Kenyan painter Michael Armitage is the winner of the 6th Ruth Baumgarte Art Award. The Prize counts with 20.000 € to the highly endowed art awards in Germany, former winners are Kader Attia or Nan Goldin. The prize includes a solo exhibition at a renowned art institution.
With Michael Armitage, the jury is honouring an artist who combines elements of Western European art history with the artistic tradition of Africa in his colourful, large-format oil paintings, developing his very own personal style. […] Michael Armitage has become one of the most exciting artistic voices of the present day within a short time,” said Dr Reinhard Spieler, Director of the Sprengel Museum Hannover and member of the award jury, explaining the foundation advisory board’s decision.
Michael Armitage studied at the Slade School of Art and the Royal Academy Schools in London, which he graduated from at the age of 26 in 2010. Commuting between London and Nairobi also influences Michael Armitage’s innovative painting style, which combines European painting tradition with specifically East African cultural themes. Political and economic criticism are tangible and pointedly sharpened through images and reports from newspapers, the Internet or television. Creating timelessly mythical symbols of human existence between the conflicting poles of love and violence, dream and reality, life and death despite the topicality.
Represented at the Venice Biennale 2019, the first Michael Armitage exhibition was held in Africa this spring at the Norval Foundation in Cape Town. Haus der Kunst in Munich presents a solo exhibition by the artist until 14 February 2021.