Contemporary Art Society £60,000 Annual Museum Award Shortlist Announced

The Contemporary Art Society has announced the shortlisted museums and their nominated artists in line to receive this year’s Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums. These are: Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in partnership with the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art with artist Elizabeth Price, Birmingham Museums with artist Jess Flood-Paddock, The Hepworth Wakefield with artist Des Hughes, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art with artist Lucy McKenzie

Now in its fifth year, the prestigious £60,000 prize is one of the highest value contemporary art awards in the country, and is awarded to a UK museum to commission an artist of their choice to create a new work that will enrich their permanent collection. The award also provides support and exposure for the winning artist at a critical point in their career.

Elizabeth Neilson, Director, Zabludowicz Collection, said: “It was a challenge to select four proposals when every one of the applications should be seen through to completion. This cannot be understood in terms of ‘winners’ and ‘losers’ but rather a process to select the right proposal for this award. I expect the next stage of selection to be even harder.”  

The shortlisted museums with their nominated artists will now create a full proposal for their  new commissions, to be considered by the 2013 judging panel. The judging panel for the 2013 award includes a mix of leading names in the field of contemporary art and comprises: Brian Griffiths (artist),Charlotte Higgins (Chief Arts Writer, The Guardian),Elizabeth Neilson (Director, Zabludowicz Collection), andKirsty Ogg (Curator, Whitechapel Gallery).

The winners of the £60,000 prize will be announced in an award ceremony in London on 18 November 2013, in the presence of artists, curators, collectors and art world VIPs. The presenter of the award will be announced shortly; previous presenters have included Grayson Perry, Cornelia Parkerand Jeremy Deller.

Sophia Bardsley, Deputy Director, Contemporary Art Society, said: “We are delighted to have received such a large volume of applications this year, and the quality of proposals has been exceptionally high. After some debate, the 2013 panel was eventually unanimous in their selection of this year’s stand-out shortlist. The museums will now begin to work with their nominated artists to better visualise their proposed commissions and the ways in which these commissions will enrich and enliven their collections, for the benefit of public audiences now and in the future. The Contemporary Art Society Annual Award is a lifeline to the winning museum to acquire an important new work that will put their contemporary collection more firmly on the contemporary art map – both regionally and across the UK – whilst the winning artist gains the opportunity to develop their work and ideas alongside a team of curators and museum professionals, which is often a new experience for them. The award offers the artist the chance to expand their practice to potentially take their work in a new direction.”

The Contemporary Art Society is a national charity that encourages an appreciation and understanding of contemporary art in the UK. With the help of our members and supporters we raise funds to purchase works by new artists which we give to museums and public galleries where they are enjoyed by a national audience; we broker significant and rare works of art by important artists of the twentieth century for public collections through our networks of patrons and private collectors; we establish relationships to commission artworks and promote contemporary art in public spaces; and we devise programmes of displays, artist talks and educational events. Since 1910 we have donated over 8,000 works to museums and public galleries – from Bacon, Freud, Hepworth and Moore in their day through to the influential artists of our own times – championing new talent, supporting curators, and encouraging philanthropy and collecting in the UK.

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