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Missed the Theme
Bernhard Martin Awarded the Art Prize of the City of Wolfsburg

His works have been part of the Deutsche Bank Collection since the 1990s. Now, Bernhard Martin has received the renowned Art Prize of the city of Wolfsburg. After artists like Katharina Fritsch, Olaf Nicolai, and Jörg Herold, the Berlin-based painter and sculptor has been awarded this year’s 10,200 Euro prize "Young City Sees Young Art." The award includes an exhibition at the Städtische Galerie in Wolfsburg. The show, titled Thema verfehlt (Missed the Theme) will be opening parallel to the award ceremony on November 29.

Bernhard Marin, Romantik IV, 1998, © VG Bild – Kunst, Bonn 2008,
Deutsche Bank Collection

Bernhard Martin, Earl Gray, 2006,
Courtesy Kunstverein Wolfsburg

Born in 1966, Martin belongs to a generation of artists that came to age in the 1980s and formulated their response to the flood of mass-media imagery with samplings of found images. In reference to his works, which combine motifs from art history, pop culture, fairy tales, and glossy magazines, Bernhard Martin has said: "We’re in a supermarket here, and I’m filling my shopping cart to the brim." The effect of his paintings is intensified through his use of a wide variety of stylistic means: photorealistic sections collide with gestural abstraction, airbrush, adhered photographs, and psychedelic patterns. Giving their reasons for the decision, the art prize jury stated that Martin’s "powerful works respond to the contemporary culture industry and combine academic norms in painting with a pop pictorial language." According to the jury members, this strategy of Bernhard Martin’s makes him one of the "most interesting contemporary artists in Germany today."

Bernhard Martin – Thema verfehlt
11/30/2008 – 3/22/2009
Städtische Galerie Wolfsburg

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