Hannah Höch Award 2022

Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt

Image 1
  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Vergangen Gegenwärtig Zukünftig, Detail, 1975, Typewriting
    © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Dietmar Katz © Courtesy of The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Vergangen Gegenwärtig Zukünftig, Detail, 1975, Typewriting

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Ohne Titel, Detail, frühe 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting und Bleistift auf Papier
    © Courtesy of The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Ohne Titel, Detail, frühe 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting und Bleistift auf Papier

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Ohne Titel, Detail, Mitte der 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting auf rosafarbenem Karton
    © Foto: Trevor Lloyd © Courtesy of The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Ohne Titel, Detail, Mitte der 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting auf rosafarbenem Karton

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Divided Planet, Detail, 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting, Kohledurchschlag
    © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Dietmar Katz © Courtesy of The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Divided Planet, Detail, 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting, Kohledurchschlag

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Figuration collagiert, Detail, 1980er-Jahre, Collage über Zinkografie
    © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett / Dietmar Katz © Courtesy of The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Figuration collagiert, Detail, 1980er-Jahre, Collage über Zinkografie

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Detail, um 1960
    © Robert Rehfeldt und Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Detail, um 1960

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Paraphrase, Detail, 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting, Kohledurchschlag
    © Foto: Trevor Lloyd © Courtesy of The Artist and ChertLüdde, Berlin

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Paraphrase, Detail, 1970er-Jahre, Typewriting, Kohledurchschlag

  • Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Detail, 2012
    © Foto: Lutz Wohlrab

    Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt, Detail, 2012

Artist Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt (b. 1932, Wurzen, Germany), who has lived in Berlin for over seventy years, is being honoured with the Hannah Höch Prize, 2022 for her extensive oeuvre, which includes paintings, drawings and, in particular, typewriter graphics (1972–89). In conjunction with the award, the artist will also present a solo exhibition at the Kupferstichkabinett (Museum of Prints and Drawings) – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
Like a Spider in a Web 
Wolf-Rehfeldt’s Typewritings have an affinity to visual and concrete poetry; they tend towards the abstract, the concrete and the architectural; and were expanded into collages, especially during the 1980s. Wolf-Rehfeldt actively participated in the German Democratic Republic’s (GDR) Mail Art programme with her graphics and built up an extensive communication network spanning the entire globe. The artist, now 90 years old, recollects:

I had the ambition, like a spider in her web, to spin my threads to every place on earth.

Wolf-Rehfeldt sometimes asked the addressees to artistically augment her typewriter graphics and return them, resulting in the creation of collaborative works. These hybrid collages interweave very diverse materials, visual worlds and times and spaces. They suggest a link to Hannah Höch’s (1889–1978) Dadaist photomontages, uniting the two artists in spirit across decades and national borders.
Wolf-Rehfeldt in the International Art Network 
Wolf-Rehfeldt's typewriter works and collages, including Typewritings recently acquired by the Graphische Gesellschaft zu Berlin, the Friends of the Kupferstichkabinett, are placed in dialogue with collages by Hannah Höch and works of Conceptual Art, Minimalism, contemporary typewriter art and Mail Art from the Kupferstichkabinett collection by artists including Robert Barry, Peter Roehr and Gert and Uwe Tobias. Comprising some 140 works, the exhibition functions like an international network in which Wolf-Rehfeldt’s works are embedded, with the effect of broadening the view of art in the GDR.
Dangerous Balance
The exhibition also looks at how Wolf-Rehfeldt’s works deal with relationships between people and nature, nature and culture, and people amongst themselves, as well as the competitive interactions between power-oriented forces. Dangerous Balance is the title of one of her typewritten works. It was created against the background of the Cold War and, albeit with minimal means, impressively captures the fragile state of peace in words and images. Wolf-Rehfeldt openly voiced her commitment to the peace movement.
Although her Typewritings are more than thirty years old, they remain highly topical, not only with regard to the current tense situation in Europe. In them, Wolf-Rehfeldt also addresses the changes in communication media and their networks, the impact of global communication with and without borders, and calls attention to the value of information – bringing to mind today’s debates about fake news and censorship. This relevance, in addition to the fact that the artist has not yet been honoured in her hometown of Berlin, prompted her nomination for the Hannah Hoch Prize in 2022 – the year in which Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt celebrates her 90th birthday.
The Hannah Höch Prize
The Hannah Höch Prize has been awarded since 1996 by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture for an outstanding artistic oeuvre. The prize is named in honour of artist Hannah Höch[JB1] , who achieved international fame with her work as a Dadaist. The prize is awarded to artists living and working in Berlin who stand out for their continuous artistic achievements. In addition to the prize endowed with 25,000 euros, the award includes an exhibition and a publication. Award winners are selected by the Berlin Senate Department of Culture’s Visual Arts Funding Commission, in which the Berlinische Galerie, Georg Kolbe Museum, Neue Berliner Kunstverein and Stiftung Stadtmuseum are represented, along with the Kupferstichkabinett – Staatliche Museen zu Berlin.
Accompanying Catalogue
A richly illustrated catalogue with contributions by Dr Jenny Graser, Dr Dagmar Korbacher, Dr Fabienne Meyer and Dr Kathleen Reinhardt is planned to accompany the exhibition at the Kupferstichkabinett.
Hannah Höch Förderpreis in 2022 Awarded to Farkhondeh Shahroudi
Farkhondeh Shahroudi’s exhibition at the Kuperstichkabinett, part of the Hannah Höch Förderpreis (Advancement Award) she received in 2022, will be shown in parallel with the exhibition for Ruth Wolf-Rehfeldt.

Runtime: Wed, 02/11/2022 to Sun, 05/02/2023

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