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Niele Toroni. 13th Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen

02.07. – 15.10.2017

Niele Toroni3 Niele Toroni Imprints of a number 50 brush at regular intervals Installation view Greta Meert Gallery, Brussels 2009 Start diashow

Niele Toroni (born 1937) will receive the 13th Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen on 2nd July 2017. The well-recognized art award has been presented since 1957/58 and is endowed with € 5,200, as well as an exhibition and catalogue of the winner's work. Following the prize-giving ceremony, the exhibition of the prizewinner's work will be opened in the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen.

Toroni is one of the key representatives of a conceptual approach to painting. In 1966/1967, together with Daniel Buren, Michel Parmentier and Olivier Mosset, he formed the artist group known by art critics as BMPT (Buren, Mosset, Parmentier, Toroni), which questioned traditional art methods with its radical gestures, opposing them with new, theoretically based practices. To the present day, Niele Toroni has remained true to the working method he developed then: on different surfaces and painting surfaces, he places the prints of brush no. 50 at regular intervals of 30 cm.

Toroni's works have been shown in numerous solo and group exhibitions, including documenta 7 and 9. To date, the artist has received several awards and prizes, incl. the Grand Prix National de la Peinture en France in 1995, the Wolfgang Hahn Prize 2003, and the Prix Meret Oppenheimin 2012.

Toroni was nominated as the new prizewinner by a five-member jury in February 2016. In the jury statement, we read:

In recognition of his consistent life's work, the 13th Rubens Prize 2017 goes to Swiss artist Niele Toroni, born in Tessin in 1937. This conceptual artist, who has been living and working in Paris since  1959, became known for his monochrome brush prints set at regular intervals, reducing painterly means to a minimum and simultaneously opening out into surrounding space.”

The Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen
Founded in 1955, the Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen is one of the most highly recognized international art awards. It is conferred every five years on a painter or graphic artist who has made his or her mark on European art production through a pioneering life's work in art. The award is made in remembrance of painter-diplomat Peter Paul Rubens, who expressed the idea of European unity in his life's work long before it could be made into a political reality. As the greatest master of European Baroque painting Peter Paul Rubens – born in Siegen – set the artistic and European standards to which the prize-giving has been committed since 1957/58.

Before Niele Toroni, the Rubens Prize has been conferred upon  Hans Hartung (1957/1958), Giorgio Morandi (1962), Francis Bacon (1967), Antoni Tàpies (1972), Fritz Winter (1977), Emil Schumacher (1982), Cy Twombly (1987), Rupprecht Geiger (1992), Lucian Freud (1997), Maria Lassnig (2002), Sigmar Polke (2007) and Bridget Riley (2012).

The Museum für Gegenwartkunst Siegen is home to important and extensive groups of works by all the Rubens prizewinner. The private Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection, comprising approx. 200 works, currently offers an excellent overview of the first twelve Rubens prizewinners and their creative production. Works by the new prizewinner will be integrated into the collection in the future.


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Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Unteres Schloss 1
57072 Siegen

+49 (0) 271 405 77 0
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