The prize, endowed with 5000 €, is intended as a small ray of hope for artists in the current difficult times. The prize winner is the artist BERND KASTNER, born in Düsseldorf in 1957.

The initiator and sponsor of the sponsorship award is a long-standing member of the Kunstverein: the Düsseldorf housing company; Steffens Wohnungsgesellschaft mbH & Co. KG. Affected by the current situation for artists, it spontaneously provided prize money of 5,000 euros in cooperation with 701 e.V..

The artists were nominated by an independent jury consisting of several members of the artistic advisory board. The award was made by the sponsor himself.

It was not a work of art that was judged, but the overall artistic work. The award is intended to give artists the opportunity to work artistically without having to worry about making a living.

BERND KASTNER, born in 1957 in Düsseldorf, where he lives today, left the Düsseldorf Art Academy in 1983 as a master student of Irmin Kamp. A scholarship then took the young artist to the renowned MoMA PS1 in New York City (1983).

Kastner is a sculptor, and he is particularly fascinated by terracotta as a material. The processing and preservation of the material is associated with some difficulties. He succeeds in filling the brittle material with life in an impressive way. For the earth itself, says Bernd Kastner, with its lava core is nothing other than an oversized terracotta oven.

In other material combinations, too, his figurative works, which are at the same time combined with abstract elements, are expressive and sensual, yet gentle and as if enraptured in dreamlike melancholy. Bernd Kastner has presented his works at exhibitions at the Kunsthalle Düsseldorf, the Kunsthalle Darmstadt, the Kunstmuseum Bonn and the Skulpturenpark Köln.

Bernd Kastner has been awarded the Bernhard Hoetger Prize (1985) and the Jürgen Ponto Foundation Prize (1986). He is also a member of STRAFE F.R., a music group from Düsseldorf. It was founded in 1979 by Bernd Kastner and Siegfried M. Syniuga and is active in the field of avant-garde and conceptual music. The full name of the formation is “Strafe Für Rebellion”.