Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Four score

Three women and one guy (Tina Barton, Caterina Riva, Anna-Marie White and Peter Robinson) have selected three guys and one woman (Simon Denny, Luke Willis Thompson, Kalisolaite ‘Uhila and Maddie Leach) as finalists in the 2014 Walters Prize.

And this time the selection's not at all clubby. Only two of the four (Denny and Willis Thompson) have dealers as far as we can see and one (Maddie Leach) actually lives outside Auckland although two (Denny, Willis Thompson) in fact live in Germany. As to the other big question as to whether anyone actually saw the Denny shows in Munich and New York, well maybe, maybe not, but there won't be the fuss there was last time over one contestant. Of course Denny is up for his second nomination to go along with his outing at Venice next year. A second nomination has only happened twice before with John Reynolds and Peter Robinson. Robinson of course won it on the second go.

This time selection panel members were all from the state sector with two from the universities (Barton and Robinson) and two from public galleries (Riva and White).

Who could reasonably feel left out? Well Shane Cotton must wonder what he'd have to do to be included particularly after his IMA/City Gallery show. Fiona Pardington has probably figured out by now that photography isn’t going to do it and Rohan Wealleans is certainly having a long wait in the wings.

You can see the Auckland Art Gallery media release here with details of the selected exhibitions to give you some idea of what to expect from the Walters Prize exhibition.

COMMENTS Roger Boyce  (20:03:14): As to your "Who could reasonably feel left out?" I reckon you've pointedly answered your own relatively-rhetorical question with: Fiona Pardington, Shane Cotton & Rohan Wealleans. An interesting finalist-selection query to entertain would be why these three eminent names are (as per usual) notably absent. I would suggest that "state sector" types (creatures of academy and so-called non-commercial, white-box, spaces - P. Robinson excepted from this catchall characterization) are 'religiously' (so to speak) conditioned by catechistic 'training texts' which codify 'the market' as an exclusionary shibboleth. Given all three artists (Pardington, Cotton & Weallans) enjoy robust markets for their work may be the not-quite sub-textual cause of their exclusion.