Henk Helmantel awarded Sacha Tanja Penning

Groningen painter Henk Helmantel has been awarded the Sacha Tanja Penning. He was awarded the award Friday at the Drents Museum Assen, where only this weekend is a big overview of his realistic paintings.

In addition to the badge, he received a sum of โ‚ฌ10,000 from jury chairman Wim Pijbes. The former director of the Rijksmuseum stated that Helmantel had been voted unanimously as the winner. โ€œOf course, the painter had earned the badge years ago. After all, his work, loved by a large audience, is the epitome of realistic painting in our country.โ€

Helmantel rejoiced with the prize. โ€œIt‘s very special that I get to receive these. I knew Sacha Tanja personally. She has been with me several times at the studio in Westeremden.โ€


It is the seventeenth time the Sacha Tanja Penning has been awarded. The award owes its name to the first consevator of the ING Collection. In this role Sacha Tanja has worked for years to promote and stimulate contemporary figurative art. According to Pijbes, Tanja, who died in 2004 at the age of 62, would definitely be delighted with Helmantel as a laureate. โ€œShe loved finely painted work, the artisanal skill that speaks of a composition, of still lifes that call for contemplation.โ€

Previous winners include Matthijs Rรถling, Herman Gordijn, Philip Akkerman, Tony van der Vorst and Museum More. Last year, young talent Robin Speijer was awarded. This year, the badge is mainly intended as an oeuvre prize and as a ‘deep bending‘ for an artist who has chosen his own realistic path almost stoically for more than sixty years, Pijbes said.

This year’s jury of the Sacha Tanja Penning consisted of: Emily Ansenk (director Holland Festival), Sanne ten Brink (head of ING art collection), collector and founder of Museum Voorlinden Joop van Caldenborgh, artist Robin Speijer and jury chairman Wim Pijbes (director Stichting Stichting Dream and Deed),