Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition Talks: Artist and Finalist Deb Covell

Join leading contemporary artist and Aesthetica Art Prize finalist Deb Covell at the first in a series of talks that will discuss and debate developments in the art world. Starting on 23 April, the talks run on Wednesdays from 12.30 – 1pm at York St Mary’s and are open to the public and free to attend.

Deb Covell is currently exhibiting in the group show at York St Mary’s with her acrylic paint series Black and White (2013). A UK-based artist, Covell is interested in exploring the sculptural potential of acrylic paint. Her work has been described as “graceful minimalism” by Robert Clark of the Guardian.

By omitting the pictorial and eschewing the traditional canvas support, Covell engages the viewer with the purely formal and sensual aspects of her work. She starts by painting layers of acrylic paint onto stretched plastic sheets, which are then peeled off to create a foundation. Illusionary spatial depth is brought in by the use of black and white diagonal bands painted randomly onto these supports.

Eventually the diagonal gives way to the upright, and the parallel and accrued layers of paint break out from the flat vertical support into real space. A process of folding, creasing, cutting and collapsing follows until a sculptural form emerges. Key references in Covell’s work include early 20th century abstraction, particularly the reductive, geometric language of Russian Suprematism.

Covell exhibits regularly and her work is held in public and private collections in the UK and abroad, including the mima collection. To see more of her work visit:

The series of talks continues with the following:

Wednesday 7 May
Sam Lackey, Curator at The Hepworth Wakefield, debates the challenges of curating in the post-medium age.

Wednesday 21 May
James Boaden, lecturer in History of Art at the University of York, talks about the evolution of artists’ film, drawing upon the works in this exhibition.

Wednesday 28 May
Cherie Federico, Director of Aesthetica Magazine and judge for the Aesthetica Art Prize, explains the selection process for the shortlisted artists.

Wednesday 4 June
Mark Doyle, Head of Collector Development North for the Contemporary Art Society, talks about widening the appreciation and understanding of contemporary art.

The Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition runs until 22 June, open daily from 10am – 5pm, free admission. For more information visit

1. Deb Covell, installation shot. Courtesy of the artist.