It is that time of year again. Momentum is building and the art world is revving its engines in preparation for the onslaught of the numerous art fairs, biennales, prizes and blockbuster shows scheduled for the coming months. It is an exciting time and one that The Rise Art Roaming Eye will be following closely.
The seasonal excitement kicked off in London last week with the announcement of the four nominees for the now infamous Turner Prize. For a succinct overview, art critic Adrian Searle gives a brief, if somewhat biased, account of these artists' work on his highly readable Guardian blog. Essentially, the list appears a serious and well considered snapshot of four artists who have been steadily developing their practice and are well respected by their peers. Martin Boyce represented Scotland at the last Venice Biennale and is already held in the Tate's collection; Karla Black's work is currently exhibited in a group show at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park; George Shaw is presently the subject of a solo exhibition at the BALTIC in Newcastle and Hillary Lloyd shows with Sadie Coles HQ, an established London based gallery.
This is a funny type of prize often at odds with public sentiment yet can do wonders for the career of the winner. One plausible explanation for this friction may lie in the confusing nomination process. Contrary to popular belief, the winner of this prize is not picked from the Turner Prize exhibition, the show of the artists' work which normally happens at Tate Britain after the nominees have been announced (although is moving to the BALTIC in Newcastle for the first time this year). Rather, the winner is selected from the exhibition which secured his or her nomination: a display or presentation of the artist's work which occurred in the 12 months prior to nomination, anywhere in the world. Also, and somewhat oddly, the wider press do not report on this aspect of the prize and so even finding out which exhibitions were worthy of this accolade can prove tiresome. Fear not though, as you might have already seen, we have linked the selected exhibitions to each of the artist's names above, to save your time!
On a more sombre note, this week marks the opening of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's first solo exhibition at Lisson Gallery, one of the foremost contemporary commercial galleries in the world. This exhibition comes at a particularly poignant moment as Ai Weiwei is currently missing, having been detained by the Chinese Authorities on 3 April this year as he was about to board a flight from Beijing to Hong Kong. Not a word has been heard from him since and no charge has been brought against him. Lisson Gallery director Greg Hilty has chosen to continue with the exhibition in the artists absence in order to raise awareness for Ai Weiweis plight. The private view will take place tonight, Thursday 12th of May, with the exhibition on show until the 16th of July.