The Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung (Lower Saxony Savings Bank Foundation) is awarding the Kurt Schwitters Prize for the eighth time. The artist Thomas Hirschhorn, who was born in Bern in 1957 and now lives in Paris, has been renowned for his extensive installations since the mid 1990s and is to be awarded the prize worth EUR 25,000 by an international jury.
His work is distinguished by a synthesis of sculptural concern, political commitment and critical thought. Most of the Swiss artist's works have been temporary and carried out in public. These include, among others, the "Bataille Monument", which he created in 2002 during the documenta 11 exhibition in Kassel, as well as the street altars he constructed in various cities and dedicated to artists such as Piet Mondrian and Ingeborg Bachmann. Hirschhorn will represent Switzerland at the Venice Biennale in 2011.
The aim of this award is to acknowledge artists "whose work is characterised by a reference to Kurt Schwitters and which are distinguished by the fact that they dare venture into new areas of artistic forms and ideas, or whose work contributes to combining and integrating different art forms".
Presenting the Kurt Schwitters Award is a fundamental element of the promotion of the arts by the Niedersächsische Sparkassenstiftung, which is not only involved in visual arts but also in music, museums and the preservation of historical monuments.