This winter, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art is presenting work by Guido van der Werve, winner of the Cobra Art Prize 2021. The jury of the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen 2021, consisting of Sjarel Ex, Roos Gortzak and Melchior Jaspers, unanimously decided to honour this visual artist. Van der Werve receives a monetary award of €15,000 and has been invited to present a selection of existing work in the Cobra Museum. This presentation is on show in the Cobra Museum from 4 December 2021 to 3 March 2022.
Experiment, interdisciplinarity and radicalism are central to the works of Guido van der Werve. These are core values that he shares with the artists of the Cobra movement. In his work, Van der Werve always deliberately sought exhaustion, testing the limits of his perseverance and endurance. In 2016, he was seriously injured in a traffic accident. At 39, he had to rediscover himself: an exhausting process that required all his strength to get back on his feet. Van der Werve is currently making new work about this process. The jury feels that Guido van der Werve more than deserves the Cobra Art Prize 2021 for a mid-career artist.
Jury Cobra Art Prize 2021
“His works are utterly fascinating, alienating and often evoke an uncanny feeling. Many of his films are spectacular, grand and compelling as well as sensitive and tender. Van der Werve combines and connects music, the human body, history, performance, aesthetics, absurdity and cinematography in a way that is entirely his own. The fact that Van der Werve manages to bring all these facets together makes him a great and important artist.”
About the artist
Guido van der Werve (1977) studied at the Gerrit Rietveld Academy and the Rijksakademie. Trained as a classical pianist, Van der Werve has been composing music since 2007, which he also uses for his video works. He started out as a performance artist, but soon switched to documenting his performances. Van der Werve became interested in film and cinematography because he experienced a similar emotional immediacy as he did in music. He has received several awards and his work is exhibited both in the Netherlands and abroad. In early 2022, a major exhibition about Van der Werve will open in Eye Filmmuseum Amsterdam.
About the jury
Sjarel Ex (1957) is an art historian and director of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen. Roos Gortzak (1973) is an art historian, curator, critic and director of the Vleeshal in Middelburg. Melchior Jaspers (1987) is an exhibition curator and art advisor to the Dutch State Architect. The awarding of the Cobra Art Prize was based on nominations by the jury members.
About the prize
The Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen, which was introduced in 2005, is awarded periodically to a mid-career visual artist whose work engages with the spirit of the Cobra movement. Experiment, interdisciplinarity and radicality are at the heart of the legacy of this movement. The award consists of a monetary award of €15,000 and an exhibition in the Cobra Museum of Modern Art. With the Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen, the Cobra Museum of Modern Art, together with the City of Amstelveen, highlights the values of the Cobra movement and its role in contemporary art. Previous winners were Joost Conijn (2005), Johannes Schwartz (2007), Gijs Frieling (2009), Nathaniel Mellors (2011), Metahaven (2013), Jennifer Tee (2015) and Christian Friedrich (2017). The Cobra Art Prize Amstelveen is generously supported by the City of Amstelveen.