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Artist Cornelia Parker to present The Contemporary Art Society ‘Annual Award’ on 14 November

— November 2011

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Cornelia Parker, Courtesy Contemporary Arts Society


 The Contemporary Art Society has announced that the Annual Award, commission to collect will be presented by one of the UK’s most significant artists Cornelia Parker. The reception for the Award will take place in London on 14 November. The winning museum will be awarded £60,000, a generous fund made possible thanks to the Sfumato Foundation. It will enable the winner to work closely with an artist to commission a new work that will, once completed,  become part of the permanent collection. This is the largest fund of its type and provides a much needed investment in new art for public collections, as a legacy for the future.

Cornelia Parker, who is famed for her beautiful and thought provoking sculptures and most recently for her inspired selection of works from the Government Collection currently showing at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, will present the prize at a ceremony at the  German Gymnasium, a hidden architectural gem in the heart of London’s busy Kings Cross area. The winner will have been chosen by a selection panel from an initial long list of 22 and then a shortlist of five museums from across the country. Each shortlisted museum has, over the last three months, been developing a detailed proposal with the artist with whom they have chosen to work. Having invested so much time and expectation all involved feel that there is much at stake as the panel make their final decision.

The Selection Panel includes: Adam Chodzko (Artist), Maurice Davies (Head of Policy, Museums Association), Rosy Greenlees (Director, Crafts Council), Michael Stanley (Director, Modern Art Oxford).

Cornelia Parker says

I’m delighted to be presenting this year’s Contemporary Art Society Award. In my early career the Society bought a number of my works that are now in collections in this country and gave me the support I needed at the right time. As an artist I know how important it is that museums commission new works for the public to enjoy. The award is particularly significant in the current financial climate.

The Contemporary Art Society exists to develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK and has done so since 1910. The Annual Award continues this important work and exists as the most generous opportunity alongside other Acquisitions Schemes. Public collections held within regional museums in this country have a wonderful history and hold fantastic works of art. The Annual Award enables one museum each year to work with an artist, through a creative process, an opportunity to produce new work makes it possible for museums to make inspiring links between the artist, their work and the very large audiences that visit and participate in museums in this country.  The Contemporary Art Society believes that to ensure that the most interesting art of the day finds its way in to public collections is vital for audiences now and in the future.

“Our Annual Award of £60,000 aims to encourage leading contemporary artists and museums to work together to realise inspirational new works of contemporary art for their local audiences.  We have been delighted by the volume and the quality of applications to our Annual Award in this, its third year.  Once again, we areexcited by such a strong selection of museums proposing internationally acclaimed artists of this calibre to create major new works for their collections.  The selection panel has a particularly difficult decision to make this year and we all look forward to their announcement in November.’Paul Hobson, Director, Contemporary Art Society
Previous winners include the Hepworth Wakefield and Wolverhampton Art Gallery for their proposal with Luke Fowler and Museums Sheffield, the Graves Art Gallery with Katerina Seda.

The third year of the Contemporary Art Society’s Annual Award - commission to collect, has been shortlisted by the following 2011 selectors: Adam Chodzko (Artist), Maurice Davies (Head of Policy, Museums Association), Rosy Greenlees (Director, Crafts Council), Michael Stanley (Director, Modern Art Oxford).
The CAS Award For Museum Shortlist, 2011:
National Museum Wales (Cardiff) with Artes Mundi :Proposal with artist Andrea Büttner

Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery: Proposal with artist Christina Mackie

Shipley Art Gallery: Proposal with artist Matthew Darbyshire

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool: Proposal with artist Wael Shawky

University of Warwick Art Collection: Proposal with artist Katie Paterson

This is another initiative that meets the Contemporary Art Society’s mission to develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK. The charity has gifted over 8,000 works over a period of 100 years, supporting  artists when they were young and little known and ensuring that some of the most important works are represented in collections across the UK.

For more information on short-listed museums and galleries:

National Museum Wales (Cardiff) <>

Nottingham Castle Museum & Art Gallery <>

Shipley Art Gallery <>

Walker Art Gallery, National Museums Liverpool <>

University of Warwick Art Collection 


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