International Art Grant

Fernando Sánchez Castillo (right) while placing 5.000 Tank Men at the Albertinum in Dresden. Photo: Jürgen Lange, SKD

In July, Fernando Sánchez Castillo started his art residency in Dresden within the context of the International Art Grant of the Foundation of Arts and Music for Dresden. “We are delighted that Fernando Sánchez Castillo accepted our grant and that he will live and work in our city until December”, states Dr. Ralf Lunau, chair of the foundation board. “The objective is to draw contemporary artistic positions from abroad into our city and to promote Dresden as a city of art on an international level.” 

This year, the foundation awards a visual artist from abroad with its first „Artist-in-Residence-Grant“. A committee selected Fernando Sánchez Castillo, who was born in Madrid in 1970. In Spain, he counts as one of the most important artists of his generation; in Germany, his art work is hardly known. The artist tackles questions of cultural memory, examines ways in which political power is consolidated and which role historical myths can play in this context. Public space serves him as a foil and catalyzer. Through film, sculpture, and performance, he openly seeks the dialogue with his audience. According to Martina de Maizière, executive director of the foundation, “Dresden will be challenged as a constantly negotiated site of cultural memory by the artist’s critical eyes and his creative spirit. We would like to make the artistic process of creation visible to the general public.” The foundation seeks to present his art work and to establish cooperations with local artists and institutions for that purpose. Currently, the Albertinum stages his installation “Made in China”: In China, Fernando Sánchez Castillo had 5000 green plastic figures manufactured based on the photograph of the man who became known as “Tank Man” when he bravely stood against the tanks on Tiananmen Square in Bejing in 1989.

The foundation awards the artist a monthly stipend and provides an apartment and a studio at no cost. The studio is located at the artist's space „geh8“, which makes sure that Sánchez Castillo will be part of a lively community of artists

Fernando Sánchez Castillo wishes to explore Dresden’s urban spaces: “Dresden is ready for an increasing presence of contemporary art in public spaces. The vision to build a city specifically modulated by art in combination with nature has always been a strong tradition in the city. I wish to catch up on this tradition, especially since public art generates a discussion about the possibilities of dialogue itself. I hope to involve the people of Dresden into my projects and to commonly create situations through contemporary art strategies. I am not interested in a personal style. Rather, I am convinced that every situation requires specific ways of resolution.  A wide variety of techniques and professionals are always part of my new projects.”

The non-profit Foundation of Arts and Music for Dresden was established by the city of Dresden in 2012 in order to serve the common good as a nonpartisan supporter of music, artistic and cultural education as well as contemporary arts. Its objective is to strengthen Dresden’s international recognition as a hub of arts and culture. The foundation pools active citizenship and is home to an international network supporting arts and music in Dresden. In sping 2015, the foundation board decided to fund eight projects with a total of 70.000 €.

The committee of the International Art Grant:

  • Dr. Hedda im Brahm-Droege, vice chair of the supervisory board of the Droege Group AG, member of the Association of Friends of the Kunstsammlung Nordrhein-Westfalen e. V, art collector

  • Prof. Dr. Hartwig Fischer, Director general of Staatliche Kunstsammlungen Dresden (State art collection of Saxony)

  • Prof. Dr. Christoph Grunenberg, Director of Kunsthalle Bremen (Art Hall Bremen), Chair of the committee

  • Ralf Lehmann, Gallery owner, Dresden

  • Prof. Dr. Martin Roth, Member of the foundation board, Director of the Victoria and Albert Museum, London

  • Klaus F. K. Schmidt, Chair of the board of trustees, art collector


Artist’s talk with Fernando Sánchez Castillo at Albertinum on Thursday, 27th August 2015, 6:30 pm (in English). Start with an informal Apéro at the courtyard (“Lichthof”) at Albertinum at 6 pm.

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