The inaugural Contemporary Art Society Annual Award for 2009 was presented to Museums Sheffield, The Graves Art Gallery for their proposal to commission a work Líšeň Profile by Czech artist Kateřina Šedá.
Museums Sheffield’s current focus for the visual art collections is the broad theme of identity. This is a thread which runs throughout the art collections, from Jonathan Richardson’s 18th century portrait Lady Mary Wortley Montagu to Gwen John’s Corner of the Artist’s Room and Marc Quinn’s Kiss. The long-term intention is to acquire key works which comment on social and political issues. Seeking to engage audiences with concepts such as belonging, a sense of placeand the impact of migration and intercultural exchange.
Líšeň Profile is an inspiring and engaging work which builds on these themes, and is the first by a significant international contemporary artist to enter Sheffield’s collection.
Kateřina Šedá’s reputation has grown steadily over the past few years. She has shown work at Documenta XII, Manifesta 7 and the 2008 Berlin Biennial.
Šedá’s work is based around the community where she lives in Brno-Líšeň in the Czech Republic. She uses performance, staged activities and public interventions to reactivate communities and create social interaction. ForLíšeň Profile, Šedá has worked with 500 participants from across the Czech Republic. She invited them to her home town to create a portrait of Líšeň and its inhabitants, exploring connections between people, community and place.
The resulting work for Sheffield’s collection was shown for the first time as part of the public programme at The Graves Art Gallery in February 2011.