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Rising star Oliver Laric scoops Contemporary Art Society’s prestigious £60,000 Annual Award 2012 with The Collection and Usher Gallery, Lincoln

Rising star Oliver Laric scoops Contemporary Art Society’s prestigious £60,000 Annual Award 2012 with The Collection and Usher Gallery, Lincoln

The Contemporary Art Society is delighted to announce that this year’s Annual Award, Commission to Collect, which offers one of the largest sums of money of any contemporary art prize in the UK, has been awarded to The Collection and Usher Gallery, Lincoln, with artist Oliver Laric. Laric saw off strong competition from emerging artists Juliette Blightman and Alice Channer to secure the career-changing award.

This year’s award was presented on the evening of 19 November by world-renowned artist Jeremy Deller at the stunning new David Roberts Art Foundation in London. The judging panel included Michelle Cotton (Senior Curator, Firstsite, Colchester), Chris Hammond(Director, MOT International), Moira Jeffrey (Writer) and Toby Ziegler (Artist). The other shortlisted entries were Leeds Art Gallery in association with Henry Moore Institute, Leeds (with artist Alice Channer) and Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery in association with Kettle's Yard, Cambridge (with artist Juliette Blightman).

The Annual Award offers the winning partnership the unique opportunity to work together to commission a new work of art for the successful museum’s permanent collection. The prestigious £60,000 prize, generously funded by the Sfumato Foundation, will enable the development of a new work that will enrich the museum’s international profile and contemporary collections, and that will be enjoyed by visitors to the area for generations to come. The Annual Award is also a critical stepping stone in the career of the winning artist and provides them with a platform to grow and develop their work. As the fourth artist to win the coveted prize, Oliver Laric will now begin the process of creating the new work, which will go on display at The Collection and Usher Gallery in approximately one year’s time. Previous recipients of the award include Kateřina Šedá, Luke Fowler and Christina Mackie, who have each gone on to enjoy considerable success since winning; currently, Luke Fowler is one of the shortlisted artists for the Turner Prize 2012 and Christina Mackie’s Annual Award 2011 commission will go on display at The Nottingham Castle Museum in March 2013.

Paul Hobson, Director of the Contemporary Art Society, said: "In these straitened financial times, when museums are having to reduce staff and programmes, opportunities to develop collections and to work with influential artists to commission major new works for their collections are understandably few and far between. Perhaps this is why we continue to have such exceptionally strong proposals for the Annual Award which, now in its fourth year, is one of the most significant contemporary art prizes in the UK. Submissions are stronger than ever, and I would like to congratulate all the shortlisted museums and their nominated artists for the high quality of their proposals this year. Oliver Laric is an artist who has attracted national and international interest recently and is at a critical juncture in his career, and we could not be more delighted that his work is entering such an important collection as that of The Collection and Usher Gallery."

Jonathan Platt, Head of Libraries and Heritage at Lincolnshire County Council said: "I’m thrilled that the Contemporary Art Society has backed The Collection’s commission of Oliver Laric’s exciting proposal for Lincoln. It’s great to be able to give an artist their ‘big break’ and I’m sure Oliver will go on to great things. The Collection is a museum for the 21st century, and the cutting edge technology involved in this commission certainly demonstrates this. By using the latest advances in 3D scanning and printing technology, we’ll be able to re-create Oliver’s work anywhere in the world, which is an incredibly exciting prospect. I can’t wait to see the finished physical and virtual Versions of Oliver’s work in the museum and on the internet."

Oliver Laric, artist, said: "This is hopefully the beginning of a project that won’t end. I am very curious to see how the data will spread and I can’t wait to start scanning." This is another initiative that meets the Contemporary Art Society’s mission to support and develop public collections of contemporary art across the UK. 

The Annual Award

digital film

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