Elizabeth Price wins £60,000 Contemporary Art Society Annual Award

19 November 2013 § 2 Comments

Mark Wallinger, in a ceremony at the Dairy Art Centre in London last night, awarded the Contemporary Art Society annual prize to Elizabeth Price who will produce a work for the Ashmolean Museum. Price will create a significant new moving image piece will be premiered in Oxford on completion.

Elizabeth Price

Turner Prize winner Elizabeth Price is an artist who uses images, text and music to explore archives and collections. While her work is informed by mainstream cinema and experimental film, it is mostly concerned with the medium of digital video and its comparative ubiquity in today’s culture.

Elizabeth Price_UserGroupDisco

Price’s commission will explore the archives and collections of the Ashmolean Museum and the Pitt Rivers Museum, looking particularly at photographs of artefacts and documents used historically by curators, anthropologists and archaeologists working in the field, while simultaneously engaging with digital technologies.

Elizabeth Price

Elizabeth Price was visibly delighted at winning the award.  “I’m so happy to win this prize. I’m particularly excited about the unique opportunity to work with the collections, and the people at the Ashmolean and Pitt Rivers Museums in Oxford.”

Price beat some fine artists to the award. Other entries were Jess Flood-Paddock for Birmingham Museums, Des Hughes for The Hepworth Wakefield and Lucy McKenzie.

Elizabeth Price

Although not a name that will be familiar to many art lovers the (CAS) has long been doing much important work ‘behind the scenes’ raising money, brokering purchases and awarding commissions. Now in its fifth year, this prestigious £60,000 prize is one of the highest value contemporary art awards in the country.

By means of its annual award CAS has donated many ‘firsts’ to museums across the country throughout its illustrious history, including the first works by Paul Gauguin, Pablo Picasso and Francis Bacon and, more recently, the first works by Damien Hirst, Elizabeth Price and 2013 Turner Prize nominee Laure Prouvost.

 

Images: Elizabeth Price, USER GROUP DISCO (2009), HD Video, 15 minutes. © the artist and MOT International. Gifted by the Contemporary Art Society to Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, in 2012.

david brian smith – goodwill and the unknown man – at carl freedman

10 November 2012 § Leave a comment

Two years ago I bid for a David Brian Smith work at a charity auction, going to nearly double estimate before dropping out. It turned out I had been up against no less a collector than Charles Saatchi.

He was infact adding to the several Smith works that he already has in his collection – with the added bonus of helping to create a higher market and increasing the value of his own works! Oh to be in such a position….

Carl Freedman has now given Smith a solo show at his newly opened east London space and I would be astonished if it is not already a sell-out. Unfortunately I have yet to make it over there and with just a week to run I would be remiss in not recommending a visit based on previous sight of Smith works.

The exhibition was also recently recommended as ‘Exhibition of the Week’ by no less than Paul Hobson, director of the influential Contemporary Art Society (an organisation any serious collector should join right away!). Since I cannot review first hand I cannot do better than quote from his excellent review:

“[the show] showcases his technical ability and evolving style as a painter and offers further insight into his somewhat hallucinatory vision and underlying autobiographical and art historical references.  The exhibition brings together recent work, medium scale paintings where a figure or figures are situated in psychedelic and symbolic landscapes, alluding to spiritual or heightened emotional interiors. Based on a black and white photograph from the 1930s … the image has poignant autobiographical association for the artist which he often revisits.  Other paintings are based on a 1912 photograph of his great-grandfather, a colonial explorer, which build upon the familial, patriarchal theme of the work.  Painting on herringbone linen Smith allows the underlining herringbone pattern to disrupt and fragment the reading of the image, often asserting the pattern by painting it over final composition, creating a collaged effect and generating a dizzying, altered condition of perception, skilfully handled. 

In this case it would be a wise person who follows Saatchi’s lead and invests in Smith.This is a relatively young artist with a long way to go and his stock will surely rise.

David Brian Smith runs until 17 November 2012 at Carl Freedman Gallery

Images courtesy of Carl Friedman Gallery

announced – the 2010 cas £60k prize shortlist

20 July 2010 § Leave a comment

Not widely reported in the news – presumably because it is not quite controversial enough, the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award shortlist has just been announced. The italicised section below is copied from the CAS press release (not my usual practice!);

The Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery
in partnership with Film and Video Umbrella – proposal with artist Luke Fowler

 Leeds Art Gallery (Leeds Museums & Galleries) – proposal with artist Clare Woods

 mima, Middlesbrough and the AV Festival – proposal with artist John Gerrard

 Whitworth Art Gallery, University of Manchester – proposal with artist Nico Vascellari

 In the second year of the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award, the proposals listed above have been shortlisted by our selection panel: Pavel Büchler (artist), Caroline Douglas (Head of Arts Council Collection), Lisa Panting (Director, Picture This) and Emily Wardill (artist).

 The panel’s role is to select a winner from the many excellent proposals submitted by public collections across the UK who are Members of the Contemporary Art Society. The shortlisted Museums reflect a range of approaches to the priorities for the Award: to develop an outstanding new work from an artist who may be showing widely but who is not yet represented in public collections in this country, or, whose work is an important fit with an existing collection..

 The winning proposal will be selected in November this year and will be announced at the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Reception on 9 November 2010 at Tate Britain.

I have not been able to look at the proposals but will try to find out more in the near future and update you on these pages. Gerrard and Fowler produce very interesting video and film works and it will be interesting to see what they come up with for this award. Meanwhile Clare Woods produces large scale semi-abstract oils of murky landscapes painted from photographs (image) – but are they a little too contrived, wholesome and, dare I say ‘pretty’? A handful of works have made it to the likes of Christies and Phillips, but hammer prices have remained modest.

Nico Vascellari I am unfamiliar with, so please allow me to quote from the catalogue of Manifesta 7 at Trentino:

Cultural anthropology is the framework for Nico Vascellari’s complex and eccentric installations which combine performative and sculptural elements with drawings, collages, videos and sonic extravaganzas. Folklore, nature and the alternative underground scene contribute to the artist’s unusual analysis of contemporary visual culture. Vascellari, himself a singer in the punk band, With Love , operates using rebellious artistic gestures that originate in tribal rituals of an archaic world, on the threshold of expression and collective consciousness.

His contribution to Manifesta 7 are large scale video installations, recordings of performances that artist conducted in various natural environments (a cave near Rovereto, the Carpathian Forest, the Black Forest, Finland, Norway and Tasmania) with the participation of musicians, representing diverse musical genres, including noise, black metal, doom, folk, ambient and electronic. Overlapping layers of music, influenced by the atmosphere of nature (forests and mountains in particular), orchestrated in seemingly random sequences, present new sense of landscape. Vascellari’s work provides a journey, where the grotesque and sublime conspire towards the production of an experience that is purifying, aesthetic and sensory.

Whew! Has anyone see this work – please let us know. Meanwhile I  know who has my vote – Forza Azzuri!

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