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Press release | 2 October 2020

Van Lanschot Kempen Art Prize awarded to Ellen Gallagher

Published: 11.00 CET

The Van Lanschot Kempen Art Prize has been awarded to a very prominent artist: Ellen Gallagher. During the selection process, the jury was impressed with the quality, diversity, and originality of Gallagher’s oeuvre. The Van Lanschot Kempen Art Prize award ceremony was held on 30 September 2020 during an online event in honour of the 25th anniversary of Van Lanschot in Switzerland.


Ever since the 19th century, the support of art, culture, artists, and museums has been the way for Van Lanschot Kempen to contribute to the preservation and building of cultural heritage in the Netherlands and abroad. That is why this wealth management company annually awards the Van Lanschot Kempen Art Prize to a Benelux-based mid-career artist whose work reflects a strong dialogue with current themes of today’s society.

The latter aspect was something that highly impressed the jury in Gallagher’s work. ‘Everything Ellen creates matters. In her work, Gallagher explores and analyses African American history and culture drawing from poetic language and using a wide variety of media, including painting and film-based installations. We hope that by winning this prize, Ellen Gallagher will gain greater recognition in the Benelux countries,’ according to the jury.

Ellen Gallagher was born on 16 December 1965 in Providence, Rhode Island, in the United States. Today, she divides her time living in Rotterdam and New York. She has exhibited her work in countless solo and group exhibitions, including in Tate Liverpool and the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her work also features in the permanent collections of many major museums, such as the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and Tate Modern in London. Her body of work includes paintings, drawings, collages, and films. Gallagher has won a range of prizes in the United States for her oeuvre, but had not yet been formally recognized for her work in the Benelux region.

Since the 2018 edition, a jury of art connoisseurs has nominated candidates and selected a winner each year. The winner is rewarded with a cheque for € 25,000, a catalogue of the artist’s body of work, and a temporary exhibition.

For further details, please contact

Sander Kloots: +31 6 83 17 50 07;

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