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10th Biennial Competition! 2019 Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibit for Painting



Images - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 5
Total Media - Minimum: 5, Maximum: 5

Entry Fee (Biennial Competition - Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibit): $35.00

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Biennial Competition - Alexander Rutsch Award and Exhibition for Painting 2019
Solo Exhibition: May 3 – June 22, 2019 and $5,000 cash award

Pelham Art Center Announces its 10th Biennial
Alexander Rutsch (1916 – 1997) was an artist who actively supported Pelham Art Center for more than 25 years. After his death, friends and supporters of Alexander Rutsch and his family established a generous and significant fund. The fund supports a biennial open, juried competition in painting. A $5,000 cash prize and a solo exhibition at Pelham Art Center are awarded to the winner. This program continues Rutsch’s belief that art transcends all of our humanity. Rutsch saw art as “the stone in the water sending ripples throughout the universe.” His extraordinary work, rich in the celebration of life and our shared human experiences, is included in many public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe.

All entries must be submitted through the CaFE website. Entries will be accepted starting September 1, 2018, through January 25, 2019. Only U.S.-based artists, 19 years of age and older, are eligible to apply.

Entry Fee
$35 per applicant, for five images of available work. Pay by credit card through the secure online entry form. Payment must be made through the entry form. Entry fees are non-refundable.

Entry Receipt Deadline: January 25, 2019, 11:59pm MST (i.e. 1:59am EST, 12:59am CST, 10:59pm PST)

Finalists Notified: February 4, 2019
Winner Notified: March 2, 2019
Exhibition Dates: May 3 – June 22, 2019

Opening Reception & Award Presentation: Friday, May 3, 2019, 6:30-8:00 pm

The prize winner will be awarded a solo exhibition at Pelham Art Center and a cash award of $5,000.

Submit five (5) digital painting images through the online entry form. Any images submitted MUST be available for possible exhibition.
· File format: JPEG only
· File dimensions: No smaller than 1200 pixels on the longest side
· File resolution: 72 ppi/dpi (standard web resolution)
· File size: 5 MB maximum

Work Size
Paintings must not exceed 84 x 84 inches.

Finalists will be contacted and required to submit an artist’s statement, résumé, and images of 20 additional available works.

About Alexander Rutsch
Alexander Rutsch was born in Vienna, Austria. After studying voice in Austria, he became an opera singer like his parents, but after WWII, Rutsch’s love for visual expression propelled him to change careers. He was a painter, sculptor, philosopher, musician, singer, and poet. His life as a romantic is reflected in his work, as he sought to perfect his soul and humanity. “I paint my dreams,” said Rutsch. “My dreams are color and life. They soar in my head like millions of symphonies. I can never stop building dreams.”
In 1952, after studying under Josef Dorowsky, Josef Hoffmann, and Herbert Boeckl at the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts, Alexander Rutsch received a scholarship to study in France, where he made contacts and began collaborations with his contemporaries Picasso and Dali, among others. Rutsch said of his experiences with Picasso, “Picasso played a short but important moment in my life in Paris that affected my entire artistic future. I learned from him that it is not important if art is not aesthetically finished. It can be raw, uncooked, rough. If an artist feels he has said it – it is not important to polish or finish it. Because of Picasso, I learned that if I don’t feel the need to finish – I don’t have to.” In 1954, he exhibited his work at the Salon Artistique International de Saceux and won first prize for abstract painting, the first of many awards during his prolific career.
During the 13 years he lived in Paris, Rutsch exhibited in many prominent galleries there and throughout Europe. In 1958, the City of Paris awarded him with the prestigious Arts, Science and Letters Silver Medal. In 1966, Jean Desvilles presented his prize winning film “Le Monde de Rutsch” at the Cannes Film Festival and the Venice Biennial. In 1968, Rutsch moved to Pelham, New York, where he continued to work in his studio and exhibit in galleries and museums worldwide.
Rutsch’s work, as seen through his mastery of various art forms – sculpture, painting, print-making, and drawing – has been described as “vibrating showers of lines, bold geometries, wounded anatomically rambling scrap-wood skeletons, enigmatic totem figures, and congregations of fetishized, domesticated, and recycled rubbish heaps [that] conspire to a fantasy of Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Fauvism, Cobra, and Primitivism.” His pieces, as described by Emily Genauer, impart silence and the monumentality of primitive statuary. His sculptures are stylized to abstract construction made of “found” objects, welded and reshaped into bronze figures and animals of uncommon wit, airy grace, and individuality. His portraits are crisp, intense, spare linear characterizations that convey empathy. Pelham Art Center is proud to sponsor a competition and award to honor the memory and artistic achievement of Alexander Rutsch. Visit to learn more.

Previous Winners
2017: Sammy Chung
2015: Lindy Chambers
2013: Siobhan McBride
2011: Nina Rizzo
2009: Tracy Miller
2007: Liang Guo
2005: Dorothy Robinson
2003: Mitchell Marco
2001: Frank Trankina

About Pelham Art Center
Pelham Art Center is a non-profit educational and cultural institution committed to providing public access to see, study and experience the arts, foster lifelong arts appreciation and thereby strengthen the community. The Art Center was founded in 1970 and now serves more than 16,000 people each year.


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