The Young Masters Art Prize was established in 2009 by gallerist Cynthia Corbett, and it celebrates contemporary artists who pay homage to the skill and traditions of the past. Eighteen artists from across the globe are competing for this much-coveted international award, and an exhibition of their works will take place at Gallery 8 in St James, London, from 19th until 24th June.
Amongst the artists shortlisted for the Young Masters Art Prize is Ghanaian-British multimedia artist Amartey Golding, whose “Chainmail” film sheds light on the cultural behaviours towards race, gender and sexuality, as it channels the darkness of El Greco and Goya.
Isabelle van Zeijl was also nominated for the award – the Dutch fine art photographer blends the techniques and idioms of the Old Masters with present-day aesthetics to create striking self-portraits. Also shortlisted was British print-maker John Phillips, whose eerie still life works are crafted from over one thousand photographs.
Added in 2014, the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize offers an additional and separate platform for ceramics, highlighting the creative and innovative potential of this particular medium. This year’s shortlist includes Katie Spragg, the British artist famed for her miniature worlds modelled in porcelain, and Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, whose figurative and narrative pieces hold influences by 15th century potter Bernard Palissy.
The Young Masters Art Prize is judged by art historian Godfrey Barker, chairing the event, alongside Merlanie Gerlis, Art Market Columnist at the Financial Times and Editor-at-Large at The Art Newspaper; Daisy McMullan, Curator; Hannah Rothschild, writer, filmmaker and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery, London; Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Acadey of Arts, and Jean Wainwright, Art Historian, Critic and Professor of Contemporary Art and Photography at the University for the Creative Arts.
June 21st will see the awarding of three important prizes: the overall grand prize of £2,000 and two Highly Commended Prizes of £500 each, courtesy of the Artists’ Collecting Society (ACS). The third and latest addition to the award roster will be the “Be Smart About Art” prize, worth £500. This not-for-profit initiative of The Cynthia Corbett Gallery is now in its fourth edition and continues to showcase and reward the works of truly extraordinary contemporary artists who are eminent in their quest of rehashing the classic Old Masters that have shaped the art world throughout the centuries.
The Young Masters Emerging Woman Art Prize will also be awarded for the first time this year, highlighting the contribution of one particular female artist – selected from both the Young Masters Art Prize and the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize entries.
The judging panel for this specific and unprecedented award is formed by Beth Colocci, Chairman of the Trustees of UK Friends of the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Sylvie Gormezano, Chair of the Association of Women Art Dealers; award-winning designer and art collector Ronnette Riley, FAIA and Nadja Swarovski, Member of the Executive Board, Head of Corporate Branding and Communications, and Chairperson of the Swarovski Foundation. Dr Chris Blatchley has made possible the awarding of one grand prize of £1,000 and a runner up for £250 to celebrate emerging female artists.
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