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2008 Walters Prize judge announcement

Auckland Art Gallery MEDIA RELEASE

Embargoed until 5pm, 6 August 2008

Auckland Art Gallery is delighted to announce the judge for the 2008 Walters Prize – New Zealand’s richest and most prestigious contemporary art award.

This year’s judge, Paris-based curator and writer Catherine David, is one of the most groundbreaking curators working in Europe today.

Earlier this year, she received the Award for Curatorial Excellence from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, in New York. She was selected for the award by a panel of leading critics, curators and art experts, which praised her most recent collaborations between institutions in the Arab World and the art world as being particularly important for our time, and acknowledged her as someone whose contributions have shaped the way we conceive exhibition making today.

Auckland Art Gallery director Chris Saines says, “I am thrilled Catherine has agreed to judge this year’s Prize. The participation of someone of her standing further consolidates the important role the prize plays. Not only does the visiting international judge bring an independent critical response to the work of the four finalists, they also gain a broader experience of contemporary New Zealand art that they take with them out into the world. This has always been one of the most productive dimensions of the Walters Prize,” he says.

David has worked at the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Georges Pompidou (1982-90), the Galerie National du Jeu de Paume (1990-94) and the Witte de With center for contemporary art in Rotterdam (2002-04).

She is highly regarded for her groundbreaking role as director of documenta X (1994-97) and her acclaimed project Contemporary Arab Representations 1 and 2, produced in association with the Tàpies Foundation (2003). More recently, she was a Fellow of the Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin (2005-06), where she worked towards a project entitled Di/Visions: Culture and politics of the Middle East (2007).

The Walters Prize is awarded for an outstanding contribution to contemporary art in New Zealand in the past two years. Earlier this year, a jury of experts appointed by Auckland Art Gallery selected four finalists.

2008 FINALISTS

Edith Amituanai nominated for Déjeuner 2007, shown at Anna Miles Gallery, Auckland.

Lisa Reihana for Digital Marae 2007, shown at Govett-Brewster Gallery, New Plymouth.

John Reynolds for Cloud 2006, shown at the Biennale of Sydney, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney.

Peter Robinson for ACK 2006, shown at ARTSPACE, Auckland.

David will announce the winner at a gala dinner to be held at the National Maritime Museum, Hobson’s Wharf, on 31 October. The winner receives $50,000 and an all expenses paid trip to New York with an opportunity to exhibit their work at Saatchi & Saatchi’s world headquarters.

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

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


ENDS


2008 Walters Prize – Judge C.V

Catherine David, Ph.D.
Studied art history, literature and language studies at the Sorbonne and the Ecole du Louvre, Paris.

From 1982 to 1990, she was a curator at the National Museum of Modern Art at the Centre Georges Pompidou, and from 1990 to 1994, she was a curator at the Galerie Nationale du Jeu de Paume, both in Paris, where she organized several monographs and group exhibitions including: Lothar Baumgarten; Passages de L’Image; Stan Douglas: Monodramas and Television Spots; Marcel Broodthaers; Helio Oiticica; Robert Gober; Jeff Wall and Chantal Ackerman: D’Est, among others.

From 1994 to 1997 David served as artistic director for documenta X in Kassel, Germany, and from 1998, she directed the long-term project Contemporary Arab Representations 1 and 2 produced in association with the Tàpies Foundation in Barcelona.

In 2000, she organized The State of Things for Kunst Werke, Berlin.

Between 2002 and 2004, David was director of the Witte de With, center for contemporary art in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

Recently David presented a monograph of Bahman Jalali: Photographs in association with the Tàpies Fondation, in 2007, and was a Fellow at Wissenschaftskolleg zu Berlin where she worked towards a project entitled Di/Visions: Culture and Politics of the Middle East, between 2005 to 2006.

Earlier this year, she received the Award for Curatorial Excellence from the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College, in New York.

David works as a curator and writer in Paris.

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