November 8, 2018 - Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki - Ruth Buchanan wins Walters Prize 2018
November 8, 2018

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Installation view of Ruth Buchanan, BAD VISUAL SYSTEMS, 2016/2018. Mixed media, dimensions and durations variable.

Ruth Buchanan wins Walters Prize 2018

The Walters Prize 2018 exhibition: August 18, 2018–January 28, 2019

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
Corner Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
New Zealand
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Ruth Buchanan is the ninth recipient of the Walters Prize, New Zealand’s preeminent biennial contemporary art award. Initiated by Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki in 2001, the Walters Prize is considered the highest accolade for contemporary art in New Zealand. The prize awards 50,000 NZD to the winning artist. Buchanan was selected by judge Adriano Pedrosa, Artistic Director of Brazil’s São Paulo Museum of Art (MASP), for her presentation of BAD VISUAL SYSTEMS, 2016/2018.

Of Buchanan’s presentation, Pedrosa said: "The many layers of Ruth Buchanan’s installation BAD VISUAL SYSTEMS, 2016/2018, provide a distinct polyphonic quality to the exhibition, at times poetically verging on the cacophonic."

"From sculpture to architecture, painting to design, performance to audio, manifesto to poetry, Buchanan brings together politics, feminism and the body, arranged in a processual, open and speculative way. It takes into account competing, overlapping and contradictory modes of representation, both visual and verbal, aural and spatial. BAD VISUAL SYSTEMS is a tour de force of language itself, not so much framed as an efficient means of communication, but as a fantasy of 'bad visual systems.'"

Pedrosa made his selection from four exhibited works by artists Ruth Buchanan (b. 1980), Jacqueline Fraser (b.1956), Jess Johnson (b. 1979) and Simon Ward (b. 1977), and Pati Solomona Tyrell (b. 1992). These artists were nominated by an independent jury for an artwork first exhibited in the preceding two years that has made an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand.

The invitation to judge the Walters Prize 2018 extends the legacy of engagement between key international figures and the contemporary art community in New Zealand. Previous Walters Prize judges are Doryun Chong (2016), Charles Esche (2014), Mami Kataoka (2012), Vicente Todolí (2010), Catherine David (2008), Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (2006), Robert Storr (2004) and Harald Szeemann (2002).

The Walters Prize was inaugurated in 2002 under the joint initiative of Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki and founding benefactors and principal donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs. From 2004, Dayle, Lady Mace became a major donor, joined by Christopher and Charlotte Swasbrook in 2014. The Prize endeavours to focus on the achievement of artistic excellence, demonstrated by a relevant work or body of work, as it is seen to impact on or exert influence over contemporary art in New Zealand.

Buchanan joins a celebrated list of former Walters Prize winners: contemporary New Zealand artists Shannon Te Ao (2016), Luke Willis Thompson (2014), Kate Newby (2012), Dan Arps (2010), Peter Robinson (2008), Francis Upritchard (2006), et al. (2004) and Yvonne Todd (2002).

Ruth Buchanan was born in 1980 in New Plymouth, New Zealand. Buchanan is of Pākehā and New Zealand Māori descent with tribal affiliations to Te Atiawa and Taranaki. She lives and works in Berlin.

Exhibition curator: Natasha Conland, Curator Contemporary Art, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

Contact: Samantha McKegg, Communications Officer, Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
samantha.mckegg [​at​]; T +64 21 548 480

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki
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