14th Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen


Miriam Cahn will be awarded the 14th Rubens Prize from the City of Siegen on 26 June 2022. Every five years since 1957, the renowned art prize has been awarded to an artist living in Europe for their complete œuvre, with a focus on painting and graphic art. The Rubens Prize is endowed with € 25,000 and also includes a publication and an exhibition at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen.

A jury of experts agreed on the artist Miriam Cahn, born in Basel in 1949, as the new prize winner. They explained their decision as follows: “Miriam Cahn occupies an original painterly position of great expressiveness. Subjective perceptions and feelings are combined with social and political questions in her work. The focus is on the body with all its fragility and vulnerability — also to external factors. This is particularly evident in the works engaging with the situation of refugees. The relationship between the human body and the machine is one theme, as well as the organic, also in the sense of connections between human and non-human beings. From the beginning of her development, Cahn has adopted a consciously feminist, independent and uncompromising stance. Her painting has unfolded independent of academic rules and aesthetics, and employing a wide variety of forms and materials.”

The exhibition MEINEJUDEN opens at the Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen on the day of the award ceremony, offering a comprehensive overview of Miriam Cahn's multifaceted œuvre. In fourteen rooms conceived especially by the artist, she is presenting important groups of works and installations from the last five decades, as well as several new works. In addition to highly expressive, intensely colourful paintings, the exhibition includes floor-to-ceiling chalk drawings, works on paper, sculptures, performative videos, early sketchbooks and texts written by the artist. Taking up her own choice of title for the exhibition, in her current works the Rubens Prize winner deals once more with the fact of being Jewish.

Miriam Cahn has personified one of Switzerland’s most respected artistic standpoints since the 1970s and is now regarded as one of the world’s most important artists. She was invited to documenta 7 in Kassel as early as 1982 and was also represented at the Venice Biennale in 1984. Her work has since been shown in numerous international solo and group exhibitions, including Kunsthalle Basel (1983), Museum of Modern Art, New York (1984), Kunstmuseum Bonn (1985), Kunsthaus Zurich (1993), Fundación La Caixa, Madrid (2003), Neue Nationalgalerie, Berlin (2004), Badischer Kunstverein (2014) and Kunsthalle Kiel (2016). Miriam Cahn was represented at documenta 14, Kassel (2017), and the 21st Sydney Biennale (2018). In 2019 alone, Cahn had major exhibitions across Europe, including the Kunstmuseum Bern, Kunsthaus Bregenz, Reina Sofía Madrid, Haus der Kunst Munich, and the National Gallery of Modern Art Warsaw. This year, The Power Plant, Toronto is showing an extensive solo presentation of the artist’s work. She herself realised "FREMD das fremde" – a site-specific exhibition in Palazzo Castelmur (Canton Graubünden/Switzerland). Her work is currently being presented at the Fondazione ICA Milano, Milan, and in the main exhibition of the 59th Venice Biennale 2022. In 2023, a large solo exhibition by Miriam Cahn will open at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris.

Curator: Thomas Thiel

Supported by the University City of Siegen and the Peter Paul Rubens Foundation

The Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen

The Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen, established in 1955, is one of the most prestigious international art prizes. It is awarded every five years to a painter or graphic artist who has distinguished himself or herself in European art with a pioneering life's work. The award commemorates the painter-diplomat Peter Paul Rubens, who was born in Siegen and who, as a leading master of European Baroque painting, set the artistic standards to which the award has been committed since 1957.

To date, the Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen has been awarded to Hans Hartung (1957), Giorgio Morandi (1962), Francis Bacon (1967), Antoni Tápies (1972), Fritz Winter (1977), Emil Schumacher (1982), Cy Twombly (1987), Rupprecht Geiger (1992), Lucian Freud (1997), Maria Lassnig (2002), Sigmar Polke (2007), Bridget Riley (2012) and Niele Toroni (2017).

The Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection, currently owned by the Museum für Gegenwartkunst Siegen, comprises important and extensive groups of works by all the Rubens Prize winners. Currently amounting to over 300 exhibits, the collection offers an excellent overview of work by the first thirteen Rubens Prize winners. Works by the new prize winner will supplement this collection in future.

The digital feature “The Rubens Prize of the City of Siegen and the Lambrecht-Schadeberg Collection” in the explore area of our website offers you further information.

Press Conference
FRI. 24.6. 12 am
With artist Miriam Cahn, Steffen Mues, Mayor of the City of Siegen and Thomas Thiel, Curator and Director MGKSiegen

Award Ceremony
SUN. 26.6. 2 pm
Miriam Cahn, 14th Rubens Prize from the City of Siegen
Award ceremony in the main hall of the Siegerlandhalle

Exhibition opening
SUN. 26.6. 5 pm
Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Free entry
A lively accompanying programme will focus on the museum: open studio for children, hands-on activities and art guides within the exhibition. Food and drink will be provided.


Stefanie Scheit-Koppitz
Press and Public Relations
Museum für Gegenwartskunst Siegen
Tel. 0271-40577-13
Fax 0271-40577-33

Dr. Sabine Schutz
Media and Public Relations
Universitätsstadt Siegen
Tel. 0271-404-1256
PC-Fax 0271-404-36-1256


Please select the images, videos and audio files for download. These press materials have been copyright cleared for media reproduction in the closer context and coverage of our exhibitions and events. The images shall be used in their entirety, reproduced in colour and not be cropped, super-imposed, or manipulated in any way. Mentioning credits and copyrights is required. We would be pleased about a copy of your publication.

Miriam Cahn, EREIGNISICH, über absturzstelle nachdenken (zitatenbild), 25.4.+26.4.2014, Courtesy of the artist, Galerie Jocelyn Wolff, Paris, und Meyer Riegger, Berlin/Karlsruhe © Miriam Cahn

Portrait Miriam Cahn, 2021, Photo: Lukas Wassmann