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No Boredom - John Baldessari awarded the Kaiserring
Deutsche Bank supports Emil Schumacher exhibition
Deutsche Bank Foundation Sponsors MMK Talks
Yto Barrada at MACRO
Cai Guo-Qiang Honored with the Praemium Imperiale
Baselitz - Immendorff - Schönebeck at Villa Wessel


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Cai Guo-Qiang Honored with the Praemium Imperiale

It is the Nobel Prize of the arts. The Praemium Imperiale, endowed with a purse of around 160,000 euros, is given every year to important artists in the fields of painting, sculpture, architecture, music and film or theater. Cai Guo-Qiang is the first Chinese artist to receive the prize, which has been awarded by the Japanese imperial family since 1989. Cai received the Praemium Imperiale in the painting category. His “Gunpowder Drawings,” which he executes by igniting gunpowder on large pieces of paper, have radically expanded the boundaries of the medium. With the prize, the Japan Art Association honors artists for their life’s work and the worldwide social importance of their work. The Praemium Imperiale is presented by Prince Hitachi, an honorary patron of the Japan Art Association, during an awards ceremony held on October 23 in Tokyo. In addition to Cai, the other laureates this year include Danish architect Henning Larsen and U.S. composer Philip Glass. To date, 119 artists have received the award, including Tony Cragg, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Rebecca Horn, Anish Kapoor, Sigmar Polke and Gerhard Richter, all of whom are represented in the Deutsche Bank Collection.

Cai is closely connected with Deutsche Bank’s art activities. His exhibition project Head On was on view at the Deutsche Guggenheim in 2006. The artist had conceived the three-part work complex for the Berlin museum. The video Illusion II shows one of Cai’s pyrotechnical stagings, for which he had a small house blown up in a dazzling fireworks display. The wall-sized gunpowder drawing Vortex was executed in the atrium of the Deutsche Bank building on Unter den Linden. Head On, the installation from which the title of the exhibition was taken, consists of 99 life-sized wolves that hurl against a glass wall. It was directly inspired by the history of the German capital. After the premiere in Berlin, the work was also shown, as part of a large Cai retrospective at the Guggenheim museums in New York and Bilbao. Subsequently, the pack of wolves was presented in Beijing, Taipeh and Singapore. An entire floor of Deutsche Bank’s Head Office in Frankfurt is devoted to Cai’s work. Aside from preliminary drawings for Head On, project sketches for Deutsche Bank’s Moment art series, for which art actions were realized in public spaces, are on exhibit here.

Born in Quanzhou, China, in 1957, Cai Guo-Qiang went to Japan in 1986, and then to New York in 1995, where he has lived ever since. In 2005, he curated the first Chinese Pavilion at the Venice Biennale. In the summer of 2008, hundreds of millions of TV viewers watched spectacular stagings created by the artist. As Director of Visual and Special Effects, he was the chief designer of the fireworks displays during the opening and closing ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

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