Walters Prize judgment on aesthetics
Pity poor Catherine David. She is shortly to leave her Paris home and fly to Auckland to pick a winner from four artists whose installations have been determined by a group of curators as the best that New Zealand art can offer.
Yes, it's time again for the Walters Prize, that biennial attempt by Auckland Art Gallery to prove it is still engaged with the country's contemporary artists.
Chris Saines, the director of the gallery for the past 12 years, says in the catalogue foreword that it sets out to review the work that "arguably made the strongest or even potentially the most lasting impact on current New Zealand practice".
In case we might think that implies some judgment, Saines reassures us the intention is "always to start a conversation about contemporary art, not to establish a canon".
The prize exists because of the generosity of patrons Erika and Robin Congreve, and Jenny Gibbs. The gallery even stands back from the selection. That is left to a panel of jurors.MZ Herald October 25