Announcing the winners of the Contemporary Art Society Annual Award, commission to collect, 2010

15 November 2011 By

Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries presented the award to The Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery at the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Reception held at Tate Britain.

The Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery made the joint bid as part of their respective collection development strategies.

Fowler’s starting point will be the writings and rarely-seen archive materials from the radical socialists Edward Palmer Thompson, Raymond Williams and Richard Hoggart. Fowler is inspired by their teaching and writing which was honed in the working-class communities in the North and the Midlands in particular. His research and eventual film work will explore how the influence of these committed intellectuals reverberated widely in the post-war cultural arena, eventually giving rise to an emerging discipline of ‘cultural studies’, that, in its focus on popular art forms and vernacular traditions, posed considerable challenges to the established academic elite of that time.

“The Contemporary Art Society is delighted to present the Annual Award for 2010 to The Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery to realise a major new commission by acclaimed artist, Luke Fowler. Museums face challenging times, and with the support of the Sfumato Foundation we act as a conduit for highly strategic philanthropy to strengthen curatorial capacity in museums and support new works by artists entering public collections for local audiences no matter where they live. We look forward to seeing how this exciting collaboration develops.'”
Paul Hobson, Director, Contemporary Art Society

“I’m delighted that The Hepworth Wakefield has been awarded this prestigious prize, which comes at an exciting time for us as we prepare to open our new gallery to the public in May 2011. Luke Fowler is a fascinating young artist and commissioning this new work for our collection is the perfect way to help it to grow again and continue the city’s progressive approach to collecting contemporary art, as it did in the past with Barbara Hepworth and Henry Moore.”
Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield

“We are thrilled to have won this award in partnership with The Hepworth Wakefield. Luke Fowler’s interest in political movements and counter cultural figures makes his work absolutely right for our collection. This award gives us an opportunity to work on a major commission; the result of which will be a piece of work that has close connections to our region and our collections.”
Marguerite Nugent, Head of Curatorial Services, Wolverhampton Art Gallery

Luke Fowler (b.1978, Glasgow) works with film and installation, collaborating widely with sound artists, academics, and filmmakers. His work can be divided into two strands: composite film portraits of historically marginalised figures such as R.D. Laing and investigations into the deeply ingrained structures and predispositions that underpin our perceptual and phenomenological experience of image and sound. He exhibits nationally and internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Gallery in 2009 and Kunsthalle Zurich in 2008, and has been the recipient of several prizes and awards including the Paul Hamlyn Award 2010, the Jarman Award in 2008 and the Dewar Prize in 2004. He is currently showing work in The British Art Show 7.

For enquiries please contact the Contemporary Art Society on 020 7831 1243 or email

Link to The Hepworth Wakefield here

Link to Wolverhampton Art Gallery here

Link to Film and Video Umbrella here