Hugo Boss Prize 2000: Marjetica Potrc

Hugo Boss Prize 2000: Marjetica Potrc


Kagiso: Skeleton House Features Two Architectural Installations, Photographs, and Text

Kagiso: Skeleton House, an exhibition of the work of Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrc, the winner of the HUGO BOSS PRIZE 2000, will be presented at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum from February 9 through April 29, 2001. The HUGO BOSS PRIZE, a biannual international award administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, was established in 1996 to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art. Potrc was selected from a group of seven short-listed artists by an international jury of curators and museum directors. With this first exhibition in a major American museum, Potrc's highly original and culturally relevant work will be brought to a much broader audience.

"We are delighted to present the work of Marjetica Potrc as the winner of the HUGO BOSS PRIZE: 2000, " said Thomas Krens, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. "Her textual and sculptural investigations into the notion of shelter and the contemporary city are particularly trenchant today."

"Contemporary art today has many faces," said Werner Baldessarini Chairman and CEO, Hugo Boss AG. "It isn't governed by conventional norms, and often creates compelling new trends and perspectives. We are extremely pleased to honor Marjetica Potrc, whose work embodies the spirit of exploration and ingenuity that this award seeks to recognize."

The exhibition has been organized by Susan Cross, Assistant Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. "Potrc's work focuses on contemporary urban conditions, exploring both the regulated and organic results of the basic human need for shelter," said Cross. For the exhibition mounted in the Guggenheim's Tower 4 gallery, Potrc will install two architectural structures that illustrate the confluence of the planned and unplanned city. "Skeleton House" is based on a subsidized housing model in South Africa in which the floor, roof, and plumbing system is provided while the individual owner is responsible for creating the walls and interior spaces. "In her installation," Cross notes, "Potrc demonstrates how the spirit of the universal, colloquial building style of the shanty, or favela—or what she calls "individual initiatives"—has been recognized by regulatory bodies as a positive paradigm for viable and affordable housing solutions."

"Skeleton House" will be exhibited in conjunction with a smaller dwelling-a home-made shack constructed from a mix of cast-off or easily acquired building materials. While the "Skeleton House" is intended to replace temporary shelters of this type, it clearly relies on them for inspiration. Within both structures, Potrc demonstrates, one may find beauty and an indomitable creativity and resourcefulness. In addition to these installations, the exhibition will include a series of the artist's photographic works—combinations of appropriated images and text—which provide a larger world context for the "Skeleton House."

"She approaches the city as a living organism—vulnerable, yet vital in its constant reinvention of itself according to the necessities of everyday existence," noted Nancy Spector, Curator of Contemporary Art, Guggenheim Museum, and a juror for the HUGO BOSS PRIZE: 2000. "Finding an energy and a certain poetry in the architecture of the disenfranchised, Potrc creates an anti-monumental art that rethinks the concepts of publicity and privacy."

Potrc was born in 1953 in Ljubljana, Slovenia. She received degrees in architecture and fine arts at the University of Ljubljana and is presently an Associate Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts, Ljubljana. Potrc's work has been featured in many solo exhibitions throughout Europe and the United States, including shows at the Mala Gallery, Moderna Galerija, Ljubljana (1988); ifa-galerie, Stuttgart (1995); Gallery 21, St. Petersburg (1996); Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York (1996), and SKUC Gallery, Ljubljana (2000). She was selected, along with the artist collective IRWIN, to represent Slovenia at the Venice Biennale in 1993. She has also participated in group exhibitions throughout the world, including the 23. Bienal Internacional de São Paulo (1996); Skulptur. Projekte in Münster (1997); Do It, SKUC Gallery, Ljubljana (1998); La Casa, il Corpo, il Cuore: Konstruktion der Identitäten, Museum Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig, Vienna (1999); Urban Visions, Worcester Art Museum, Worcester, Massachusetts (1999); and Manifesta 3, Ljubljana (2000). In addition, Potrc has received numerous awards including grants from the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (1993 and 1999) and the Soros Center for Contemporary Arts, Ljubljana (1994), Parque de la Memoria Sculpture Prize, Beunos Aires (2000), and a Philip Morris Kunstförderung Grant to participate in the International Studio Program of Künstlerhaus Bethanien in Berlin (2000). She currently resides in Berlin.

In conjunction with this year's HUGO BOSS PRIZE, the Guggenheim has published a catalogue that features the work of all seven finalists, including Vito Acconci, Maurizio Cattelan, Michael Elmgreen & Ingar Dragset, Tom Friedman, Barry Le Va, and Tunga, in addition to Marjetica Potrc. The catalogue includes articles by Jan Avjikos, Francesco Bonami, Alison Gingeras, Thyzra Nichols Goodeve, Klaus Kertess, Ralph Rugoff, and Octavio Zaya, with an introduction by Thomas Krens. The catalogue is available for $19.95.

On Tuesday, March 20, at 7 pm, the Guggenheim presents A Conversation with Marjetica Potrc in the Peter B. Lewis Theater of the Sackler Center for Arts Education at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1071 Fifth Avenue (at 89th Street). For more information, call (212) 423-3587, Monday through Friday, 1-5 pm, or email at

Prize History
The inaugural HUGO BOSS PRIZE was presented in 1996 to American artist Matthew Barney. The second HUGO BOSS PRIZE was presented in 1998 to Scottish artist Douglas Gordon. The Guggenheim Museum and HUGO BOSS have worked together on a wide variety of activities since 1995. In addition to the HUGO BOSS PRIZE, these have included retrospectives of the work of Georg Baselitz, Ross Bleckner, Francesco Clemente, Ellsworth Kelly, and Robert Rauschenberg, and special projects with Laurie Anderson, Jeff Koons, and James Rosenquist.

January 16, 2001

For Press Information: Betsy Ennis
Department of Public Affairs
Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
Telephone: (212) 423-3840
Telefax: (212) 423-3787

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