AUCKLAND ART GALLERY
The Walters Prize 2016
16 July — 30 October 2016
New Zealand’s contemporary art award returns to the Auckland Art Gallery in 2016 for its eighth iteration.
Named in honour of pioneering modernist painter Gordon Walters (1919–1995), the Walters Prize is awarded for an outstanding work of contemporary New Zealand art produced and exhibited during the past two years. The biennial Prize aims to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of cultural life.
The last two years in New Zealand contemporary art practice have been intensely productive. Over this period, we’ve observed art engaging in a variety of ways with our rapidly changing economic and environmental situation. Artists have challenged orthodox knowledge systems, and provided new ways of seeing and thinking about problems of contemporary life. Many significant new bodies of work have been exhibited over this period.
- Joyce Campbell, nominated for Flightdream, 2015
- Nathan Pohio, nominated for and exhibiting Raise the anchor, unfurl the sails, set course to the centre of an ever setting sun!
- Lisa Reihana, nominated for in Pursuit of Venus [infected], 2015
- Shannon Te Ao, nominated for and exhibiting Two shoots that stretch far out, 2013–14
The four artworks selected as Walters Prize finalists in 2016 are all extraordinary and will continue to shape the course of art in years to come. Variously political, poetic, enigmatic, seductive and confrontational, each engages with New Zealand’s history through strategies that question and re-imagine our present. Conceived with a sophisticated awareness of art’s own recent developments, these projects argue for art’s autonomy at the same time as being embedded in the social and situational. Their impact has helped to advance the conversations of art throughout Aotearoa New Zealand.