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Judge Announced For The Walters Prize 2021, Opening This Weekend At Auckland Art Gallery Toi O Tāmaki

Photo: James Hill.

Kate Fowle, director of Moma PS1 in New York, has been appointed as the judge for this year’s Walters Prize, New Zealand’s contemporary art prize, which opens this Saturday 15 May at Auckland Art Gallery.

Fowle says she is looking forward to working with New Zealand’s top contemporary artists.

‘The Walters Prize is an internationally recognised award with a legacy of extraordinary artists and a remarkable lineage of prior success and engagement,’ she says.

The Walters Prize is Aotearoa New Zealand’s most significant contemporary art award. Established in 2002, this will be the tenth iteration of the Walters Prize, which was created as a platform to show excellence in the visual arts.

Auckland Art Gallery Director Kirsten Lacy says she is delighted to announce Kate Fowle as the Walters Prize judge for 2021.

‘We’re honoured to have Kate Fowle as judge for this year’s Walter Prize. Kate has an exceptional reputation and is world-renowned for her work at both Garage in Moscow and MOMA PS1, and we’re looking forward to working with her,’ says Lacy.

Curator of Contemporary Art Natasha Conland says Kate Fowle joins a legacy of high-calibre international judges.

‘Having an international judge for the Walters Prize brings a level of impartiality and fresh critical engagement that has been an important part of the prize format,’ she says.

‘The exhibition – and the announcement of the winner of this renowned award – means the Walters Prize provides an opportunity for all New Zealanders to discover the pulse of contemporary art in the country today,’ says Conland.

The winning artist will be announced following Fowle’s decision at the Walters Prize award dinner to be held in the Gallery on Saturday 7 August.

Conland says that in the event Kate is unable to travel, a virtual exhibition will enable an excellent viewing experience for the judge.

‘It is our hope that we will welcome Kate in person in Auckland, nonetheless, we will work alongside New Zealand government travel restrictions impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic,’ says Conland.

The artworks nominated for the Walters Prize are selected for their outstanding contributions to contemporary art in New Zealand in the preceding years.

The selected artists for this year’s iteration are Fiona Amundsen, Sonya Lacey, Mata Aho Collective and Sriwhana Spong.

The 2020 Walters Prize jury members are Charlotte Huddleston, Melanie Oliver, Nathan Pohio and Allan Smith.

The Walters Prize dinner will be held in the Gallery on Saturday 7 August. Details about this occasion, including event partners and ticket sales will be announced in a media release to follow.

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