Shortlisted: Four Museums Compete For £40,000 Contemporary Art Society Award

Contemporary Art Society

The four shortlisted museums for the annual Contemporary Art Society Award have been announced. The prize will give the winning museum a chance to commission a brand new artwork for their permanent collection. The nominated artist will represent the award for a 2015 museum collection, in the UK.

Again The Whitworth gallery in Manchester, winner of the £100,000 Museum of the Year award, has been nominated for a proposal to commission a new collaborative film by Glasgow-based artist Stephen Sutcliffe, who creates film collages from archive footage, and Graham Eatough, the co-founder of Suspect Culture Theatre Company.

Also shortlisted is the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, which will commission the artist and writer Pablo Helguera to redesign the gallery’s third floor as a space for wellbeing and personal empowerment.

Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) and Artes Mundi have been nominated for their proposal to commission Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson to produce a performance and film installation. Kjartansson’s work The Visitors was shown in Artes Mundi 6, a biennial international exhibition and prize, but he is yet to be represented in a UK public collection.

If successful, National Museum Wales will combine the Contemporary Art Society’s £40,000 prize with funding awarded by the Derek Williams Trust Purchase Award.

Finally, the Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery in Leeds has been shortlisted in collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute. They propose to commission Katrina Palmer, who is known for her audio works that create sculptures using words, to create an audio artwork that would connect the University of Leeds buildings to its public art collection.

The artwork would be delivered digitally, online and through mobile technology for visitors and listeners to engage with on campus.

“The Contemporary Art Society Annual Award provides the rare opportunity for our member museums to commission an entirely new artwork for their collection, and the shortlisted museums this year all propose to develop a new and rewarding working relationship with the artist they put forward,” said Christine Takengny, the curator of museum acquisitions at the Contemporary Art Society.

“The selecting panel was excited by the interdisciplinary nature of much of the proposed work and the ambition of all the artists and museums to push their practice in a new direction to develop a work that will become of national significance.”

Now in its seventh year, the prestigious £40,000 prize is one of the country’s highest value contemporary art awards. This unique commissioning award is presented by the Contemporary Art Society to a museum or public gallery in the UK with a nominated artist. The prize offers the winning museum the opportunity to commission a major new artwork for their permanent collection by an artist who is not yet well represented in museum collections in this country.

A special awards ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London on 23 November 2015 will feature high-profiled presenters including Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parker, Jeremy Deller,Mark Wallinger and Martin Creed.

The members of the independent Annual Award 2015 jury are: Annie Fletcher (Chief Curator, Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven), Polly Staple (Director, Chisenhale Gallery), Michael Archer(Critic and Professor of Art, Goldsmiths College) and Haroon Mirza (Artist).

Christine Takengny, Curator, Museum Acquisitions at the Contemporary Art Society, said:

The Contemporary Art Society Annual Award provides the rare opportunity for our member museums to commission an entirely new artwork for their collection and the shortlisted museums this year all propose to develop a new and rewarding working relationship with the artist they put forward. The selecting panel was excited by the interdisciplinary nature of much of the proposed work and the ambition of all the artists and museums to push their practice in a new direction to develop a work that will become of national significance.

The winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London on 23 November. 


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