Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Opens in Two Weeks

Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Opens in Two Weeks

International artwork will be showcased in York this March as the Aesthetica Art Prize launches its first major exhibition. In a celebration of contemporary art, innovative and outstanding works shortlisted from the Aesthetica Art Prize will be displayed in the enchanting setting of York St Mary’s – York Art Gallery’s contemporary art space. Organised by Aesthetica Magazine, the international art and culture publication, the Art Prize is a platform for emerging contemporary artists from across the world to bring their work to a wider audience.

This contemporary art exhibition is a first for the city of York. By juxtaposing bold contemporary art within a medieval setting, the exhibition challenges the notion of the ‘white cube’ and delivers a unique experience. This new visual context unites outstanding works by the international rising stars of the art world in a major event.

Anticipating the success of the Aesthetica Art Prize’s first exhibition, Cherie Federico, Editor of Aesthetica Magazine and Art Prize judge, explains what the exhibition represents for her: “I am delighted to bring these artists’ works to the city. Moreover, the nature of many of the pieces comments upon life in the 21st century, evoking a deeper meaning, and reflection of the world in which we live.”

The exhibition will feature a diverse collection of work from eight shortlisted artists selected from over 3,000 entrants in the categories of: Photography and Digital Art; Three Dimensional Design and Sculpture; Painting and Drawing and Video; Installation and Performance. The overall winner will be announced at a preview evening of the exhibition on Thursday 7 March.

The Aesthetica Art Prize is a fantastic opportunity to experience the work of up-and-coming names in international contemporary art together in one exhibition. Previous finalists include Julia Vogl, who after winning the Aesthetica Art Prize in 2012, went on to win the Catlin Art Prize and was shortlisted for New Sensations – Saatchi Gallery and Channel 4′s Prize – has exhibited at Zabludowicz Collection. Vogl describes the impact the competition has had on her as an artist: “It has been a terrific boost to my confidence, especially at a time where being an artist is fiercely competitive and hard to finance.”

Other notable entrants include leading modern expressionist and 2011 finalist Marcus Jansen, who joined a legacy of artists by featuring in Absolut Vodka’s artistic campaigns; and Bernat Millet, finalist in 2012, who has also been shortlisted for National Portrait Gallery’s Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize.

This year’s brilliant show of finalists includes Slade School of Fine Art graduates and previous exhibitors at high profile international galleries and the London Art Fair. With this being the first year that the Art Prize has produced an exhibition, there is an added sense of anticipation and excitement surrounding each of the featured artists and the success they may experience subsequently, making this a truly unmissable event.

World renowned British sculptor and Art Prize judge Kate MccGwire was impressed by the level of talent exhibited this year and is confident that we’ll be seeing more of these artists in the future: “I feel honoured to have been invited to judge the Aesthetica Art Prize, it has been a privilege to experience the breadth of sculpture that the contemporary art scene has to offer and I look forward to seeing the development of these gifted artists over the coming years.”

The impressive list of judges for this year’s prize comprises of influential art figures and curators: Cherie Federico, Editor of Aesthetica Magazine; Laura Turner, Curator at York Art Gallery; Frances Guy, Head of Collection and Exhibitions at The Hepworth Wakefield; Kate MccGwire, internationally renowned British Sculptor and Neeta Madahar, renowned British photography represented by the Purdy Hicks Gallery, London.

The exhibition is a unique chance to view the international breadth of work shortlisted for the Art Prize, and appreciate the range and quality of current artistic practice. The works highlight modern concerns, ranging from the environment, capitalism, traditional views on women to marginalised communities. Free admission provides exciting access to this year’s shortlisted artists, including entrants from the USA, South Korea, Australia, Denmark and the UK. From thousands of entered artworks, the top eight have been selected for exhibition and a further 100 longlisted works are projected within the space.

Janet Barnes, Chief Executive of York Museums Trust, is delighted to be working with Aesthetica to bring the first exhibition of The Aesthetica Art Prize to York: “The eight winning artists will display their work in the beautiful setting of York St Mary’s. This is an exciting opportunity for people who are interested in contemporary art to see new work from across the world.”

A Free Public Talk Programme will accompany the Art Prize exhibition, with special events including lunchtime talks from 2011 Winner Julia Vogl, who will discuss her practice and the works on display, and Editor of Aesthetica Magazine, Cherie Federico, who will provide an exclusive insight into the selection process.

Each of the diverse pieces of work on show will be available to view in the Aesthetica Art Prize publication, on sale at the exhibition, online and at select galleries nationwide.

York St Mary’s is open 8 March until 28 April from 10am-4pm and admission is free. For more information visit or

1. Image courtesy of Aesthetica Magazine and Damien O’Mara.