Congratulations to Wolf Prize Laureates: Prof. Jennifer Doudna and Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier for winning the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer Doudna, led the discovery of the revolutionary gene-editing tool, CRISPR. They used this existing defense mechanism in bacteria to turn CRISPR-Cas9 into a real tool for cleaving the DNA of bacterial and also human cells. These “genetic scissors” can be used for targeting any gene in a cell in order to modify it. With this revolutionary technology, it is much easier to modify gene expression, to switch a gene “on” or “off,” or to change, repair, or remove genes. This new tool is now used in molecular biology laboratories around the world and has the potential to revolutionize medicine by paving the way to finding new forms of treatment for currently incurable diseases.

Congratulations to Karam Natour- Kiefer Prize Laureate 2020

Nazareth born Natour (28), is a multimedia artist who combines drawing, digital printing, video, and installations, proclaimed as by the prize committee as “an inspiring artist that emerges once in a generation.”

The Wolf Foundation has decided to award the 2020 Ingeborg-Bachman Scholarship Prize, established by Anselm Kiefer, to Karam Natour, a multimedia creator who uses drawing, digital printing, video, and installations.

Karam Natour has held solo exhibitions and participated in numerous group exhibitions and projects in galleries and museums. His works have been recognized with prizes and awards. His works were exhibited in Israel and abroad, including the Israel Museum and the Kunstmueseum Bochum, Germany (2020), the Haifa Museum (2019), the Rosenfeld Gallery, and the Umm Al-Fahm Art Gallery (2018), and the Tel Aviv Museum (2017 and 2018).

The jury panel has reasoned its decision as follows: “Natour’s works of art expose worldviews and perceptions as flimsy structures that hinge on the incongruity between linguistic directions and real-life manifestations, which depend on a variety of circumstances. These circumstances range from the limitations on bodily movements, its weight, and sensations to the artist’s relationship with its communities. Thus, the artist’s private action sheds light on our general knowledge of reality and the role we play in structuring the knowledge sets as responding to the incongruity between two paradigms: in the first and objective paradigm, we respond to semiotic and scientific representations. In the second, subjective paradigm, our actions and experiences create unmediated realities.”

The jury panel added, “Natour uncovers the phony nature of self-perception, which assumes that linguistic instructions and linguistic performance are fully proportionate. The paradox of being rational concurrently with being prone to prejudice, mistakes, and humor; and between the malleable, frequently changing ethical, aesthetic, and political infrastructure that serves as the growth bed of complex identities.”

A noteworthy recommendation out of the many endorsements received for Karam Natour, said, “Natour is an artist of the caliber that emerges once in a generation. The quality of his work is an outstanding representation of a contemporary artist profile on the crossroads of forces at work in a given moment. At the same time, he and his work are imbued with a timeless dimension, which he executes with extraordinary talent.” The endorsement elaborates, “Natour proposes an arrangement that replaces the critical dichotomic thinking of the victim and the victimized, analysis and exposure of power structures and the disintegration of guilt. He teams up compassion, humor, prejudice, science, and spiritualism in an inspiring creation about life itself.”

The Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship Prize is awarded by the Wolf Foundation since 1991 to encourage young, promising artists in Israel. The scholarship is funded by the generous donation of Anselm Kiefer, a German artist, and laureate of the Wolf Foundation Painting Award for 1990. Mr. Kiefer chose to name the scholarship after the Austrian poet, Ingeborg Bachman (1926-1973) in recognition of the literary and philosophical creation and a means of realizing his vision to advance young artists.

Former artists who won the Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship Prize include Sigalit Landau, Yael Frank, Daniel Zack, Doron Rabina, Gilad Ratman, Guy Ben-Ner, Ruti Sela, and more.

Reut Inon-Berman, CEO of the Wolf Foundation, said, “The Wolf Foundation takes pride in recognizing and advancing emerging Israeli artists on their way to the hub of the local and global artistic endeavor. Particularly during these times, when culture and art undergo unprecedented upheavals, we are gratified to award the prize to Karam Natour, one of the most brilliant and moving artists of our generation, Natour’s works speak up in an original, unique, and most importantly, an inspiring voice.”

Karam Natour

Kiefer Prize Laureate– 2020

The Ingeborg Bachman Scholarship Prize, established by Anselm Kiefer, is awarded this year to Karam Natour (born 1992), a multimedia artist who employs drawing, digital printing, video and installations. Natour’s performative works involve the creation of knowledge sets emerging from the tension between mental states, the structuring of representative languages, and physical actions. Natour’s works expose common worldviews and perceptions as weak structures that depend on the subject that establishes them and on the relationship between the artist and his communities. Our knowledge of the reality and our participation in building these knowledge structures respond to two different paradigms that Natour offers inconsistently. In the first and objective one, we respond to the semiotic and scientific representations. In the second and subjective one, our actions and experiences create realities in an unmediated fashion. Natour exposes the phony nature of self-perception which assumes consistency between linguistic instructions and linguistic performance, between conscious and our perception of conscious, between being rational while being prone to prejudice, mistakes, and humor, and between malleable, frequently changing ethical, aesthetic, and political infrastructure that serves as the growth bed of complex identities.

