The Graves Art Gallery and Museum in Sheffield with artist Katerrina Šedá are the winners of the inaugural Contemporary Art Society Annual Award which was presented by the artist Grayson Perry at the Contemporary Art Society 2009 Reception at the Camden Arts Centre this evening. The Award is funded by the Sfumato Foundation.
The new Award, launched to celebrate the Contemporary Art Society’s centenary, is a major commission to a contemporary artist to create a work in the context of a historical or modern museum collection. It provides a vital opportunity for museums to make a significant investment for the future of their collections and to ensure that they are communicating their work with new audiences.
The 2009 Award Panel was comprised of artists: Martin Boyce, Rosalind Nashashibi and Olivia Plender and chaired by Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society.
Katerina Šedá studied at the Prague Academy of Fine Arts from 1999 to 2005 and is currently based in the Czech Republic. Her work involves staging interventions into the ‘normality’ of life around her. These experiments have taken place in villages near her home in Brno, as well as the urban setting of her second home in Prague. Šedá has developed poignant sociological themes based on rigorous research into behaviour and communication patterns in art and non-art communities. She will show a work as part of Sheffield 10 and complete the new commission Líšen Profile from her base in the Czech Republic before the end of the year. Curators and gallery educators at The Graves will be much involved in Šedá’s complex working process and the development of the work itself.
The Contemporary Art Society is celebrating its centenary this year. Founded in 1909 by a group of private philanthropists, the Contemporary Art Society has been buying works of art and donating them to British museums and galleries for nearly 100 years. It aims to support contemporary artists and ensure that important contemporary works are made available to the widest possible audiences across the country. Over its 100-year history, the Society has acquired works by artists including Picasso, Gauguin, Moore, Bacon, Caro, Gilbert & George, Tracey Emin, Grayson Perry and Mark Wallinger. This has often been the first time the work of this living artist has been given to a public collection.