The Jürgen Ponto Stiftung and MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst have a long-standing partnership which aims to promote young artists at the start of their careers. Under the partnership, the Jürgen Ponto Stiftung provides annual funding for the program at MMK 3 and awards two working scholarships to young creative artists, whose work is subsequently exhibited at the Museum.
The two recipients of the 2013/14 Jürgen Ponto Stiftung scholarships, Benjamin Hirte and Christoph Knecht, have in common that their works combine different artistic media and techniques – sculpture, painting, and installation. The title open handed refers both to the collaboration of the two artists in creating the exhibition and to the open and multidimensional nature of their artistic practice. References in their work to everyday objects, architecture, and design raise questions about cultural history and the nature of display. The ephemeral and the apparently historical are rearranged and shown in new contexts. Sculptural elements combine with language, the concrete with the abstract, opulence with minimalism, the traditional with the modern.