These tactics make an ontological distinction between two modes of existence. The first modus depends on subjective experiences such as laughter, pain, and embarrassment, as can be seen in Nothing Personal (2017) and heat in My Head (2018). The other depends on pointing at worldly phenomena such as the sun, earth and moon in Repeat after Me (2018). This work sheds light on the evasive and invalidated nature of the spoken and written language and its different meanings in a cultural context that moves between Arabic, Hebrew, and English. Natour dictates semiotic phrases and Rule-Following Statements (a term coined by Ludwig Wittgenstein) as well as physical actions and speech ac performances. The first genre is exposed under the apriori rule, which disciplines the rendering of meaning. The second genre lacks apriori knowledge. Hence, its movement and meaning endow structure to the singular meaning order of each performance. Natour employs these performances to derive cartographies of fantastic knowledge, which fabricates cosmologies invented by the artist who creates a new world, as shown in genesis, a digital print of 2018, Sun, Saturn, Venus and Water (2020).

The Wolf Foundation awards the 2020 Art Kiefer Prize to Karam Natour, for expanding the performative practice, from establishing a subject that responds to the efficacy of pre-organized knowledge orders, to the establishment of personal, fictional space and time zones. Natour’s works face us with the question of how it is possible to move between objective epistemic arguments about specific knowledge fields and their subjective human rendering. This question endows art an ethical role of exposing the knowledge mechanisms and the spectators’ responsibility for creating a worldview.

2020 Wolf Prize were announced

The names of the 2020 Wolf Prize for Science and Art laureates were announced this morning at the presidential residence in the presence of Israel President, Mr. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin, Minister of Education, Rabi Rafi Peretz and Prof. Dan Shechtman, Council Acting Chairperson.

This year will mark the 42nd year in which the Wolf Prize is awarded by the Wolf Foundation. The 2020 prizes will be awarded to nine laureates from six countries (USA, England, France, Russia, Spain and Israel)


2020 Wolf Prize in Art will be awarded to Cindy Sherman (USA) for redefine the concept of art made with a camera.


2020 Wolf Prize in Agriculture will be awarded to Prof. Caroline Dean (John Innes Centre, England) for pioneering discoveries in flowering time control and epigenetic basis of vernalization.


2020 Wolf Prize in  Physics will be jointly awarded to three laureates: Prof. Pablo Jarillo-Herrero (Spain/ MIT, USA) Prof. Allan H. Macdonald (The University of Texas at Austin, USA) and Dr. Rafi Bistritzer (Applied Materials, Israel), for their pioneering theoretical and experimental work on twisted bilayer graphene.


2020 Wolf Prize in Medicine will be jointly awarded to two laureates: Prof. Jennifer Doudna (University of California, Berkeley, USA) and Prof. Emmanuelle Charpentier (Max Planck, France).


2020 Wolf Prize in Mathematics will be jointly awarded to two laureates: Prof. Yakov Eliashberg (Stanford University) and Prof. Simon Donaldson (Stony Brook University in Long Island, NY and Imperial College London, England) for their contribution to differential geometry and topology.


The Awarding Ceremony will take place on June 11th in Jerusalem. The Wolf Awards will be presented by the President of the State of Israel, H.E. Reuven (Ruvi) Rivlin and by the Chairman of the Wolf Foundation.

Congatulations to 2017 Wolf Prize Laureates: Professors Mayor & Queloz for winning the 2019 Nobel Prize in Physics

Prof. Queloz and Prof. Mayor won both prizes

“for the first discovery of an exoplanet orbiting a solar-type star”.  In October 1995, Mayor and Queloz made the first discovery of a planet orbiting a star other than the Sun (an exoplanet). Using custom-made instruments on the Haute-Provence Observatory in France, the pair detected a tiny wobbling motion of a star 50 light-years away. This wobble is caused by the close orbiting of a gas-giant planet called 51 Pegasi b, which is about half the mass of Jupiter. As well as being the first-ever sighting of an exoplanet, the discovery signalled a major shift in our understanding of planet formation and evolution because the distance between 51 Pegasi b and its Sun-like star is just 5% of the distance between Earth and the Sun. This is very unlike the much larger orbits of gas giants in the Solar System.

This discovery opened the floodgates for subsequent observations revealing an incredible diversity of exoplanets. Today, science recognizes thousands of planets in distant solar systems and other planets are discovered almost every day. Many of the planets discovered so far have been found using the method of Mayor and Queloz. The discovery of Mayor and Queloz not only paved the way for the identification of many planets in other solar systems, but also for a better understanding of the formation of planets and solar systems in general.

The Wolf Foundation congratulates Prof. Michael Mayor & Prof. Didier Queloz for their achievements and for the pioneering and influential work, and is proud to continue recognizing ground-breaking scientists and artists around the world.