Christian Friedrich (1977 Germany) is the winner of the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen 2017. The Cobra Art Prize encourages the contemporary art practice of an artist who translates the CoBrA philosophy into the present. Experiment, interdisciplinarity and radicality are at the heart of this legacy. By selecting Christian Friedrich (living and working in Amsterdam and Berlin), the jury honours an artist with a relatively hidden oeuvre. This modest visibility gives Friedrich the freedom to steer a totally idiosyncratic course, which, in terms of subject matter, touches on the mysterious, the uncomfortable and the shameful.
“With Friedrich, the jury honoured an artist who has shown his possession of an exceptionally experimental mind, which is not prepared to compromise. Each step he makes as an artist incorporates shock and the risk of failure. Not many artists with his track record are willing to do that” Jury chair, Domeniek Ruyters
Spectres of Want
The prize consists of € 10,000, a publication and an exhibition at the Cobra Museum. In Friedrich’s work there is always a lot at stake: eschewing recognizable formats or artistic methods, he continuously and freely explores the ways power structures operate in the domain of the physical and the intellectual. A sense of threat is typically permeating his works, while something highly personal is at risk: the integrity of the human body, for example, or the power balance in intimate relations. For Spectres of Want, Friedrich developed three new groups of works, in which he obsessively and sensorially explores the human body as site for crisis and ecstasy.
Alongside Spectres of Want, a publication with texts by Martin Herbert and Xander Karskens will be published, designed by Studio Felix Salut.