‘A natural talent that makes vital, powerful and energetic work. ‘ Neo Matloga, winner of the tenth ABN Amro Kunstprijs, is described in the jury report. The South African artist, who lives and works in Amsterdam for a large part of the year, receives, in addition to €10,000, a publication designed by Irma Boom and two exhibitions of work, one at the Hermitage Amsterdam, the other at the bank‘s headquarters at the Zuidas.
A little duped Neo Matloga took on Wednesday morning all the praise received during an online press conference. Previously, flowers had already been awarded to him in a small circle. “I am very honored and recognized with this award,” he said. In the coming months he will work hard for the two exhibitions, which are due to open in early December. “I don’t have a definite plan or theme in mind yet.”
Matloga (1993) has been very promising for years, since his stay in De Ateliers in Amsterdam in 2016 his star was rising in the Dutch art world. He was notable for the black and white palette, the basic colours of his collages, drawings and paintings. It is not for nothing the colours that caused complex contradictions in society in his homeland for decades. Matloga grew up in South Africa after Apartheid. His work is therefore more about interpersonal relationships than politics and problems.
Love and security
Jury member and artist Natasja Kensmil calls Matloga ‘a painter with a distinctly distinctive signature‘. “He immediately intrigued me.” Director Annabelle Birnie of the Hermitage welcomes the choice for the young South African. “His work is very intimate.” The paintings give an insight into the everyday, homely cosiness of his youth. He prefers to tell cheerful stories of families of color, full of love and security.
The Abn Amro Art Prize is intended for the stimulation of young talent. The first four winners were foreign artists in Nerland: Fahrettin Örenli (2004), Eylem Aladogan (2005), Ryan Gander (2006) and Melissa Gordon (2007). After that, the award was awarded five times in a row to talented artists in the Netherlands. Melvin Moti was the first to win in 2015, followed by Marijn van Kreij (2016), Saskia Noor van Imhoff (2017), Helen Verhoeven (2018) and Evelyn Taocheng Wang (2019).