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Art Society Rosenheim: Art Award, Laudation for Keiyona C. Stumpf (2019), Dr. Ulrich Schäfert


That’s disturbing, that’s loud, that’s upsetting, that’s a tiny bit gaudy, that’s somehow disgusting, that’s not easy to take in …

That’s also what we felt as a jury for the art award of the annual exhibition. There had been many strong positions, harmonious positions, sophisticated positions. But this one position was somehow irritating. A position that is not moving on solid ground, that is gorgeous and voluptuous, and at the same time gaudy and disgusting, combining opposites. A piece of work that is unique because it introduces many conceptual spaces and associations.

A friend who later becomes a bosom buddy isn’t necessarily likable from the beginning. Something about her or him is annoying, and only later one recognizes that the other person’s qualities are touching, maybe precisely because he or she is different, so completely different than one would expect or from one’s own qualities, even though one always wishes to be affirmed in her or his position. During jurying, Ms. Kneiper told us about a recent symposium at a museum where they had had a pivotal recognition: a museum or an art exhibition is supposed to enable experiences of difference. Not with what one already knows and likes, but with something new that is unfamiliar and strange. Only then tolerance can be developed, and joy about diversity in this world. And after this examination that which is annoying can become one’s bosom buddy and broaden one’s horizon. Therefore, the awarded art piece is called “Bosom Body” – number 104 in the catalogue. Warm congratulations to Keiyona Constanze Stumpf for receiving the art award 2019 of the Art Society Rosenheim for her work “bosom body II”!

Keiyona Constanze Stumpf was born in 1982. She lives and works near Augsburg and in Munich. From 2011-2016, she studied art at the Academy of Fine Arts Munich (Akademie der Bildenden Künste München) and graduated in Markus Karstieß’ (former Prangenberg) art class. Although still a young artist, she already received a number of awards: in 2018 the art award of the county of Augsburg, in 2017 the debutant award of Gedok Munich and the art award of the Art Society Aichach. Also in 2017, she received a scholarship for Fine Arts from Munich for a porcelain project.


Let us take a closer look at the awarded art piece:

Intricacy is already inherent in the title: a close friend is a bosom buddy. But here we find “bosom body”, a play of words that refers to the body as a bosom buddy, as a friend in all her/his recalcitrance and vulnerability: Therefore, in this ceramic work “bosom body II” a rib cage seems to open up at second glance, allowing the spectator to look into a fantastic, surreal chest filled with many structures, from which anemones and mussels seem to be sprawling and are hanging down lushly, being reminiscent of rose garlands or prayer ropes.


The piece of work reflects natural processes such as growing and decaying, order and chaos.

Abstraction and graphicness are related to each other in a fruitful tension: on the one hand we have a wildly proliferating, multi-variant symmetry in baroque exuberance, on the other hand manyfold and representational associative anchors. A combination of opposites:

Shudder and Splendor
Flesh and Phony Piety
Corals and Corporal Openings
Aliens and Arabesque
Rocaille and Riddles

It all seems to consist of flesh, of skin, and at the same time it gets under one’s skin.

All of this is displayed in voluptuous, grotesque beauty. At the same time, in this carnal vulnerability lies the highest truth. Here, the age-old word pair truth and beauty meets for a daring rendezvous. The artist herself implies during an interview that the perception of beauty does have consequences: People, she says, have “a kind of sense of beauty, and that results in us having certain ethics”.

Concerning the craftsmanship, the piece of work is skillfully burned out of one piece in ceramics, supplemented by chains threaded on a silicone chord. The warm, ocher and red glazes are evocative of baroque porcelain.

This sculpture presents itself as an ambivalent yet still reliable being. I can face the “bosom body” straightforwardly and unclothed, also with my less perfect body parts, with all my creatureliness. The fragile natural structures also evoke associations of our nature’s endangerment.

Elisabeth Mehrl articulated it quite well after jurying: “I also think that the material of her art piece is quite appropriate for the content – ‘frozen state of yearning’, which in spite of celebrating a vehement appearance simultaneously allows one to feel its fragility (through the materiality).”

We would like to express our warm congratulations to the award winner!                                                                                          

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