For the second time the ArtChronika Foundation , supported by the Deutsche Bank Group, presented the Kandinsky Prize to winners in three categories. The prize in the "Artist of the Year" category, with an award of 40,000 Euro, the highest endowment for a contemporary art prize in Russia, went to Alexei Belyaev-Gintovt. Diana Machulina won the "Best Young Artist" award, and the PG Group received the "Best Media Art Project" prize.
The aim of the Kandinsky Prize is to promote contemporary Russian art and to offer insights into the art scene's most important trends and perspectives. Even in the first year of its existence the Kandinsky Prize became a media event, and the works of the nominees and winners were exhibited in 2008 in Riga and Berlin. Now round two has begun. At the Central House of Artists in Moscow, the work of some sixty artists was shown whom the international jury had nominated for the Kandinsky Prize 2008. Among the expert jury members were Ekaterina Bobrinskaya, (art historian, Moscow), Valerie Hillings (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York), Andrey Erofeev (Tretjakov Gallery, Moscow), Friedhelm Hütte (Deutsche Bank Art, Frankfurt am Main), Jan-Hubert Martin (French National Museums, Paris) and Alexander Borovsky (State Russian Museum, St. Petersburg).
On December 10 the winners in the three categories were announced at the Winzavod Center of Contemporary Art in Moscow at a festive gala. The "Artist of the Year" prize went to the controversial artist Alexei Belaev-Gintovt, born in 1965. Diana Machulina won in the "Best Young Artist" category, which deliberately focuses on young artists at the beginning of an international career who have not yet established themselves. The Moscow artist, who was born in 1981, won a three-month stay at the Villa Romana. The artists' residence in Florence, representing Deutsche Bank's oldest cultural commitment, is dedicated, like the "Kandinsky Prize", to supporting new art and impressively illustrates the broad international and cross-institutional network created by the bank's cultural activities. The invitation extended to award-winners to stay at the Villa Romana is intended to underline and expand this international network. The award in the "Best Media Art Project of the Year" category went to the artist group PG Group, which was founded in 2000 and whose members are Ilya Falkovskiy, Alexei Katalkin and Boris Spirdidonov. This prize endowed with 10,000 Euro is intended to promote an art genre which is still relatively new in Russia.
With the Kandinsky Prize the Deutsche Bank Foundation is making a commitment to promoting the young Russian art scene and thus is continuing the bank's tradition of corporate social responsibility activities in Russia spanning a period of almost 25 years. Alongside sponsored exhibitions and presentations from the Deutsche Bank Collection, Russia's talented artists are now being supported. Making it possible for each individual to expand their horizons, and in doing so to use the innovative strength of contemporary art, is an integral part of Deutsche Bank's identity.