Image Credit: Julian Sharp

Erste Bank ExtraVALUE Art Award 2020

For the fifth time, Erste Bank is awarding the ExtraVALUE Art Award to an artist who has participated in the program of das weisse haus / studio das weisse haus. The prize includes a solo exhibition in das weisse haus (April 22 – June 06, 2020) and a one month stay in New York City in July 2020 as a source of inspiration, as well as to establish new contacts and expand his network.

Carried out in the two stage competition, the jury has decided in favor of Fabian Erik Patzak and his exhibition concept „Direct Transit“. Following a first round, which assessed the artistic quality on the basis of the submitted portfolios, eleven candidates were invited to develop a concept for the presentation in das weisse haus. Presented by the artists, these  proposals were then judged in a second round.

Jury Statement
Among the eleven finalists, the best proposals straddled a line between exhibition and installation, being legible as a cohesive body of work but also as an immersive experience. They were considerate of the physical space of das weisse haus and its broader context in Vienna, as well as this particular moment in time. They approached contemporary issues with subtlety, exploring specific places and personal histories rife with broader resonances. In terms of that complexity—the work of Fabian Erik Patzak provided just excellent relevance. He proposed an intimate storytelling but with extreme capacity to absorb and motivate considerations of much wider personal, societal and even planetary questioning. The jury considered his contribution as the one which brings the most accurate irritation.

Recepient: Fabian Erik Patzak

Informed by a trans-generational experience of migration between Austria and the United States that began with the emigration of my grandparents from Nazi Vienna, my work addresses inter-related themes such as heritage, displacement, memory, and loss, and relies on two distinct approaches: One is guided by research that largely occurs outside of the studio and draws on objects, records, imagery, and stories. The second approach adds a more associative and imaginative dimension that expresses the emotional realm surrounding the topic and experience of migration. I have always been intrigued by the ability of painting to render topics of interest into objects that can be collected, catalogued and brought into conversation with one another. My paintings function as not only individual works, but as cognate idioms that, when contextualized and arranged, tell stories. The “Direct Transit” project is a story that visualizes the journey of reuniting with, and rediscovering personal and broader multi-cultural histories, and investigates the deeper contexts and implications of migration in light of our contemporary socio-cultural and political phenomena.

Participation in the program of das weissen haus / studio das weisse haus
Studio Artist, since May 2019
„Zwischen Innen und Außen“, group exhibition, 2010
„die weisse ab-haus-verkaufs-schau“, group exhibition, 2012 – 2019

Jury Members
Timothy Furstnau (FICTILIS, Curator), Alexandra Grausam (Director das weisse haus / studio das weisse haus), Christian Siekmeier (EXILE Gallery Vienna) and Boris Ondreička (Class of Interpretation, Curator)