Oliver Laric Wins Contemporary Art Society’s £60,000 Award 2012

The Contemporary Art Society has announced this year’s Annual Award, ‘Commission to Collect’, which offers one of the largest prizes of any contemporary art award in the UK. Oliver Laric. Laric saw off strong competition from emerging artists Juliette Blightman and Alice Channer to secure the career- changing award.

This year’s prize was presented by international artist Jeremy Deller at the new David Roberts Art Foundation in London. The judging panel included Michelle Cotton (Senior Curator, Firstsite, Colchester), Chris Hammond (Director, MOT International), Moira Jeffrey (Writer) and Toby Ziegler (Artist). The other shortlisted entries were Leeds Art Gallery in association with Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (with artist Alice Channer) and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery in association with Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge (with artist Juliette Blightman).

The Annual Award offers the winning partnership the unique opportunity to work together to commission a new work of art for the successful museum’s permanent collection. The prestigious £60,000 prize, generously funded by the Sfumato Foundation, will enable the development of a new work that will enrich the museum’s international profile and contemporary collections, and that will be enjoyed by visitors to the area for generations to come.

The Annual Award is also a critical stepping stone in the career of the winning artist and provides them with a platform to grow and develop their work. As the fourth artist to win the coveted prize, Oliver Laric will now begin the process of creating the new work, which will go on display at The Collection and Usher Gallery in approximately one year’s time. Previous recipients of the award include Kateřina Šedá, Luke Fowler and Christina Mackie, who have each gone on to enjoy considerable success since winning; currently, Luke Fowler is one of the shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize 2012 and Christina Mackie’s Annual Award 2011 commission will go on display at The Nottingham Castle Museum in March 2013.

Oliver Laric said: “This is hopefully the beginning of a project that won’t end. I am very curious to see how the data will spread and I can’t wait to start scanning”.

The Contemporary Art Society exists to develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK.
Since 1910 we have donated over 8,000 works to museums and galleries and, through our diverse networks, have played a critical role in developing curatorial knowledge and identifying promise in the careers of emerging artists in the UK. This year, we purchased works totalling in excess of £1.1million by artists such as Caroline Achaintre, Clare Barclay, Pavel Büchler, Laure Prouvost, Ivan Seal and John Stezaker, to name but a few, and gifted these to museums and galleries across the country. Our mission to collaborate with artists, museums and galleries to develop collections of contemporary art nationally is a vital role that no other organisation plays. Our prestigious Annual Award, which offers £60,000 to a museum or gallery to work with an artist to create an important new work, is one of the most significant contemporary art prizes in the UK and contributes to our mission to bring the work of artists to the widest possible audience.

Contemporary Art Society Annual Award: The aim of the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award is to support museums and galleries to commission new work that, once completed, will remain within the museum’s permanent collection. Application proposals are welcomed from museums that have not yet commissioned new work as well as from those with more experience. Museums must be able to commit at least £5,000 towards the development of a publication or catalogue. £1000 is made available to all short-­‐listed museums to work up the detailed proposal including the artist’s time and contribution. Detailed proposals were submitted in October 2012, with the winner announced on 19th November. The Award is open to artists anywhere in the world and all of the Contemporary Art Society’s Museum Members.

Photo:Oliver Laric, Herakles, Herakles, Herakles, Herakles, Hermes, 2011

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