The winner of this year’s Ouborg Prize is André Kruysen (b. 1967). For his exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Kruysen has decided to create a site-specific installation taking as its point of departure the middle one of the three windows in the museum’s Projects Gallery. This will be the start of the interplay between natural light, materials and surrounding space that is so typical of Kruysen’s work. The light slanting downward through the window will be caught in the sculpture and deflected upwards. Since Kruysen’s works are often temporary in nature, the general public never has long to appreciate them. In the Gemeentemuseum, everyone will be able to come and experience his work properly, because a Kruysen sculpture is an ever-changing thing that cannot be taken in at a glance, any more than it can be controlled. It is, as it were, a ‘space in movement’.
Kruysen’s sculpture encompasses many contradictions. The sacred effect of light stands in sharp contrast to the fast-moving image culture we inhabit and which is a ubiquitous presence in every area of our lives. Kruysen is inspired by the chaos that surrounds us, but seeks to distil a meditative experience from it. However, his work also betrays a degree of anarchy. His sculptures are reminiscent of haphazard heaps of kerbside waste and other informal structures. Or indeed of the stacked planes of Russian Constructivism, or the buildings of architects like Daniel Libeskind. At the same time, they are the result of a detailed investigation of the interactions between space, light and material, brought together to form huge floating architectural compositions.
The jury for the Ouborg Prize was convinced of the merit of André Kruysen’s work. Its report says that Kruysen is an impassioned artist producing a constant flow of high-quality work that constitutes a perpetual quest for deeper understanding. It also points out that Kruysen plays a significant role in the Hague art world and teaches sculpture at the city’s Royal Academy of Art (KABK). His work features in various private and public collections in the Netherlands and elsewhere and can be seen in public spaces in a number of Dutch localities.
The Ouborg Prize is awarded in alternate years to a Hague artist producing work of both local and national importance. Named after Hague artist Pieter Ouborg (1893-1956), it is the City of The Hague’s prize for the visual arts. The award comprises a sum of € 10,000, an exhibition at the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag and a publication issued by Stroom Den Haag. Past winners of the Ouborg Prize are Justin Bennett (2009), Zeger Reyers (2007), Ben van Os (2005), Hans van der Pennen (2003), Vojta Dukát (2001), Philip Akkerman (1999), Auke de Vries (1997), Martin Rous (1996), Dick Raaijmakers (1995), Tomas Rajlich (1994), Lotti van der Gaag (1993), Gerard Fieret (1992), Wil Bouthoorn (1991) and Frans Zwartjes (1990).
This year’s award and exhibition will be accompanied by a Dutch-language publication entitled André Kruysen Ouborg Prijs 2011, Huug Schipper (Studio Tint), available from the Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, Stroom Den Haag and various bookshops (price € 20).