Annual Award 2013

Contemporary Art Society

Christina Mackie, The Judges III (detail), 2013. Mixed media. Photo: John Hartley. The Judges III was created by Mackie for Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery after winning the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums 2011.

September 25, 2013

Contemporary Art Society Annual Award shortlist competes to win 60,000 GBP prize

Contemporary Art Society
59 Central Street
London EC1V 3AF

T +44 (0) 20 7017 8400
info [​at​]

For over 100 years, the Contemporary Art Society has been gifting contemporary artworks to museums and public galleries and has donated more than 8,000 important artworks during this time. The Contemporary Art Society is the leading organisation for identifying emerging talent in the UK and 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. The charity’s philanthropic work with regional museums ensures that contemporary art is experienced and enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible, whilst also developing curatorial expertise in museums across the whole country.

At 60,000 GBP, the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums is one of the largest contemporary art awards in the country, offering more prize money than the Turner Prize. Now in its fifth year, this prestigious prize is awarded to a UK museum to commission a selected artist to create a new work that will enrich their permanent collection. The award also provides support and exposure for the winning artist at a critical point in their career. Previous recipients include The Graves Art Gallery, Museums Sheffield (with artist Kateřina Šedá) in 2009; the Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery (with Turner Prize-nominated artist Luke Fowler) in 2010; Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery (with artist Christina Mackie) in 2011; and last year’s winners, The Collection & Usher Gallery, Lincoln (with artist Oliver Laric).

This year’s shortlist is
–Ashmolean Museum of Art and Archaeology in partnership with the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Ruskin School of Drawing & Fine Art (with artist Elizabeth Price)

–Birmingham Museums (with artist Jess Flood-Paddock)

–The Hepworth Wakefield (with artist Des Hughes)

–Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art (with artist Lucy McKenzie)

The shortlisted museums are currently working with their nominated artists to create a full proposal for their new commissions, to be considered by the 2013 judging panel prior to the announcement of the winner in November. The judging panel for the 2013 award includes a mix of leading names in the field of contemporary art and comprises Brian Griffiths (artist), Charlotte Higgins (Chief Arts Writer, The Guardian), Elizabeth Neilson (Director, Zabludowicz Collection), and Kirsty Ogg (Curator, Whitechapel Gallery).

Speaking about the entries this year, judge Charlotte Higgins said: “What impressed me about the entries submitted for the award was the depth of ambition: the desire by artists and galleries to raise their game, be daring and unexpected even when times are tough in the public realm. Entries came from institutions from Orkney to Eastbourne—there’s a real sense that the British art scene is maturing way beyond the urban centres. In the end there were four stand-out projects that we felt really sparked into life and made us want to see more.”

A reception to announce the winners of the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for Museums 2013 in the presence of artists, curators, collectors and art world VIPs will be held on 18 November at The Dairy Art Centre in London. 

For more information on the award, and for all press enquiries including interview requests and press passes to the award reception, contact Jenny Prytherch (Communications Manager) at jenny [​at​] or T +44 (0) 20 7017 8412.

Current and upcoming DISPLAYS at Contemporary Art Society (open Tuesday–Friday, 11–17h):

John Stezaker (4 September–4 October)
Pop Works from The Eric & Jean Cass Gift (16 October–22 November)
Laure Prouvost (4 December 2013–17 January 2014)
Simon Fujiwara (29 January–28 February 2014)


Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2013
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