Vincent Award to be discontinued

The Vincent Van Gogh Biennial Award for Contemporary Art in Europe – known for short as The Vincent Award – will not be organised again. The last biennial award has been presented to Anri Sala at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag (2014). The Broere Charitable Foundation, which established The Vincent Award, feels that it is no longer sufficiently distinctive among the current array of international art awards. It does however plan to continue its collaboration with the Gemeentemuseum, which will have the Monique Zajfen Collection on long-term loan for the coming years, and will also be able to include loans from the Broere Collection in its exhibition programme.

For years The Vincent Award was one of the world’s leading contemporary art prizes. It was awarded to a mid-career artist working or living in Europe who had had considerable influence on the development of international art. Past winners have included Eija-Liisa Ahtila (2000), Neo Rauch (2002), Pawel Althamer (2004), Wilhelm Sasnal (2006), Deimantas Narkevičius (2008) and Anri Sala (2014). The Vincent Award was not presented in 2016 because two nominees withdrew. The internationalisation of the art world and the growing number of prizes awarded to internationally active mid-career artists have highlighted the fact that The Vincent Award is no longer sufficiently distinct from other prizes for contemporary art. In consultation with the Gemeentemuseum, the Foundation has therefore decided to discontinue the award, effective immediately.

The Vincent Award was founded in 2000 by the Broere Charitable Foundation in memory of Monique Zajfen, a beloved friend of the Broere family and former owner of ‘Gallery 121’ in Antwerp, Belgium. The prize has been awarded at Gemeentemuseum Den Haag since 2014. The museum has also had the associated Monique Zajfen Collection on long-term loan since then. The Foundation intends to continue this collaboration, even though The Vincent Award will no longer exist. The Monique Zajfen Collection will remain on long-term loan here, and the museum will also be able to borrow works from the Broere Collection over the coming years. These loans will be a valuable complement to the museum’s own collection that will strengthen its international exhibition programme, which features both modern and contemporary artists.

Benno Tempel, director of Gemeentemuseum Den Haag, is pleased that the museum will continue to work with the Broere Charitable Foundation in this way. ‘We have always had a good relationship with the Foundation, and both of its collections are outstanding. The Vincent Award has strengthened our relations with the contemporary art world, but our collaboration in its new form will be more flexible, and allow us to further enhance and expand our internationally renowned exhibition programme.’