Maria Mahfooz, 30 Questions with Maria Mahfooz, 2019, Image courtesy the artist and New Contemporaries
New Contemporaries is launching a specially created digital platform for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020 this September, showcasing the work of 36 artists emerging from UK art schools and alternative education programmes. The digital platform, which is being developed with Hato Press, will allow the public to engage with some of the UK’s most dynamic art practices ahead of the exhibition at South London Gallery in December. Complementing its existing work to support artists, 2020 sees New Contemporaries create new opportunities that are essential for the continued professional development of emerging and early career artists delivered in collaboration with its partners Humber Street Gallery and Ferens Art Gallery, Hull, and South London Gallery
Liam Mertens, Get a grip, 2019, Image courtesy the artist and New Contemporaries
Mindful that the current Covid-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected artists, New Contemporaries has developed additional and exciting initiatives to support this year’s cohort as well as its alumni. It will launch the Bridget Riley Artists Professional Development Programme, providing opportunities for peer-to-peer networking sessions, mentoring, professional development talks, public programming and performances. This programme sits alongside New Contemporaries existing opportunities including studio bursaries and mentoring and networking sessions for the selected artists.
Alex Canonico, Glow Hole, 2020, Image courtesy the artist and New Contemporaries
Kirsty Ogg, Director New Contemporaries, said:
‘The C-19 pandemic has presented some exciting opportunities as well as some real challenges to the way that we work this year. We are really delighted by our selectors’ and our artists’ willingness to respond to these changes. Our increased digital presence offers exciting ways for us to continue to support emerging and early career artists in the digital realm, as well as creating innovative possibilities in the development of our relationships with our partners Humber Street Gallery and Ferens Art Gallery in Hull, and South London Gallery.’
Anika Roach, Off to The Mayo Clinic, 2019, Courtesy of the artists and New Contemporaries
Some of the themes addressed by this years selected artists include:
Identity politics and Art Education: Rene Matic? , Ashleigh Williams and Jung Roh highlight experiences of going to art school in contemporary Britain. Themes of identity, class and multiculturalism; addressing the white gaze; and the inequalities in how education is funded for students are explored in each of the artist’s moving image works.
Dislocation and Home: Edwin Mingard works with young homeless people to create a film that poignantly reveals the reality of their lives. Nimmi Hutnik ’s ink drawings on paper narrate a single woman’s Friday night in from a personal perspective; Kimie Minobe ’s moving image work is an intimate documentary of her family home in the USA.
Cyber Identities: Through moving image Maria Mahfooz creates avatars to demonstrate experiences of racial stereotypes and from her own perspective as a young muslim woman; Sizuo Chen transforms paintings into androgynous, animated characters in a moving image work that questions cyber femininism and gender binaries; Sangbum Ahn ’s documentary film explores artificial intelligence and how this may connect to spirituality and well-being through our relationships with machines thinking and working like humans and pets.
Caitriona Eimear McClay, Queer Use, 2020, Moving Image, Image courtesy the artist and New Contemporaries
The rigorous two-part selection process is led by a panel of three internationally-renowned artists (this year Alexandre da Cunha, Anthea Hamilton and Linder) who have no knowledge of the applicant’s gender, age, nationality or education while reviewing submissions. Hinted at in the selected works are the concerns and themes of the selector’s own work – from Linder’s investigation of performativity and radical feminism; Hamilton’s interest in appropriation and the surreal; and da Cunha’s focus on materiality and abstract forms.
Linder, 2020 selector , said:
‘The selection process was exhilarating and offered the selection panel a unique and intimate insight into the practice and concerns of those leaving art education and about to go out into the world. There’s an urgency and a sense of accelerated production in a lot of the works especially in the video works. Others offer counterpoint and contemplation, their stillness and gravitas stopped us all in our tracks.’
Clara Hastrup, Lapdog Tabernam, 2019, Image courtesy the artist and New Contemporaries
The artists selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020 are: Sangbum Ahn, Ned Armstrong, Paul Barlow, Alexandre Canonico, Chen Si-zuo, Nicole Coson, Gabriella Davies, Lu?ca?s Dillon, Ufuoma Essi, Jake Grewal, Clara Hastrup, Nimmi Hutnik, Lily Kemp, Maria Mahfooz, Zethu Zizwe Ruby Maseko, Rene Matic?, Cat and E?ime?ar McClay, Liam Mertens, Edwin Mingard, Kimie Minobe, Karabo Monareng, Pablo Paillole, Jung Min Park, Anne Carney Raines, Anika Roach, Jung yun Roh, Shamica Ruddock, Sophie Ruigrok, Kirsty Sim, Anna-Rose Stefatou, Orfeo O’Leary Tagiuri, Giorgio van Meerwijk, Ahren Warner, Ashleigh Williams and Charlie Yetton.
Pablo Paillole, The Ecstasy of Communication, 2019, courtesy of the artist and New Contemporaries
About New Contemporaries
New Contemporaries is the leading organisation supporting emerging art practice from the UK’s established and alternative art programmes and since 1949 it has supported contemporary visual artists to successfully transition from education into professional practice, remaining responsive to the radical movements of contemporary art. Receptive to diverse practices from a diverse demographic, New Contemporaries provides new artists at an important stage in their career both professional development support and a platform to show work. An annual, nationally touring exhibition is accompanied by a programme of educational activity and support such as peer mentoring and access to a national network of studio bursaries and residencies. In addition to receiving annual NPO funding from Arts Council England
over the period 2018-2022, Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported the New Contemporaries touring exhibition since 2000. Since its inception, New Contemporaries has held a vital role in the UK’s contemporary art scene, illuminating for the first time a cross section of the most internationally renowned artists of recent history including post-war figures Frank Auerbach, Bruce Lacey and Paula Rego; pop artists Frank Bowling, Patrick Caulfield and David Hockney; new media pioneers Stuart Brisley, Helen Chadwick and Derek Jarman; YBAs Damien Hirst, Chris Ofili and Gillian Wearing; alongside contemporary figures such as Tacita Dean, Sunil Gupta, Mark Lecky and Mona Hatoum; and more recently a new generation of exceptional artists including Monster Chetwynd, Rachel Maclean, Haroon Mirza, Hardeep Pandhal, Laure Prouvost and Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.