Sandra Mujinga wins the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021

Hamburger Bahnhof – Nationalgalerie der Gegenwart

On the evening of 7 October 2021 an international jury selected the recipient of this year’s Preis der Nationalgalerie. The news was announced during an award ceremony at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. After extensive discussion, the jury, made up of Emre Baykal (Chief Curator, Arter, Istanbul), Sven Beckstette (Curator, Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin), Gabriele Knapstein (Head of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin), Emma Lavigne (President, Palais de Tokyo, Paris), and Yesomi Umolu (Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice, Serpentine, London), selected Sandra Mujinga (born 1989 in Goma, Democratic Republic of the Congo) as the recipient of this year’s prize.

The award grants Sandra Mujinga a major solo exhibition at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin, which will take place next year, and an accompanying publication.

Jury statement

“The jury has decided to award this year’s Preis der Nationalgalerie to Sandra Mujinga. Sandra Mujinga works across a variety of media, with her presentation at Hamburger Bahnhof placing a focus on her sculptural practice. On the one hand, the works display a great sensibility for craft and materiality. Yet, with them, Mujinga is also able to reconcile contradictary experiences: ostensibly familiar forms disappear before we are able to grasp them; her spectral figures appear ominous, but also seem to offer their protection; although static, they exhibit an inherent dynamism; and they are both finished, but also seemingly in a state of becoming. Her negotiation of these contradicitions opens up a space for imagination on the part of the viewer. The topics addressed by her works resonate greatly with the present moment, while also seeming to come from a future already passed. They remind us to be considerate of other living beings for the sake of our own survival, and that we can observe and learn from their various strategies of adapting to an ever-changing world.”

The Preis der Nationalgalerie has been awarded since 2000:

“Since 2013, after being awarded the Preis der Nationalgalerie, Marianna Castillo Deball, Anne Imhof, Agnieszka Polska, and Pauline Curnier Jardin have come up with incredibly impressive presentations for the Hamburger Bahnhof. I would like to give my sincerest thanks to the members of the jury for today’s lively discussion and congratulate Sandra Mujinga, whose exhibition we will now spend the coming year preparing.”

Gabriele Knapstein, head of Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin.

Nicolas Peter, Member of the Board of Management of BMW AG, Finance, said about the newly announced winner:

“Looking at past nominees and their later careers, the significance of the shortlist has become very clear. As long-standing partner, we would like to warmly congratulate Sandra Mujinga as this year’s winner. We are very much looking forward to her/his upcoming exhibition.”

Nominated artists for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021

The nominees for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021 were Lamin Fofana, Calla Henkel & Max Pitegoff, Sandra Mujinga, and Sung Tieu. The shortlist exhibition "Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021" can be viewed at the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin until 27 February 2022. Visitors will be able to vote for the audience award until the exhibition reaches its conclusion.

The exhibition is made possible by the Freunde der Nationalgalerie and supported by BMW.