Baltic names winners of first ever Artists’ Award
The Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art in Gateshead, England has announced the winners of the 2017 Baltic Artists’ Award. The biennial award, which was launched by the contemporary art institution last November, provides each winner with £25,000 towards creating new work and a £5,000 artist fee. The winners will also be featured in a 13-week group exhibition at the museum.
The four recipients, who represent a range of emerging international talent, are Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale and Shen Xin. Born in Mexico in 1974, Jose Davila draws upon his training as an architect to produce works that reflect on the failure of utopian, modernist architectural ideals. He is primarily known for his assemblages — typically constructed from painted wood, found objects, and plastics — which resemble architectural maquettes.
New York-based artist Eric Mack (b. 1987) creates painted mixed media works out of found fabrics, trash, and his own discarded clothing. His large-scale patchwork panels blur the line between utility and style, high and low culture.
Born in Hamburg in 1980, Toni Schmale now lives and works in Vienna. Whether they are sculptures, performances, drawings, videos or animations, all of Schmale’s works interrogate power relations in current society, and the stereotypical roles assigned to gender.
The work of Chinese artist Shen Xin (b. 1990) explores the difficulties presented when attempting adopt a personal position on heavily politicized issues. She examines the collective experience of trauma, such as the widespread anger among Chinese nationals toward the Japanese war crimes committed during the Second World War.
The BALTIC Artists’ Award is the first international biennial art award to be judged solely by artists. This year’s prestigious panel was made up of Monica Bonvicini (Italy), Mike Nelson (UK), Pedro Cabrita Reis (Lisbon) and Lorna Simpson.