Christina Mackie, The Judges III (2013), mixed media (detail). Photograph John Hartley, 2013. Commissioned through the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2011

Four museums shortlisted for Contemporary Art Society awards

Rebecca Atkinson, 13.07.2015
Winner will receive £40,000 to commission new artwork
Four museums have been shortlisted for the £40,000 Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2015.

The prize offers the winning museum the opportunity to commission a new artwork for their permanent collection by a nominated artist who is not yet well represented in museum collections in this country.

The Whitworth gallery in Manchester, which recently won the £100,000 Museum of the Year award, has been shortlisted 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 winner will be announced at a ceremony at the Barbican Centre in London on 23 November.

“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.”

This is the seventh year the society has run the award, which is supported by the Sfumato Foundation.