Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2019: York Art Gallery
Simon Bartle, Visual Arts Correspondent
The Exhibition is billed as "A Presentation of Selected Works from Contemporary Artists", but that does not do justice to what is a wonderful, and thought provoking ensemble of works.
Cherie Federico and Griselda Goldsbrough, Curators of the Prize has produced an exceptional exhibition, which draws in and challenges the audience at every level.
The 18 shortlisted works which make up the exhibition address a whole range of issues including the effects of globalisation on the individual, amongst many others.
The range of themes covered by the artworks is truly diverse, and they present, at the same time both 'personal and universal narratives.'
The Art Prize is hosted by Aesthetica Magazine. Since its inception 12 years ago the Prize has provided a springboard for finalists who have subsequently been included in exhibitions at the National Portrait Gallery, FOAM and The Photographers’ Gallery.
Those artists have also gone on to win awards, and have gained valuable exposure from Magnum Photos, BAFTA, and Channel 4. These achievements and exposure result from a truly unique exhibition, which provides a window on emerging talent.
The York Art Gallery is a superb venue for the exhibition, and provides a space and ambiance, which enhances the experience.
Selected from a shortlist of 18 artists, the winners were:
Jenn Nkiru (UK), which included £5,000 prize money
Maryam Tafakory (UK), receiving £1,000.
Commendation awards were also presented to shortlisted artists:
Ludivine Large-Bessette (France) for Drop Out Bodies, and
Teppei Yamada (Japan) for Apart and / or Together.
The exhibition is a global event, which reaches across continents. This is underlined by the 2019 Shortlisted Artists, which included finalists from the UK, USA, Canada, France, Germany, China, Japan, Singapore, Italy and The Netherlands.
The Main Prize Winner, Jenn Nkiru (UK) presents us with Rebirth is Necessary (2017), which is 'loaded with feelings and questions about black people,' it is deeply moving, and is both inspiring and thought provoking.
If an art exhibition has to have a winner, then this is a truly deserving winner
Maryam Tafakory’s I Have Sinned a Rapturous Sin (2018).
This film presents a challenging work, which combines the visual, with excerpts from the poetry of one of the most influential poets of the twentieth century, Forugh Farrokhzad. With this work Tafakory presents us with overwhelming evidence, that she is no longer 'emerging', but actually she has arrived.
So many works, generating so many emotions. It is one of those exhibitions that will not leave your thoughts. For days after, you will find yourself mentally revisiting the exhibits.
Mark Bloomfield, does just this with his entry Conform No1-4, which delights us with his exploration of the interactions between technology and tactile forms. You will not be able to get the resulting stunning physical forms out of your mind.
Sebastian Kite's Horizons teases out and investigates how technology can interface with art, space and time. He makes the connection between these three elements clear and unequivocal, but you have to wait.
Once the two horizontal coloured lights, moving in opposite directions converge, then they release a white light.
What is that moment? What does that split second bring to mind? The answer is perhaps different for each of us. Evoking or mesmerising? The piece asks more questions than it answers.
Eighteen works tackling a range of topics, and all producing different emotional responses. There are too many works to attempt to mention here.
However, there is one exception. Jane and Louise Wilson with Suspended Island (2018), is very topical, and interrogates the effect of geography on our inner being.
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|Lucie Rie Exhibition: At CoCa In The York Art Gallery|
Aesthetica invites us on that voyage, not as a passenger, but as an active participator.
We are asked to undertake two actions. Firstly, to vote for an exhibit for the People's Choice Award - please do so before you leave the exhibition.
Secondly, on your way out, do something different, and pick up the leaflet entitled Submit Your Work, to enter the Exhibition 2020.
The Judges accept a range of media. Well you read the leaflet. The gauntlet has been thrown down and if you pick it up, then you will need to learn new skills, fresh ways of thinking and find innovative solutions to creative problems.
But if you can do all that, and much more, then you are guaranteed a place on the Aesthetica journey.
Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2019 at The York Art Gallery, Exhibition Square, York, YO1 7EW. York Art Gallery is in Exhibition Square, five minutes’ from York Minster and opposite Bootham Bar. This exhibition is organised by Aesthetica and York Art Gallery working in partnership. The Exhibition runs until 14 July 2019. Gallery Opening Times: Open daily 10am - 5pm.
Admission to York Art Gallery is Free to YMT Card Holders, Adults £7.50 and Children Free. For full admission details please go to:- https://www.yorkartgallery.org.uk/visitor-information/
Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Talks will be held at York Art Gallery on the following dates:
Thursday 28 March (12:30) - Art as a Mechanism
Thursday 25 April (12:30) - Breaking into the Art World
Thursday 16 May (12:30) - What is the Future of Photography?
Thursday 13 June (12:30) - Curating the Aesthetica Art Prize
Thursday 4 July (12:30) - Art is a Way to Convene
Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2019: York Art Gallery, 12th March 2019, 9:51 AM