gerrit benner prize 2019 on display until 5 january 2020
Works by Auke de Vries (Bergum, 1937) will be exhibited in the Fries Museum in Leeuwarden from Friday 13 September. Standing and hanging sculptures and a selection from his personal image archive provide visitors with deeper insights into his working process than ever before. Auke de Vries won the GERRIT BENNER Prize 2019 for visual art in acknowledgement of his oeuvre. The exhibition can be seen until 5 January 2020.
NRC Handelsblad called the work of Auke de Vries ‘Small explosions of colours and shapes made of metal, cardboard, wood and wire’. De Vries is best known for his large sculptures in public space. His work can be found throughout the Netherlands and in cities such as Barcelona, Berlin, Bangkok and Paris. In 1982, for example, he made the iconic, almost 200-metre-long ‘Maas Sculpture’ at Rotterdam’s Willemsbrug.
A studio-like situation has been created on the third floor of the museum in Leeuwarden. While ascending the stairs to the exhibition on the third floor, the visitor is already welcomed by a playful collection of dynamic hanging works. This design is inspired by the artist’s attic studio in The Hague, the ceiling of which is filled with colourful sculptures partly due to the lack of space.
father and daughter
The display case contains objects selected from her father’s personal image archive by Auke de Vries’ daughter, graphic designer Esther de Vries. With personal quotes, sketches, cuttings and photographs, the sources of inspiration are explained and the visitor is given a glimpse into the artist’s work process.
In 2000, Friesland had a real army for the first time. Auke de Vries and theatre-maker Hilde Mulder invented the army for the manifestation Simmer 2000, a festive summer reunion of Frisians from all over the world. The army, which received a lot of publicity (not always positive), had to ‘protect’ the repatriated Frisians. This army is now billeted on the first floor of the museum as part of the Frisians exhibition, which includes several costume parts amid a selection of preliminary studies.
The province of Friesland introduced the GERRIT BENNER Prize to stimulate the visual arts, and increase the public’s awareness of it. This is the 8th time that the province of Friesland has awarded the GERRIT BENNER Prize. The jury praised Auke de Vries for being an important inspiration and example for younger generations of artists both within and beyond Friesland.