The winner of the Young Grunn Artist III (YGA) competition has been chosen. Following an exciting year-long talent development programme, in which finalists Jurjen Galema, Susanna Inglada and Marit Westerhuis received coaching from curators at NP3 and the Groninger Museum, Westerhuis was named as the winner. She will receive a major solo exhibition in the Groninger Museum’s Coop Himmelb(l)au Pavilion in 2022.
Marit Westerhuis is inspired by how technology develops in relation to the human body in a constantly changing environment. Her work also draws on Bronze Age and Stone Age ritual and sacrifice and views of nature from Germanic myth. For her degree project at the Frank Mohr Institute, she subjected herself to a strict regime of self-examination using self-built measuring equipment with which she meticulously recorded her own personal physical and mental data. Westerhuis’s artistic research is methodical and precise, and material experiments are an essential part of it. In their jury report, the curators commended her wealth of ideas, tenacity, experimentation and ability to continually reinvent herself.
The YGA talent development programme appeared to function as a pressure cooker for Marit Westerhuis. She surprised the curators by quickly transforming complex ideas and inspirations into an exciting, mystical, layered concept. She envisioned the Coop Himmelb(l)au Pavilion as a strange, immersive artificial landscape in a world where human beings are no longer the dominant life form and, in their desperation, seem to seek salvation in archaic spells. In the jury report, the curators said they looked forward to the realisation of the project.
Van Houten foundation partners with YGA
In further good news, the Gerrit van Houten Stichting is to become a partner of the Young Grunn Artist scheme. The foundation manages the artistic legacy of the Groningen painter Gerrit van Houten (1866–1934). His family has preserved 880 drawings, 180 watercolours and 85 paintings – nearly his complete oeuvre. The works show the great talent and promise of Van Houten, whose career ended abruptly when he became mentally ill around the age of 24. The foundation established the Gerrit van Houten Prijs in 2006 in homage to the gifted young painter. Awarded every five years, the prize is intended to encourage the development of talented young artists.
The foundation’s alliance with YGA will serve to futureproof the Gerrit van Houten Prijs. It will increase the impact of the YGA scheme and raise the visibility of the Gerrit van Houten Prijs. The partnership will also enable the expansion of the YGA talent development programme.
About the Young Grunn Artist scheme
The Young Grunn Artist programme is a talent development project of NP3 and the Groninger Museum. Every few years, it provides three selected artists with professional support, helping them to take the next step in their careers and refine and deepen their practice.