Andrew Page editor of glass wrote: “The Coburg Prize winners for 2022 show the increasing sophistication of the field
The 2022 Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass shows a maturing field, with artists tackling social issues and concern about the environment. Since it was launched in 1977, the prestigious Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass has only been awarded five times.
Top honors at the 2022 Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass were awarded to Icelandic-born artist Æsa Björk, who is also the founder of the important international art center S12 in Bergen, Norway, Björk won for her 2021 work Fragments, which features two fragile, lens-like disks marked by pâte de verre textures that give the work a distressed and blistered quality. Like an otherworldly artifact of some past trauma, the work was cited by the prize judges as “reminiscent of the Big Bang and the creation of the universe.”
Along with the prestige of winning one of Europe’s top glass honors, the award comes with 15.000 Euro prize. The winning work will be shown along with 90 international artists who made it through the first round of jurying, in an exhibit that will remain on view through September 25, 2022, at the Veste Coburg and at the nearby European Museum of Modern Glass in Rödental, Germany.”
The Coburg Prize for Contemporary Glass is Europe’s most important award for contemporary glass art. It is accompanied by an exhibition at the Veste Coburg and in the European Museum for Modern Glas in Rödental. Focusing on new tendencies of glass art, works by 90 international artists will be shown at these places between 10 April and 25 September 2022. The highly topical objects and the variety of production-techniques make this show a fascinating event in the International Year of Glass 2022.
The first prize, worth 15.000 Euros, went to the Icelandic / Norwegian Æsa Björk. Her work “Fragments”, which consists of two large, convex lenses, is based on a particularly sophisticated manufacturing technique. The fragile pâte de verre texture of the blistered, in some places perforated glass surface, with its silvery sheen and resulting reflections has something magical about it, reminiscent of the Big Bang and the creation of the universe.
The Irish artist Alison Lowry won the second prize of 10.000 Euros for her sculptural group of christening gowns and baby shoes, executed in the most delicate pâte de verre technique. Lowry succeeds in creating a touching memorial to the decades of tragic treatment of illegitimate children in church run mother-and-baby homes in Ireland.
Judith Röder from Germany received the 3rd prize, endowed with 5.000 Euros, for an installation made of superficially antiquated overhead projectors. Discarded window panes serve as projection templates. These seemingly unimportant remnants are impressively recontextualized in the projected image, reminiscent of micro and macro photographs from nature.
Other award winners are Petr Stanický, Czech Republic, who receives the Senior Prize of the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung (> 45 years, € 5.000), Slovakian Kristína Ligačová, who receives the Prize of the Alexander Tutsek-Stiftung (€ 2.000) and Zuzana Kubelková, Czech Republic, receiving the Prize of the Achilles-Stiftung (< 35 years, € 2.000). The Honorary Prize in memory of Otto Waldrich (€ 2.000, donated by Gertrud Bartelmus) goes to the Swedish artist Ulla Forsell.
Doc Magr. Katarína Beňová, PhD, Curator Slovenská národná galéria, Bratislava
Dr. Sven Hauschke, Director Kunstsammlungen der Veste Coburg
Maja Heuer, Project leader Unika historiska Kalmar Län
Franz X. Höller, Artist, Zwiesel
Reino Liefkes, Senior Curator Ceramics and Glass, Victoria & Albert Museum, London
Anne Vanlatum, Conseiller Artistique, MusVerre, Sars-Poteries
A full catalogue from the exhibition can be viewed here
Special thanks to Lani McGregor and everyone at Bullseye Projects for their tireless work in preserving and promoting glass art, to the National Museums of Scotland, and to S12 and Norwegian Crafts / STIKK / UD for supporting my participation in the exhibition.