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abstract critical Newcomer Awards 2011 Newcomers announced
Dan Roach, Inscape 2011. Oil and wax on panel, 5 x 6.75 in.

LONDON.- abstract critical announced the five artists from the 2011 degree shows nationwide who have been selected to participate in the abstract critical Newcomer Awards:

• Zara Idelson (Glasgow School of Art)
• Katy Kirbach (RA Schools)
• Dan Roach (University of Gloucestershire)
• Jack Sutherland (UCA Canterbury)
• Gwennan Thomas (Wimbledon College of Art)

This is the inaugural year of the prize, offering graduate artists from the 2011 degree shows an opportunity to exhibit alongside the five established artists who selected them. Phillip Allen, Carol Robertson, Iain Robertson, Alan Shipway and Gary Wragg toured shows nationwide to select their chosen graduate. During the exhibition, the £5000 abstract critical Newcomer Award will be awarded to one of the graduate artists.

“As selectors, we firstly had to satisfy our own criteria for how we interpret abstract. It is a generic label for many sub cultures, each with its own descriptive language. The remit of this exhibition and prize is to reward graduates who re-define the territory of abstraction for themselves by making original and stimulating new work. Coincidentally this year’s shortlist comprises all painters but there were also strong contenders working in sculpture, digital media and photography. Overall we found relatively few artists whose work remains firmly within the abstract domain and perhaps this is an indicator of why the prize is so important. We hope it will encourage artists who work in this field to know they have a strong and visible presence in contemporary art culture: that their art is valued and their voices are heard.” Carol Robertson.

The Newcomer Awards are a new initiative from abstract critical, a not for profit organisation which provides a proactive critical forum for abstract art. It incorporates an online forum and sponsors exhibitions and events across the UK.

The abstract critical Newcomer Awards will run at Kings Place Gallery from 30 March – 20 April 2012. A series of free talks and events will accompany the exhibition.

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