This year Museum Folkwang and the Neuer Essener Kunstverein have initiated Neue Folkwang Residence – a new artist-in-residence programme. Two places will be awarded every year to international artists covering in both cases a five-month period in Essen. The residency also includes a solo show at Neuer Essener Kunstverein and Museum Folkwang in the context of the “6 ½ Weeks” series. The first two scholarship holders are Olu Ogunnaike from London and Min Yoon from Vienna who have now moved into the new house and studio in Eltingviertel. The artist-in-residence programme is enabled by the Folkwang-Museumsverein and the Olbricht Foundation and is sponsored by Vonovia.
The new combined house and studio is located in Essen’s Eltingviertel, a district close to downtown, the university and the central railway station. Here the artists live and work in a multi-storey modernized building dating from 1883 boasting 170 square metres of space. The Neue Folkwang Residence enables artists to bring their know-how and art to bear in other contexts, to establish networks in the region, and to focus single-mindedly on advancing specific projects. The programme is also intended to intensify the interaction between international artists and the local art scene and to reinforce Essen’s position as a centre of output by the visual arts.
The artists in residence in 2021, Olu Ogunnaike and Min Yoon, were selected from a pool of 12 artists who had in turn been proposed by an international commission. A new commission is appointed every year. The final selection is made by the museum and Kunstverein.
The international Advisory Board for 2021 is composed of:
Henning Bohl, University of Applied Arts, Vienna; Fatima Hellberg, Bonner Kunstverein; Valerie Knoll, Kunsthalle Bern; Karin Laansoo, Kai Art Centre, Tallin; Ilaria Leoni, Ermes-Ermes, Vienna; Yvette Mutumba, Contemporay And C&, Berlin; Philippe Pirotte, Städelschule, Frankfurt; Jochen Volz, Pinacoteca do Estado de São Paulo; Zhang Wei and Hu Fang, vitamin creative space, Guangzhou; Francesca Zedtwitz von Arnim, Sundy, London.
In his installations, drawings and performances British artist Olu Ogunnaike (born 1986) questions the historical and social properties of materials and places, amongst others. Wood or more precisely our handling and perception of wood plays a special role in his work. For example, he designed an installation of industrially produced OSB material or filled an exhibition room with herringbone parquet flooring made from London plane trees that in recent years had to make way for construction work in the metropolis.
The works by Vienna-based Korean artist Min Yoon (both 1986) are to be situated in the interstices between assertion, scepticism, and imagination. Popular concepts of what it means to be an artist can be detected in his drawings, sculptures and installation-based allusions, for example in material references to art supplies as a type of product or the emphasis on technical skills. Basic strands of his position include topics such as societal pressure to perform and exhaustion although Yoon’s works are very open and cannot be restricted to one-dimensional interpretations.
In the form of the Neuer Folkwang Residence Museum Folkwang is reviving the long tradition of its former guest-house in Essen-Werden. The first artists came in 1971 and for several decades it accommodated numerous international guest artists and scholars who exhibited and researched at Museum Folkwang and in the region.
Made possible by Folkwang-Museumsverein e.V and Stiftung Olbricht