides Magali Reus were the artists' collective Foundland, Hedwig Houben and Christian Nyampeta. These four finalists were judged on the basis of new work realised during a five-month work period. The jury was impressed by the quality of the four presentations and observes that, while they are completely different in terms of their concept and formal elaboration, they are all nevertheless interrelated. Without exception, they draw attention to issues in today's society while refusing to immediately disclose their own position. As such, the work produced for this edition of the Prix de Rome serves as evidence both of art's ability to reflect on topical developments and the topicality of art itself.

The jury for the 2015 award is chaired by Birgit Donker (Director of the Mondriaan Fund). Its members are Pernille Albrethsen (freelance critic, author and curator), Beatrix Ruf (Director of Stedelijk Museum), Jan van de Pavert (artist and recipient of the 1987 award), Francesco Stocchi (curator of modern and contemporary art at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen) and Roy Villevoye (artist).

The final presentations by the recipient of the Prix de Rome 2015 and the other nominees can be viewed until January 17, 2016 at de Appel arts centre, Prins Hendrikkade 142 in Amsterdam.

The Prix de Rome 2015 is accompanied by a publication that focuses on the nominees' work. This publication includes essays by Lucette ter Borg, Laure van den Hout and Richtje Reinsma. (nai010 publishers, Dutch/English, design: Lesley Moore, ISBN 978-94-6208-252-6)

Prix de Rome
The Prix de Rome dates back to 1808 when Louis Napoleon introduced the Prix de Rome in the Netherlands to promote the arts. Although the award has regularly been renewed, the aim is still to trace talented visual artists and encourage them to develop en increase their visibility. Since 2013, the Mondriaan Fund has been responsible for the award.