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2008 Walters Prize Exhibition

Auckland Art Gallery MEDIA RELEASE
For immediate use: Friday, 12 September


2008 Walters Prize Exhibition


See the most important contemporary art produced in New Zealand over the past two years in the 2008 Walters Prize exhibition (13 September - 23 November).

From a silvery field of more than 7000 canvases, to a sculpture that engages the viewer with its sheer physical presence, photographs that are part formal portrait part casual snapshot and an installation that depicts the demi-god Maui riding a surfboard – this year’s Walters Prize is not to be missed.

The $50,000 Walters Prize – our country’s richest and most prestigious contemporary art prize – is awarded for a body of work that has made an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand within the last two years. Previous winners were Francis Upritchard in 2006 for Doomed, Doomed, All Doomed, et al. in 2004 for restricted access and Yvonne Todd in 2002 for Asthma and Eczema.

This year’s international judge is Paris-based curator and writer Catherine David, who will announce the winner on 31 October.

Who will win this year’s prize?

Auckland-born artist Edith Amituanai, the winner of the inaugural Marti Friedlander Photography Award last year, observed and captured the lives of her relatives to show the private reality of public sporting lives in her Déjeuner series.

Auckland-born Lisa Reihana’s Digital Marae began life as the multimedia installation Native Portraits commissioned for the 1997 opening of Te Papa Tongarewa Museum of New Zealand as a response to the museum’s stated vision to tell stories of living people as well as artefacts. Digital Marae has expanded and evolved into a virtual marae for a changing urban world.
Auckland-born artist John Reynolds creates his cultural portrait of New Zealand from our nation’s ever changing English through quoting Harry Orsman’s The Oxford Dictionary of New Zealand English 1997 in his 2006 Biennale of Sydney work Cloud.

Ashburton-born Peter Robinson’s sculpture ACK occupied ARTSPACE at the same time as the 2006 Walters Prize exhibition where he was also a finalist for his work The Humours. Like The Humours, ACK implies notions about physical duration, about internal operating systems and the impermanence of organic material.

You be the judge.

The exhibition runs from 13 September to 23 November 2008 at Auckland Art Gallery’s New Gallery, corner of Lorne and Wellesley streets. Exhibition entry fees apply.

Images of the finalists’ works can be downloaded from www.aucklandartgallery.govt.nz/press

ends

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