The first jury convened in February 2021, to select four artists from the candidates on the longlist for the Preis der Nationalgalerie 2021. Among the criteria for nomination are: a high creative potential, a convincing artistic oeuvre to date and an exceptional, possibly novel artistic approach. The four artists nominated for the shortlist were announced in March 2021. A second jury will select this year’s winner from the nominated artists. You can find out more about the procedure for the Nationalgalerie Prize here.

Second Jury

The members of the second jury will select the winner from the four nominated artist positions on October 7, 2021. The second jury consists of:

Emre Baykal

Emre Baykal (1965, Istanbul) worked as Assistant Director (1995–2000) and Director (2000–2005) of the Istanbul Biennial and as Exhibitions Director at santralistanbul (2005–2008). In 2008, he joined Arter’s team as Exhibitions Director and Curator. Appointed as the curator of the Turkish Pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale in 2013, he has been serving as Chief Curator of Arter since 2016.

Baykal has curated many group exhibitions including “Precaution” (Arter, 2021), What Time is It?” (with Eda Berkmen, Arter, 2019-2020), “Envy, Enmity, Embarrasment” (Arter, 2013), “Tactics of Invisibility” (with Daniela Zyman; T-B A21, Tanas; Arter, Arter, 2010–2011) and “Mahrem” (santralistanbul; Kunsthalle Wien Project Space; Tanas, 2007-2008). Amongst the solo exhibitions he curated as part of Arter’s programme are Ayşe Erkmen (Whitish, 2019–2020), Ali Kazma (timemaker, 2015), Füsun Onur (Through the Looking Glass, 2014) and Mona Hatoum (You Are Still Here, 2012). Baykal contributed to numerous publications and exhibition catalogues and is the author of “Sarkis, Çaylak Sokak” (2019) published as part of Arter’s Close-Up series.

Sven Beckstette

Sven Beckstette is a research assistant at the Nationalgalerie im Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin. In 2008, he received his doctorate on the topic of “The History Painting in the 20th Century” at the Free University of Berlin. This was followed in 2009/10 by a traineeship at the Lenbachhaus, Munich. From 2010 to 2012 he was managing editor of the magazine Texte zur Kunst, of which he is currently a member of the advisory board. Between 2012 and 2016, he was curator at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart.

Gabriele Knapstein © Staatliche Museen zu Berlin

Dr. Gabriele Knapstein is an art historian and curator who became head of the Hamburger Bahnhof – Museum für Gegenwart – Berlin in 2016. After studying history of art, history, and philosophy in Freiburg im Breisgau, Bochum, and Berlin, she received her doctoral degree in 1999 in Kassel with a dissertation on the event scores by the Fluxus artist George Brecht. She has been working as a curator for the Institute of Foreign Cultural Relations (ifa), among other institutions, since 1994. From 2003, Knapstein has served as curator at the Hamburger Bahnhof and, from 2012, as the head of exhibitions there. Selected recent exhibitions include “Bruce Nauman: Dream Passage” (2010), “Architektonika: Art, Architecture and the City” (2011–2012), “Ryoji Ikeda: db ” (2012), “Wall Works” (2013), “Susan Philipsz: Part File Score” (2014), “Black Mountain: An Interdisciplinary Experiment 1933–1957” (2015), “moving is in every direction: Environments – Installations – Narrative Spaces” (2017), “Hello World: Revising a Collection” (2018), “Cevdet Erek: Bergama Stereo” (2019) and “Katharina Grosse. It Wasn’t Us” (2020).


Emma Lavigne © Manuel Braun

A trained art historian, Emma Lavigne has been the president of the Palais de Tokyo since September of 2019 and is slated to join the Pinault Collection as Director on November 1, 2021.

From 2000 to 2008, she was a curator at the Cité de la musique, in Paris, where she set up an ambitious multidisciplinary program, before joining the Centre Pompidou as curator for contemporary art, curating or co-curating major shows such as elles@centrepompidou, Dance Your Life, or the Pierre Huyghe and Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster monographic exhibitions. She became director of the Centre Pompidou-Metz in 2014 (where she curated, among others: Warhol Underground, Infinite Garden, Modern Couples, Yves Klein: The Sky as Studio, as well as solo shows by Rebecca Horn and Susanna Fritscher). She also acted as curator for the French Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2015, presenting the work of Céleste Boursier-Mougenot, and curated the entirety of the 15th Biennale of Lyon in 2017. In 2019, she invited the artiste Kimsooja for a solo project in the first iteration of the Traversées festival in the city of Poitiers. At the Palais de Tokyo, she co-curated the carte blanche solo show of German artist Anne Imhof, entitled “Natures Mortes” in 2021.

