Exhibition — 19 Oct 2019 until 22 Mar 2020

This year, the Prix de Rome Visual Arts will be held at the Stedelijk Museum. The exhibition presents new work by the nominated artists: Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen, Esiri Erheriene-Essi, Femke Herregraven and Rory Pilgrim.

The international jury made its selection from a list of 108 artists, some of whom were proposed by 23 scouts engaged by the Mondriaan Fund. Other artists initiated proposals themselves or were nominated by a third party. The four shortlisted artists were all nominated by scouts.


  • The collaboration between Sander Breure (1985) and Witte van Hulzen (1984) started ten years ago by making dance performances. Since then, they’ve moved to the field of visual arts as a platform for performances, videos and sculptures. An important source of their work is a dramaturgical analysis of daily life and their observations of human behavior. The jury appreciates the ways in which they develop and formulate their observations to build richly imaginative stories. Sander Breure & Witte van Hulzen were nominated by Nathanja van Dijk.
  • Esiri Erheriene-Essi's (1982) figurative paintings are colorful depictions of everyday life that unravel implicit commentaries on society and history. Her tableaux incorporate images, objects and documents from her personal archive to voice and render visible forgotten or unseen historical narratives. Her paintings offer new readings of history by combining traditional painterly styles with a modern understanding of society. The jury appreciates the richness and complexities of the artist’s paintings and her ability to activate and engage with urgent socio-political issues in a subtle way. Esiri Erhiene-Essi was nominated by Ronald Ophuis.
  • Femke Herregraven’s (1982) research-based art practice focuses on financial and geological self-organising systems that influence the course of history. The underpinning research provides input for developing new calculations, speculations and conversations that inform her drawings, writings, scripts, videos and installations. The jury appreciates Herregraven’s focus on new technologies and her ability to translate complex systems into transparent vocabularies. Femke Herregraven was nominated by Arnisa Zego.
  • Rory Pilgrim (1988) works with a wide range of media including sound, song writing, film, music, video, drawing and live performance. Centred around emancipatory concerns, Pilgrim’s work aims to challenge the very nature of how we come together, speak, listen and strive for social change through sharing and voicing personal experiences. Influenced by the origins and impact of activist, feminist and socially engaged art, Pilgrim works often with several collaborators and communities, through dialogues, collaboration and workshops. The jury appreciates his poetic grounding and his inclusive approach to a range of social issues, including solidarity and a sense of community that emanates from his work. Rory Pilgrim was nominated by Anke Bangma and Louwrien Wijers.

About the Prix the Rome

The Prix de Rome is the oldest and most generous prize in the Netherlands for visual artists under the age of 40, and architects under the age of 35. The aim of the prize is to promote talented artists, and support their development and visibility. The Mondriaan Fund has been responsible for organising the award since 2012, and is working with the Stedelijk Museum on this year’s edition. The Stedelijk programme recently featured shows by previous participants, such as Magali Reus (winner 2015) and Saskia Noor van Imhoff (nominated in 2017). 

More info: www.prixderome.nl