In 2024, the Zurich Art Prize, awarded annually by Museum Haus Konstruktiv and Zurich Insurance Company Ltd, goes to Olaf Holzapfel (b. 1967 in Dresden, lives and works in Berlin and Brandenburg).
A solo exhibition, financed by Zurich Insurance Company Ltd, will be dedicated to the artist from May 30 to September 8, 2024.
In his multi-layered oeuvre, Olaf Holzapfel deals with the conception and materiality of spaces. After the 2000s, when he particularly focused on megalopolises and their relationship with virtual space, observing a kinship between urban structures’ grids and the internet’s digital grids, his interest increasingly shifted toward the physically material site. Since then, Holzapfel has been searching for ways to artistically dissolve dualities, such as those of city and landscape, interior and exterior, or virtual and real visual spaces, and to describe them as something fluid. The result is a constant exchange between these forces. His work revolves around intercultural exchange with artists and artisans, as well as recourse to vernacular techniques.
The Zurich Art Prize jury was particularly enthusiastic about Olaf Holzapfel’s adept handling of a wide range of very different media and spaces. His works, realized in a multifaceted formal language, raise substantial questions, for instance about production mechanisms or the relationship between culture and nature, without losing any of their poetic lightness. His body of work, developed over several years, captivates with a continuity that resists the fast pace of our times in an enchanting way.