Greetings from Art Prize organizer Hargen Depelmann

The newly designed Art Prize Germany offers academically trained artists from Germany and abroad a unique opportunity to dedicate themselves to current topics that move the world on the basis of a high-class competition – and with the nonverbal language of the fine arts a unique position or vision as an artistic message to offer, with paintings, sculptures, photographs or digital art.

At a time when the rulers of world powers are playing “va banque” and the press has lost credibility due to their accused “fake news”, visionary artists are in demand, perhaps more than ever before!  

As an art gallery that has been operating successfully across Europe for over 40 years, including at international art fairs, we have the necessary resources and contacts to fill the great potential of this art prize competition with life in the interests of applicants. One of the “adjusting screws” is the book on the German Art Prize, in which the artists nominated by the independent jury are presented with their nominated work on one page, as well as on the website

In addition, all artists applying for the Art Prize Germany will be considered in the book for the Art Prize (publisher: Galerie Depelmann Edition-Verlag GmbH), with their name and place of residence, as well as on the above website. As the organizer of this competition, I am also looking forward to artistically unique contributions / applications from ambitious young artists who will not be charged a processing fee for two submitted works.

I wish the application phase, the art award ceremony with the vernissage on October 31, 2021 and the finissage on November 28, 2021 with the award of the audience award, all the best.

Independent expert jury

Should applicants for an art award form the jury themselves – and is it time to think about the art award system in general? The work of the jury is an important “quality adjustment screw” for art awards. Or should one say: It was her, as the juries were put together in the past? In times of state subsidies, cultural politicians set up expert juries to filter out what is worthy of funding. In addition, the question arises as to whether jury members financed from taxpayers’ money are as free as they would like to be in evaluating art. It will hardly be in the interest of some cultural politicians if, for example, art is exhibited or even awarded a prize in a town hall that is not “politically correct”.

Application restrictions (protectionism) have long been considered a prerequisite for an “art world” that is acceptable to the more or less art-conscious public: independent people with expertise nominate those works from the mass of submitted works that they consider to be artistically adequate. You can be wrong. Or not be so independent after all. Or have no expertise. Everywhere there has to be a jury and the decision-makers may not be sufficiently qualified or have too narrow a viewing horizon or lack independence. In fact, that should be the rule. And which cultural company employee would be free of personal preferences?

The fact that, in the effort to achieve political correctness, parameters alien to art increasingly creep into the assessment of artistic works may even be necessary in view of the increasing political content in art. Where aesthetics are no longer the most important message, aesthetic judgment has to take a back seat. And with him the jury judging according to aesthetic criteria. And what’s next?

The three winners of the German Art Prize in the disciplines of painting, sculpture and photography / digital art are determined by a five-person jury of experts who come from five federal states – and will not know each other personally. The submitted works will also be anonymized, so that the likelihood of “cheating” will be extremely low. The requirement for the jury of experts to evaluate politically correct is not given, since the Art Prize Germany is not financed with taxpayers money, but privately, which is why processing fees are charged for artists over 35 years to cover part of the costs. This procedure ensures that state subsidies can be consistently dispensed with when the Art Prize Germany is advertised – and excesses or requirements from the public sector that are not conducive to art (including local preference, “political correctness”, photos with the mayor) ) can be excluded from the artistic evaluation of the submitted works.

In addition to the jury, a so-called audience award is awarded, which is not determined by art-loving visitors, but by the nominated artists, who are very likely not to know each other personally because they will be arriving from all parts of Germany. What happens when artists can influence a jury process (here audience award)? The so-called renaturalization of art? In spite of the questionable nature of the expert jury’s decisions, is the idea of a possible excellence of art settled – and with it the willingness of the public sector to support art prizes financially? One thing cannot be ignored: the possibilities of the internet will change the structures and platforms of art awards – and with them the jury processes.