Artes Mundi reaches the shortlist for Contemporary Art Society Award 2015

Date posted: July 10, 2015


The four shortlisted museums and their nominated artists for the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2015, generously supported since its inception by the Sfumato Foundation, have been announced. The nominees are:

  • Pablo Helguera with the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art
  • Ragnar Kjartansson with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and Artes Mundi*
  • Stephen Sutcliffe and Graham Eatough with The Whitworth, part of The University of Manchester, in partnership with LUX
  • Katrina Palmer with The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery in collaboration with the Henry Moore Institute

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.

The winner will be announced at a special ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London on 23 November 2015.  The presenter of the 2015 award will be announced later in the year, with previous 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.

For all press enquiries, including tickets to the 23 November award reception, please contact:

Marcus Crofton, Communications Manager, Contemporary Art Society
+44 (0)20 7017 8412


*Ragnar Kjartansson with Amgueddfa Cymru – National Museum Wales and Artes Mundi
Kjartansson was born in Reykjavík, Iceland, in 1976, where he continues to live and work. The entire arc of art – film, music, theatre, visual culture and literature finds its way into his video installations, durational performances, drawings and paintings. Pretending, performing, acting and staging become key tools in the artist’s attempt to convey sincere emotion and offering a genuine experience to the audience. Repetition is also key to his practice; collaborative performances can last hours, days, and weeks. Kjartansson’s work The Visitors was shown in Artes Mundi 6 but he is yet to be represented in a UK public collection. The application proposes that funding awarded by the Derek Williams Trust (DWT) Purchase Prize could be combined with the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award to commission a new, ambitious performance and film installation which will involve a number of elements including the museum itself, the local music scene from opera to pop and a 1774 chamber-organ in the National Museum Cardiff which is still regularly used for organ recitals.


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