Since 1953, the Kulturkreis der deutschen Wirtschaft im BDI e.V. (the Association of Arts and Culture of the German Economy at the Federation of German Industries) has awarded the annual Ars Viva prize to young artists who live in Germany and whose work is distinguished by its progressive nature.

The exhibition of work by the winners is first on at Kunstverein in Munich and then moves to S.M.A.K. The museum can thereby offer a concentrated view of the young German art scene. The three winners for 2018 are Anna-Sophie Berger (1989) from Austria, and Oscar Enberg (1988) and Zac Langdon-Pole (1988), both from New Zealand.

Although their art and fields of research are very different, each of these artists raises exploratory questions about the social, historical and economic dimensions of objects and environments. Each visualises and combines contemporary conventions regarding production, distribution and valuation. Such artistic strategies as recontextualisation, hybridisation and semantic analysis come into contact with each other throughout the exhibition.

The winners were selected by an international jury chaired by Ulrich Sauerwein and comprised members of the Kulturkreis Fine Arts Committee and the directors and curators Chris Fitzpatrick, Martin Germann, Zita Cobb, Nicolaus Schafhausen and Krist Gruijthuijsen.