The precise and objective yet never jejune photographs by Laura Bielau (*1981 in Halle/Saale) are striking aesthetic inquiries that are characterized by a reflexive approach. Besides her most recent series, which focuses on the chicken as a production animal, the exhibition provides insight into the black-and-white series »Arbeit« (2014–17), which centers on her work as a photographer.

Based on her involvement with photography, Susann Dietrich (*1984 in Weißenfels) inquires into the relationship between light and darkness in her works, which embrace a wide variety of media. The exhibition assembles highly diverse pictorial as well as sculptural and installative works that explore the imaging potential of light and shadow based on differentiated gradations of gray values.

Claudia Piepenbrock (*1990 in Paderborn) develops sculptural ensembles out of everyday materials such as foam and paper that possess an unconventional material aesthetic and powerful physicality. Her working method is characterized by interaction with the spatial surroundings, which can be experienced in a new way by means of her specially developed sculptural placements.

The photographs by Christian Retschlag (*1987 in Magdeburg) alternate between reality and the probable, between the grotesque and the humorous. In his oeuvre he sets out in search of moments that were never there and arranges the scenes by drawing on collective visual memory and the history of photography.

The »Preis des Kunstvereins—Atelierstipendium Villa Minimo« (Prize of the Kunstverein—Atelier Scholarship Villa Minimo) has been awarded every two years since 1983. The awarding of a total of three artists-in-residence grants by a Kunstverein is a singular practice that has been cultivated for 35 years now. The one- and two-year scholarships come in where they are most important for an individual’s artistic development—ensuring living and working space as well as covering living expenses. For several years, the prize has been regionally and nationally oriented and is supplemented by a concluding exhibition at the Kunstverein Hannover. A total of 45 artists have been supported to date, including Aernout Mik (1993/94), Christoph Girardet (1995/96), Jane and Louise Wilson (1997), Douglas Gordon (1998), Eija-Liisa Ahtila (1999), Bjørn Melhus (1999/2001), Thomas Ganzenmüller (2002/04), Özlem Sulak (2008/10), Anahita Razmi (2011/12), and Toulu Hassani (2012/13).

The scholarship is continuously made possible by the generous support of Gundlach GmbH & Co, the Kulturbüro of the Landeshauptstadt Hannover, as well as the Niedersächsisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kultur. Additional funding is provided by the Karin und Uwe Hollweg Stiftung.