FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
J. PAUL GETTY TRUST ANNOUNCES J. PAUL GETTY MEDAL TO GO TO ARTIST ANSELM KIEFER AND WRITER MARIO VARGAS LLOSA
Awards to be presented at a celebratory dinner at the Morgan Library in New York City, November 13, 2017
LOS ANGELES – The J. Paul Getty Trust announced today it will present the annual J. Paul Getty Medal to artist Anselm Kiefer and writer Mario Vargas Llosa at a dinner in New York City on November 13, 2017.
Since it was established in 2013 by the trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the medal has been awarded to six individuals to honor their extraordinary contributions to the practice, understanding and support of the arts.
“We shall honor two of the world’s great artists. Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa are both engaged in big ideas and historic moments, and they share with the Getty a passionate commitment to global culture,” said Maria Hummer-Tuttle, chair, J. Paul Getty Board of Trustees.
Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, college professor and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. His books have been translated into more than 40 languages. “Mario Vargas Llosa shares with the Getty an unshakeable commitment to the moral and intellectual value of the arts,” said James Cuno, president of the J. Paul Getty Trust. “He is the epitome of an engaged, public intellectual, who believes that writers should write with the conviction that by writing, they can help others become more free, sensitive and lucid.”
Anselm Kiefer is a German painter and sculptor noted for powerful work and complex subject matter. His art deals with controversial issues from recent history, including the devastating power of war, the cycle of destruction and renewal, the place of women in history, and the relation of micro- and macrocosm. His works are included in numerous public collections, including the Museum of Modern Art and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; and The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. “His work is epic in its ambition and references the travails of history,” said Cuno. “He tells a rich and confounding narrative, full of deep and life-enriching pathos.”
Past recipients of the J. Paul Getty Medal have included Harold Williams and Nancy Englander, who were honored for their leadership in creating today’s Getty; Lord Jacob Rothschild, for his leadership in the preservation of built cultural heritage; Frank Gehry, for transforming the built landscape with buildings such as the Walt Disney Concert Hall; Yo-Yo Ma, for his efforts to further understanding of the world’s diverse cultures; and Ellsworth Kelly, for paintings and sculptures of the highest quality and originality.
Mario Vargas Llosa
Mario Vargas Llosa was born in Arequipa, and also spent parts of his youth in Cochabamba (Bolivia), Piura in northern Peru and Lima.
He made his debut as a novelist with The Time of the Hero (1962), set in Leoncio Prado military Academy, where he had been a student. The book received an immediate international recognition. His many other works include the novels Conversation in The Cathedral, The Green House, The Real Life of Alejandro Mayta, Who Killed Palomino Molero?, The Storyteller, Aunt Julia and the Scriptwriter, The Feast of the Goat, The Bad Girl, The Dream of the Celt, The Discreet Hero and the theatre plays La Chunga, Kathie and the Hippopotamus, The Young Lady from Tacna, among others.
He has also published several books of essays. He writes for El País (Piedra de Toque), and the cultural magazine Letras Libres (Extemporáneos) published in Mexico and in Spain. His books have been translated into more than forty languages.
Mario Vargas Llosa has also been an outspoken participant in the world of politics, as a prolific essayist and candidate for elected office.
He has received a long list of prestigious literary awards, including the Leopoldo Alas Prize (1959), the Rómulo Gallegos Prize (1967), the National Critics’ Prize (1967), the Critics’ Annual Prize for Theatre (1981), the Prince of Asturias Prize (1986), the Miguel de Cervantes Prize (1994) -- the Spanish-speaking world’s most distinguished literary honor, the Jerusalem Prize (1995), the Peace Prize of the German Book Trade (1996), the PEN/Nabokov Award (2002), the Nobel Prize (2010) and numerous Doctor Honoris Causa degrees from prestigious universities.
Anselm Kiefer’s monumental body of work represents a microcosm of collective memory, visually encapsulating a broad range of cultural, literary, and philosophical allusions—from the Old and New Testaments, Kabbalah mysticism, Norse mythology and Wagner’s Ring Cycle to the poetry of Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan.
Born in Donaueschingen, Germany in 1945 during the closing months of World War II, Kiefer reflects upon Germany’s post-war identity and history, grappling with the national mythology of the Third Reich. Fusing art and literature, painting and sculpture, Kiefer engages the complex events of history and the ancestral epics of life, death, and the cosmos.
Kiefer’s oeuvre encompasses paintings, vitrines, installations, artist books, and an array of works on paper such as drawings, watercolors, collages, and altered photographs. The physical elements of his practice—from lead, concrete, and glass to textiles, tree roots, and burned books—are as symbolically resonant as they are vast-ranging. By integrating, expanding, and regenerating imagery and techniques, he brings to light the importance of the sacred and spiritual, myth and memory.
Kiefer’s work has been shown and collected by major museums worldwide including the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Grand Palais and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, France; The Royal Academy of Arts, London; Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid and Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, Spain; Fondation Beyeler, Basel, Switzerland; The Israel Museum, Jerusalem and the Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Israel; The Art Institute of Chicago; The Philadelphia Museum of Art; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, Canada; Sezon Museum of Art, Tokyo, Kyoto National Museum of Art, and Hiroshima Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan.
The J. Paul Getty Trust is an international cultural and philanthropic institution devoted to the visual arts that includes the J. Paul Getty Museum, the Getty Research Institute, the Getty Conservation Institute, and the Getty Foundation. The J. Paul Getty Trust and Getty programs serve a varied audience from two locations: the Getty Center in Los Angeles and the Getty Villa in Pacific Palisades.
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