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Peter Robinson wins prestigious Walters Prize

Peter Robinson wins prestigious Walters Prize

Peter Robinson:
Snow Ball Blind Time

Media Release

November 4 2008

Peter Robinson wins prestigious Walters Prize

The Govett-Brewster Art Gallery’s current exhibiting artist Peter Robinson has won the 2008 Walters Prize – New Zealand’s richest and most prestigious contemporary art award.

The announcement was made at a gala dinner on Friday night, October 31 at the Auckland Maritime Museum.

Robinson has won $50,000 and an all expenses paid trip to New York with the opportunity to exhibit his work at Saatchi & Saatchi’s world headquarters.

International judge Catherine David says Robinson’s work showed a sophisticated understanding of modernist principles, applied in a critical way to produce art that could be shown in Paris or New York and not lose its resonances.

ACK is multi-layered, engaging and universal. It is clearly the work of an artist at the peak of his career,” says David.

Robinson's most recent and expansive project is currently on show at the Govett-Brewster. Curated by Gallery Director, Rhana Devenport, Snow Ball Blind Time is made entirely of polystyrene and occupies the entire 574 square metres of the Gallery. This is only the second time since the opening exhibition in 1970 by Leon Narbey that the entire Gallery has been offered to an artist in a single commissioned work.

Devenport says Robinson's win of the 2008 Walters Prize reflects the tremendous power of this work by an outstanding New Zealand artist who constantly challenges himself and his audiences with new thresholds of formal and intellectual investigations.

“The work, Ack (2007) marks a major shift for this constantly evolving artist and it is the sheer force and hard humour of this work that led to my commissioning the artist to undertake his massive and exhilarating project for the Govett-Brewster.”

Devenport says “Robinson's win is made even more impressive given the strength, beauty and clarity of the works by his fellow finalists in this year's Prize.”

An independent jury of critics and curators selected the four finalists: Edith Amituanai, Lisa Reihana, John Reynolds and Peter Robinson. Each has received $5,000 thanks to patron Dayle Mace.

The biennial prize, named after pioneering modernist painter Gordon Walters, was established in 2002 with the support of founding benefactors Erika and Robin Congreve and Jenny Gibbs.

Previous winners are Francis Upritchard in 2006 for Doomed, Doomed, All Doomed, the et al. collective in 2004 for restricted access and Yvonne Todd in 2002 for Asthma and Eczema.

Peter Robinson: Snow Ball Blind Time continues until November 23.


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