Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020 will open at the South London Gallery this May, showcasing the work of 36 artists emerging from UK art schools and alternative education programmes. The exhibition is supported by New Contemporaries specially created digital platform made in collaboration with Hato Press and the selected artists, presenting the artworks alongside newly commissioned audio responses and contributions by UK-based curators and writers.
‘Following the successful launch last September of our new online platform, which presents the exciting work by the 36 artists selected for this year’s Bloomberg New Contemporaries, we are delighted to be returning to the South London Gallery again this year. We have been really heartened by the artists, selectors, partners and funders willingness to come along with us on this most unexpected of journeys this year as we have moved to increase our digital and online activity in response to the C-19 global pandemic. Complimenting this URL activity is the exhibition at the South London Gallery, and we look forward to welcoming all of our stakeholders and audiences as they explore the selected work in real life.’Kirsty Ogg, Director New Contemporaries
Some of the themes addressed by this years selected artists include:
Identity Politics and Art Education: Rene Mati?, Ashleigh Williams and Jung Yun 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; Chen Si-zuo 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.
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 had 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.
New Contemporaries presents Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020 at the South London Gallery
19th May – 6th June 2021 southlondongallery.org
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 has launched 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.
The artists selected for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2020 are: Sangbum Ahn, Ned Armstrong, Paul Barlow, Alexandre Canonico, Chen Sizuo, Nicole Coson, Gabriella Davies, Lúcás Dillon, Ufuoma Essi, Jake Grewal, Clara Hastrup, Nimmi Hutnik, Lily Kemp, Maria Mahfooz, Zethu Zizwe Ruby Maseko, Rene Mati, Cat and Éiméar 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.
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.