Roman Ondák is Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” 2012. On the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, consisting of renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann and Nancy Spector and chaired by Pierre de Weck, member of Deutsche Bank AG’s Executive Committee, the bank honors young artists who have already created an extraordinary oeuvre in which works on paper or photography play an important role. The selection was announced at the Frieze Art Fair, which is supported by Deutsche Bank as main sponsor.
Roman Ondák, who was born in 1966 in Bratislava, Slovakia, is among the most exciting representatives of a young generation of conceptual artists. In 2012, he will play an important role in Deutsche Bank’s art program. The Deutsche Guggenheim will present a major solo exhibition of his work that will subsequently travel to additional international institutions. Accompanying the show are an extensive catalogue and an exclusive artist’s edition. In addition, the bank will acquire a selection of works on paper for its collection. Following Wangechi Mutu in 2010 and Yto Barrada in 2011, with Roman Ondák the Global Art Advisory Council chose an artist whose work emphasizes the draft character and conceptual approach of this medium. “It will be exciting to see how he will challenge the medium of drawing and the material of paper in the future,” says Udo Kittelmann, Director of the Nationalgalerie in Berlin, who nominated Ondák for the award.
Indeed, with the simplest means Ondák creates an art that lends everyday experiences and perceptions a philosophical, political, or sociocritical dimension. At the same time, his interventions scrutinize the art world. When he represented Slovakia at the 2009 Venice Biennale, Ondák extended the landscaping in the exhibition park, the Giardini, into the interior of the Slovakian Pavilion. Bushes, shrubs, and even the garden path continued through the exhibition building, as though the structure did not exist. The work dissolved boundaries between interior and exterior space and hence the pavilion itself along with its function. Ondák’s interventions play with our standards, expectations, and perspectives. The lines of people that he staged in 2004 in front of booths at the Frieze Art Fair in London take the relationship between supply and demand to absurdity.
Although Ondák’s reserved art is often recognizable only at second glance, his importance in the art world is unmistakable. In 2011, he has had more international exhibitions than ever before, including solo shows at the Kunsthaus Zürich and in Oxford, as well as participation in the Venice Biennale.
More information at db-artmag.com.
ArtMag, Deutsche Bank’s online art magazine, has reported on the international art scene since 2002. In addition to articles on and interviews with artists whose work is included in the Deutsche Bank Collection and shown at Deutsche Guggenheim exhibitions, each edition is devoted to a special topical subject.