Artistic Leeds partnership is in the running for prestigious art prize

The University has been shortlisted for one of the country’s most valuable contemporary art awards.

Katrina Palmer

Working with artist Katrina Palmer and the Henry Moore Institute, the University’s Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery is one of just four in the UK in the running for the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award 2015.

The award is given to a museum or public gallery so it can commission a major new artwork for its permanent collection from an artist not yet well represented in British museum collections.

The partnership hopes to devise a commission for Katrina Palmer focusing on the University’s public art collection. Palmer, who creates sculptures using words, could create an audio artwork, creating the University’s first non-object campus work, connecting its stunning buildings to its public art.

Layla Bloom, Curator of the Gallery, which is located in the University’s iconic Parkinson Building, said: “We are delighted to have been shortlisted. Our recently unveiled sculpture by rising star Simon Fujiwara has underlined the University’s commitment to public art on its campus – work that can be enjoyed by everyone, at any time.

“Being able to commission such an excitingly innovative artist such as Katrina would enhance this commitment and also contribute to our efforts to add more work by women artists to the Gallery’s collection.”

The Henry Moore Institute, which is the curatorial partner for the University project, will host a major solo exhibition by Katrina Palmer from December, titled The Necropolitan Line.

Lisa Le Feuvre, Head of Sculpture Studies at the Institute, said: “Katrina Palmer writes about objects, reformulating sculpture’s association with the body. Her sculptures take the form of books, readings and recordings, with each work rethinking the limits of sculpture.

“The opportunity to work with the University of Leeds on a commission for their collection of art on campus is an incredible opportunity for the Henry Moore Institute to demonstrate the power of sculpture. Katrina’s work is the forefront of new sculptural thinking, and we are honoured to be working with her.”

The other 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

The winner will be announced at a ceremony in London’s Barbican Centre on 23 November. Now in its seventh year, the award is supported by the Sfumato Foundation.

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.”

The award jury is made up of 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).

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