Yesomi Umolu

Yesomi Umolu is an arts leader and contemporary curator. She is currently Director of Curatorial Affairs and Public Practice at Serpentine Galleries. Umolu was previously Director and Curator, Logan Center Exhibitions at the University of Chicago where she oversaw an ambitious program of international contemporary art focused on emerging interdisciplinary practices. Prior to joining the Logan, Umolu held curatorial positions at the MSU Broad Museum; Walker Art Center; and Manifesta 8, the European Biennial of Contemporary Art. Umolu has been a visiting lecturer and critic at numerous universities including Williams College; University College London; University of Michigan; and University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, among others. She served on the curatorial advisory board for the United States Pavilion at the 16th Venice Architecture Biennale. She is a trustee of the Graham Foundation for Advanced Studies in the Fine Arts, Chicago.

First Jury


Foto: China Hopson

Since November 2020 Adam Budak is the Director of Kestner Gesellschaft, Hannover. Previously he served as the Artistic Director of the National Gallery Prague (2014-2020), curator for contemporary art at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington DC), 2012-13, and at the Kunsthaus Graz (Universalmuseum Joanneum Austria), 2003-2011. Budak curated numerous exhibitions, including Manifesta 7, Trentino Alto Adige, 2008, Venice Biennale (Polish Pavilion of the Architecture Biennale, 2004 and Estonian Pavilion at Art Biennale, 2013), two editions of Prague Biennale, three editions of the Biennale Gherdëina and Trienala Ladina. One of the most recently curated shows is a survey exhibition of Adrian Paci at the Albanian National Gallery in Tirana (2019). Budak’s interests are focused on the interdisciplinarity of contemporary art and the ontology of image.


Foto: privat

Andrea Lissoni is Artistic Director, Haus der Kunst, Munich. He holds a degree in Modern Art history (University of Pavia) and obtained a PhD from the University of Udine/Université Paris 1. Professor at the Academy of Fine Arts of Brera, Milan (2001–13), and at Bocconi University (2007–13), Milan, Lissoni sits on the Board of Film London and is Board Member of the EYE Prize, Amsterdam. Formerly Senior Curator, International Art (Film) at Tate Modern (2014-20) and previously curator at HangarBicocca, Milan, the co-founder of the independent network Xing and co-director of the international festival Netmage in Bologna (Live Arts Week since 2011), in 2012 he co-founded the online cinema Vdrome, which he runs with Filipa Ramos since. In 2018 he co-curated the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement The Sound of Screens imploding, Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève (OGR Torino, 2019). In 2019 he worked on the launch of the CCA Tashkent, the first public contemporary art center in Uzbekistan, where he curated the solo show by Saodat Ismailova Qo’rg’on Chiroq. With Nicholas Serota and Katy Wan, he co-curated of the travelling exhibition Bruce Nauman (Tate Modern, 2020).


Foto: James Gifford-Mead

Dr. Zoé Whitley is, since March 2020, director of Chisenhale Gallery in London’s East End. A leading non-profit space founded by artists, Chisenhale produces and commissions new works of art with emerging British and international artists. In 2020, Whitley curated Frieze London’s special themed section, Possessions, exploring spirituality and contemporary art, and co-curated Elijah Pierce’s America at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Previous exhibitions to her credit include Cathy Wilkes’ British Pavilion presentation at the Venice Biennale in 2019 and co-curating the award-winning Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power. She writes widely on contemporary artists and 20th century designers, including a children’s book on Frank Bowling and a forthcoming title in the same series on Sophie Taeuber-Arp.
She serves on the 2020-21 Arts Council Collection committee in the UK. Whitley serves on the boards of Creative Access, the only organisation in the UK dedicated to recruiting under-represented talent in the creative industries, and Decolonising Arts Institute, University of the Arts London. Her prior roles include Senior Curator (Hayward Gallery), Curator, International Art (Tate Modern) and Curator of Contemporary Programmes (V&A).


Foto: Alexandra Ivanciu

Franciska Zólyom works as a curator and is the director of GfZK – Museum of Contemporary Art Leipzig. In collaboration with artists, researchers and experts of everyday life GfZK investigates processes of social transformation and explores transcultural phenomena: How does artistic work resonate with the cultural, political and economic context in which it takes place? How do methods of aesthetic research and critical analysis inform individual and collective agency? Many of the curatorial projects by Franciska Zólyom, such as Little Warsaw: The Battle of the Inner Truth, Experimental Jetset: Provo Station, Natascha Süder Happelmann: Ankersentrum, start out from these questions and unfold in the course of interdisciplinary and collaborative processes. At the same time these projects and processes are crucial for shaping the institution and the relations GfZK establishes.