Deutsche Bank

Artist of the Year

Caline Aoun: Deutsche Bank’s "Artist of the Year" 2018

Caline Aoun is Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” 2018. In the fall of 2018, she will show her first large-scale institutional exhibition at Berlin’s newly opened forum for art, culture, and sports at Prinzessinnenpalais.

Caline Aoun. Beirut 2016. Photo © Cherine Karam

Born in Beirut in 1983, Aoun is one of a generation of young Lebanese artists who grew up abroad after civil war broke out in 1975 and completed their artistic training outside the country. She studied in London at Central Saint Martins School of Art and Design and the Royal Academy Schools, completing her doctorate in fine arts at the University of East London in 2012. Originally using painting as a conceptual strategy to add another layer of mediation to the heavily mediated images she was exposed to, she decided briefly after completing her degree to abandon painting and began experimenting with photography and digital printing techniques.

In her work, the artist, who now lives near Beirut, combines strategies of minimalism and conceptual art with the question of how the evolution of digital technologies alters our perception of images and information.

The award “Artist of the Year” is given at the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, consisting of the renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn. The award goes to a contemporary artist who has created an oeuvre that is artistically and socially relevant integrating the media of paper and photography, the two main areas of focus of the Deutsche Bank Collection.

“I am impressed by Caline Aoun’s obsession with printing to capture all the things that are fading away.” writes Hou Hanru, Artistic Director of the MAXXI, Rome, in a statement on the jury’s selection. “She transforms the attention for her intimate surroundings into a gaze at the globalizing world. Her work echoes so beautifully, in silence, the way in which the world turns around today, with everything being packed in shipping containers carried away on a boat merging with the sunset over the horizon. But, with her touch, the containers are wide open, and everything is gone…only the human breath remains.”

Aoun discovers her source material in the realms of public life that are shaped by digital technology: logistics, architecture, advertising, or urban planning. In one of her latest projects, Fields of Space (2016), she makes use of the Beirut port’s objects – shipping container floors, ledgers, industrial shipping palettes – and data to reimagine the ways in which we envision and interact with space and the materiality around us. Mundane elements that are normally overlooked become objects to gaze at. Aoun manipulates information and disrupts the common constructed reading of familiar objects, assigning new values to what otherwise would simply fade in the urban panorama.

Caline Aoun’s solo exhibitions include Fields of Space, Marfa', Beirut (2016), Remote Local, Art Basel Statements, Basel (2015), Concrete Layers, Greynoise, Dubai (2015), The Future of Smart Technology in your Hands, Noshowspace, London (2013), Scape, Sartorial Project Space, London (2009). Her work has been exhibited in a number of group exhibitions, including Spy with my Little Eye . . ., Casa Árabe, Madrid and Mosaic Room, London (2015), Dust, Centre for Contemporary Art at Ujazdowski Castle, Warsaw (2015), Exposure 2012, Beirut Art Center. Her work will also be included in the upcoming Home Beirut: Sounding the Neighbors, starting November 14 at the MAXXI in Rome.

After Wangechi Mutu, Yto Barrada, Roman Ondák, Imran Qureshi, Victor Man, Koki Tanaka, Basim Magdy and Kemang Wa Lehulere, Caline Aoun is now Deutsche Bank’s ninth international “Artist of the Year.”

Deutsche Bank’s Art, Culture & Sports division is a global unit that concentrates, cross-links and develops Deutsche Bank’s activities and strengthens the company’s cultural diversity.

More information at and
Register here for your ArtMag newsletter to keep up-to-date.

ArtMag provides information about current trends in contemporary art, exhibitions, and artists connected to the Deutsche Bank Collection. Discover Deutsche Bank's worldwide art activities with ArtMag: Online since 2002 and also available in print.

More on the "Artists of the Year"

Kemang Wa Lehulere – "Artist of the Year" 2017


24.03. – 24.06.2017

South African artist Kemang Wa Lehulere is Deutsche Bank's "Artist of the Year" 2017. He presented his first institutional solo exhibition in Germany at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in spring 2017. On display are installations, drawings, as well as a mural relief and a video, which are based on extensive research.

ArtMag: Bird Song: Kemang Wa Lehulere

Basim Magdy – "Artist of the Year" 2016


Basim Magdy (*1977 in Assiut, Egypt) is Deutsche Bank’s “Artist of the Year” 2016 and will present his first institutional solo exhibition at the  Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin next spring. His multifaceted oeuvre includes film, photography, slide projections, installations, and works on paper.

ArtMag: Permanent Presence: Basim Magdy

Koki Tanaka – "Artist of the Year" 2015


With “A Vulnerable Narrator”, the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle presentend the first solo show by Koki Tanaka in Europe. The Japanese artist references the history of “art activism” and views his work as a gentle yet sustainable approach to this movement. The exhibition, consisting of video installations, large scale photographs and drawings, is a laboratory of sorts, one that ties together a decade’s worth of projects, ideas, and documents.

ArtMag: A Methodology for the Future – Koki Tanaka’s art activism

5 Years Deutsche Bank "Artist of the Year"


After Wangechi Mutu (2010), Yto Barrada (2011), Roman Ondák (2012), and Imran Qureshi (2013), Victor Man is Deutsche Bank's fifth "Artist of the Year." The award is given on the recommendation of the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, which consists of the renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn. The focus is on artists who have already amassed a substantial oeuvre and have blazed new trails both formally and in terms of content.


Victor Man – "Artist of the Year" 2014


With their choice of the Romanian artist, Deutsche Bank has selected one of the most interesting protagonists in the contemporary art scene. Victor Man exhibited his seemingly mysterious works in spring 2014 at the Deutsche Bank KunstHalle in Berlin.

ArtMag: Dark Metamorphoses – Victor Man Is Artist of the Year 2014

Imran Qureshi – "Artist of the Year" 2013


Deutsche Bank has selected Imran Qureshi, one of the most important figures on the contemporary Pakistani art scene, as its 2013 "Artist of the Year." Based on a recommendation from the Deutsche Bank Global Art Advisory Council, which includes internationally renowned curators Okwui Enwezor, Hou Hanru, Udo Kittelmann, and Victoria Noorthoorn, the bank is proud to honour an auspicious artist who addresses social issues in an individual way.

ArtMag: Violence, Beauty, Hope: Imran Qureshi is Deutsche Bank's "Artist of the Year" 2013

Roman Ondák – "Artist of the Year" 2012


Nomination of Roman Ondák to the Deutsche Bank "artist of the year 2012" during Frieze/London. From April to June 2012 the Deutsche Guggenheim was presenting a solo exhibition with his works.

ArtMag: Grammar of the Everyday: Notes on Roman Ondák

Yto Barrada – "Artist of the Year" 2011


Taking the situation in her home city of Tangier as a point of departure, the Moroccan artist reflects on constantly changing boundaries in culture, economics, and politics and on their repercussions. Following the premiere at the Deutsche Guggenheim in Berlin, Barrada's solo show 'Riffs' will be on view at WIELS in Brussels from the end of September 2011.

ArtMag: Poetry and Politics: Yto Barrada at Fotomuseum Winterthur

Wangechi Mutu – "Artist of the Year" 2010


Mutu, who has been living in New York for a long time, counters the notion of an “African” artist drawing from her native culture with images from multiple perspectives. Like many “diaspora artists,” she combines elements of her native culture with those of the West.

ArtMag: This Undreamt Descent: Wangechi Mutu in the Kunsthalle Baden-Baden

Footer Navigation:
Last Update: 20.9.2017
Copyright © 2019 Deutsche Bank AG, Frankfurt am Main