Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Henriette Simson wins Threadneedle Prize 2011

Henriette Simson - winner of the Threadneedle Prize 2011
Threadneedle Prize 2011

Henrietta Simson has won the £25,000 Threadneedle Prize 2011 for her work Bad Government (After Lorenzetti).  Her win means that a woman artist has now won the prize every year in the four years since it started in 2008.

Each of the six runners-up receives £1,000.  Prizes were awarded by Simon Davies, Executive Chairman of Threadneedle Investments at an awards ceremony on Wednesday 5 October.

Bad Government (After Lorenzetti) by Henriette Simson
Oil and pigment on gesso board, 70x90cms

For those not familiar with Lorenzetti's work - see my post Ambrogio Lorenzetti - the first panorama on The Art of the Landscape.

You can also read more about the background to Henriette's work on her website - and in my interview with her at the preview to the exhibition (Review: Threadneedle Prize Exhibition 2011 - see relevant extract below).  As you can see I spotted she was a serious contender for the prize!

I had a long chat with Henriette last night.  I now get the point of what's she doing - and pursuing through her practice based PhD at the Slade and it isn't maybe best explained in the narrative accompanying her entry in the catalogue.  What's she into is pre-perspectival landscape art and how spatial construction works within a painting before perspective puts in an appearance on the scene.  Taking the people out is about eliminating the element which contextualises it in the past and enables us to look at the landscape in a more contemporary way.  Now that I "get" it, it does indeed make her work very interesting.  The one bit I don't get is why paint it in the subdued tones of a painting which has lost its pigment and saturation over time.  Why not paint as it would have been seen at the time it was originally painted? Especially given the fact that the colour would have greatly influenced how the painting worked in terms of depth and recession.  Henriette also has three works in the show in total - which I'm guessing makes her a contender.  
The Threadneedle Prize is the UK’s leading showcase for contemporary paintings and sculptures that promote the practice of representational art, but challenge its language and assumptions. All works in the exhibition are sourced through open submission.  This year's change in the way work could be submitted saw the selectors reviewing a record of 4,350 entries, which is more than double the number received in previous years.

The Selectors for chose the artwork displayed in the exhibition - and this year’s prize-winner are:
  • Julie Lomax, London Head of Visual Arts, Arts Council England, 
  • Lisa Milroy, Artist and Head of Graduate Painting, Slade School of Fine Art and 
  • Godfrey Worsdale, Director of BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art. Godfrey Worsdale is also a juror for the 2011 Turner Prize.
The exhibition will be on display at the Mall Galleries until 8 October 2011.

Threadneedle - Visitors Choice Award 2011

Drained by Nicholas McLeod Acrylic & oil on board, 100 x 122cms
Nicholas McLeod won the £10,000 Visitors’ Choice award for his work Drained and received his award from Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries

This year:
  • all 52 works on display were eligible to win this £10,000 prize.
  • everybody visiting the exhibition was eligible to vote 
McLeod's work received the highest number of public votes between the exhibition’s opening and when voting closed on 3 October.


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