Wendelien van Oldenborgh receives Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art 2014

11 March 2014

The Netherlands’ largest prize for artists, the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art, will be awarded to Wendelien van Oldenborgh in 2014. Funded by the Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation, the prize itself is EUR 50,000; in addition, the prize-winner may spend the same amount to produce a publication and/or arrange an exhibition.

According to the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences, which awards the biennial prize, Van Oldenborgh’s work occupies a unique position in the Dutch artistic landscape. Van Oldenborgh will receive the prize along with the five winners of the Heineken Prizes for Science and the five winners of the Heineken Young Scientists Awards on Thursday 2 October 2014 during a special award ceremony at the Beurs van Berlage Building in Amsterdam.

Wendelien-van-OldenborghWendelien van Oldenborgh’s work consists of multi-level projects in which footage or still photographs shot at iconic locations (for example the Golden Hall of the Mauritshuis Royal Picture Gallery in The Hague or the Music Centre of the Netherlands Public Broadcasting Organisation in Hilversum) are projected as part of a carefully arranged installation. Her work addresses current, socially relevant themes such as migration, the Netherlands’ colonial past, and subcultures. According to the Academy's jury, what sets her work apart from other leading Dutch artists is the unique way in which she tackles social themes and creates scope for the individual voices, spaces and relationships that constitute the invisible and sometimes confusing subtext of our mediatised reality. Without resorting to spectacle, Van Oldenborgh forces us to look at who and what we are.

Wendelien van Oldenborgh (born in 1962) studied at Goldsmiths College, London. Before settling in Rotterdam, she lived and worked in Germany and Belgium. In addition to her artistic work, she teaches various Master’s degree courses, including at the Dutch Art Institute/ArtEZ (Master of Fine Arts) and the Royal Academy of Art (Artistic Research Master’s programme). She previously received the Hendrik Chabot Prize for Fine Arts (2011) and the Marian McMahon Award (2010).

La Javanaise, 2012Wendelien van Oldenborgh, La Javanaise, 2012
Installation view Stedelijk Museum Bureau Amsterdam 2012
Courtesy Wilfried Lentz Rotterdam and Wendelien van Oldenborgh

Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art

Heinekenprijzen-KNAW-banner Alfred Heineken’s deep commitment to art led him to establish the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art (1988). It is one of six Heineken Prizes for Science and Art and five Heineken Young Scientists Awards presented every other year by the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014, it will be fifty years ago that the Dr H.P. Heineken Prize for Biochemistry and Biophysics was awarded for the first time. In addition to this and the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Art, the other prizes are the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Medicine, the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for History, the Dr A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences, and the C.L. de Carvalho-Heineken Prize for Cognitive Science. The total sum awarded to the prize-winners in the fields of science and scholarship is USD 1 million; the prize for art is EUR 100,000 euro (EUR 50,000 of which is intended for a publication and/or exhibition). The six Heineken Prizes are funded by the Dr H.P. Heineken Foundation and Alfred Heineken Fondsen Foundation, which also fund the five Heineken Young Scientists Awards in the same fields. Each of the latter awards is worth EUR 10,000.

For the editors

The Royal Academy website has more information about Wendelien van Oldenborgh and the Heineken Prizes in general. There is also a separate Heineken Prizes website.

The Academy will announce the winners of the five Heineken Prizes for Science around 15 April 2014.

If you have questions about the Heineken Prizes, please contact Helena van Oers (Royal Academy), +31 20 551 0863 or helena.van.oers@knaw.nl