The STRABAG Artaward International is one of the most highly endowed private art prizes for painting and drawing in Austria: a main prize and four recognitions with prize money totaling € 35.000 are awarded annually. The international art award is announced for artists from varying countries. Between 2021—2023, artists from Poland, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Hungary and Austria were invited to participate. From more than 700 applications, 5 artistic positions have now been awarded. Klemens Haselsteiner, Chairman of the Board of STRABAG SE, awarded the prizes on the 15th of June 2023 at STRABAG Artlounge in Vienna.
This year the Main Prize of STRABAG Artaward International 2023 was awarded to Jósefina Alanko (PL/FI).
To quote Mateusz Krain: „The vital force of Jósefina Alanko’s works lies in change. Her techniques involve acrylic painting and simple materials like textiles, paper, sand, and glue. In the artist’s hands, these familiar elements are transformed into nameless instruments, subsequently re-emerging as complete and recognizable artworks. Listening to the material is imperative. That makes it possible to understand the subject matter, which is strongly influenced by a combination of Alanko’s personal experience, reality and the subconscious. Varying textures engage the sense of touch, the scent of the materials can conjure up memories, while color and shape create notions of physicality. The sense of intimacy intensifies when the artwork’s protruding surfaces compel the observer to share the space with it. In Jósefina Alanko’s recent works, feminine pouches are formed on canvases that project outwards. They reference and explore femininity and motherhood (spiritually as well as physically), a connection with nature, and the concept of matriarchy. The opaque pouches create a sense of safety and care, for they conceal what lies within. They hide the unknown inside their recesses.”
- Peter Cvik / SK
- Samira Homayouni / AT/IR
- Liza Libenko / PL/UA
- Grzegorz Siembida / PL
As Klemens Haselsteiner, CEO STRABAG SE pointed out: “STRABAG continues to uphold its deep-rooted dedication to culture, even in turbulent times and with the enormous challenges facing our planet and our society. As a European construction group, we maintain an unwavering commitment to the values of democracy, openness to the world, peace, humanity, and progress. In striving to incorporate these crucial values into every realm of life, we are convinced that art also makes an inestimable contribution to the ways in which we live together, for it is free-spirited and critical.“
The exhibition with the works of the main prize winner and the four recognition award winners can be seen from 16.6.-18.8.2023 at the STRABAG Artlounge. A catalog will be published to accompany the exhibition. From October 2023, all award-winning artists will have a solo show at STRABAG Artlounge in Vienna.
Jury Members 2023
- Barnabás Bencsik, Galerist and Curator, Budapest/HU
- Vladimír Beskid, Director, Ján Koniarek Galerie, Trnava/SK
- Goschka Gawlik, Art critic and Curator, Vienna/AT
- Roman Grabner, Curator, Universalmuseum Joanneum, Graz/AT
- Vít Havránek, Video chancellor for international relations, Academy of Fine Arts, Prague/CZ
- Edith Raidl, Art collector, Wien/AT
- Tanja Skorepa, Head, STRABAG Kunstforum, Wien/AT
- Wilhelm Weiß, Founding Director, STRABAG Kunstforum, Wien/AT
Outlook STRABAG Artaward International 2024-2026
In the coming three-year cycle, artists from Germany, Slovenia and Austria are invited to participate in the STRABAG Artaward International.
Cover Image: Award Exhibtion with works of Main Prize Winner Jósefina Alanko (Photo by Eva Kelety)