Artists of the Year 2021

8 September – 23 October 2022
Free entry

MUDEC hosts “Deutsche Bank Artists of the Year 2021”, the exhibition dedicated to winners of the prestigious international award that the bank dedicates to contemporary art, which has reached its tenth edition this year.
The 2021 award was assigned to the artists Maxwell Alexandre, Conny Maier and Zhang Xu Zhan.

The exhibition is curated by Britta Färber.

MUDEC and Deutsche Bank present the exhibition dedicated to the winners of the 2021 “Artists of the Year” award, a prestigious international acknowledgement that the bank dedicates to contemporary art and which was assigned to three artists for the first time, on the occasion of its tenth anniversary: Maxwell Alexandre (Brazil), Conny Maier (Germany), and Zhang Xu Zhan (Taiwan).

After the opening at the PalaisPopulaire in Berlin, the MUDEC – Museo delle Culture now exceptionally brings this exhibition to Milan to present three of the most interesting artists on the international scene to the Italian audience for the first time ever. Three artists who have distinguished themselves in terms of the creativity and remarkable value of their work.

With this collective exhibition, which is the first of a series of initiatives, the MUDEC opens up even further to the languages and themes of our contemporary age with a truly international artistic and cultural programme, further enriched by collateral deep-dive events with theme-based guided tours, didactic workshops, meetings and round tables.

The works by Brazilian artist Maxwell Alexandre, born in Rio de Janeiro in 1990 are focused on racism and police violence, but also on community and spirituality.

Conny Maier, born in Berlin, combines a neo-expressive and comical style with a keen sense of colour and composition. Her impressive work cycles are focused on the existential interrelationship between human beings and nature, as personified in a variety of animals.

In his animation films, sculptures, and video-installations, artist Zhang Xu Zhan, born in Taipei in 1988, created a fantastic cosmos peopled by mythical creatures, singing animals, plants and spirits of nature, and dominated by ancient rituals: an at once apocalyptic and fairy-tale like world that explores universal themes like death, the transitory nature of life, and the search for community.

Deutsche Bank, which has been committed to the promotion of contemporary art for more than 40 years, has been assigning this award to emerging artists who work primarily with paper or photography since 2010. The latter is the privileged form of the works that compose the Deutsche Bank Collection, created in the middle of the 1970s, which today represents one of the most important corporate collections on an international scale.

The winner is chosen upon the indication of the bank’s Global Art Advisory Council, made up of internationally acclaimed curators such as Victoria Noorthoorn, Hou Hanru, and Udo Kittelmann.
Instead of assigning a monetary prize, Deutsche Bank supports its Artists of the Year by contributing to making them known by the wider public, hosting one personal exhibition and publishing one catalogue, and purchasing some of their works for the collection.
Since 2018, the artists’ personal exhibition has opened at the PalaisPopulaire, Deutsche Bank’s venue in Berlin dedicated to art and culture, and has subsequently been set up in other international institutions.