The 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize exhibition is on from now until 5 September.
Held at York Art Gallery, the exhibition showcases 20 artists from across the globe.
They include both new luminaries and chroniclers of our times.
Director Cherie Federico said: “I am honoured to have the opportunity to engage with, and support, so much talent.
“Every day I am inspired by these artists. I can only thank them for giving me the opportunity to experience such captivating work.
“Curating this year’s exhibition was infinitely rewarding.
“The process is rigorous because there are so many talented artists that apply.”
Exploring what it means to be alive
The 2021 Aesthetica Art Prize received more than 4,000 submissions.
Twenty artists are exhibiting their work from a longlist of 125.
Their work unearths intricate layers of what it means to be alive today.
It covers pressing themes, from the climate crisis and colonial histories to racist bias and new technologies.
The pieces draw on both personal and universal narratives.
Winners, Arthur Kleinjan (Netherlands) and Juliana Kasumu (UK), offer moving image works questioning complex identities, notions of truth and storytelling.
Juliana Kasumu’s film What Does The Water Taste Like? questions the production of identity as it relates to the complex ways in which the past and present remain in constant conversation.
The Black Man in The Cosmos by Kitoko Diva is a poetic and experimental art film. Created as a part of a video installation mixing new forms of Afrofuturism, cyberspace imagery and poetry, it addresses the contemporary identity crisis issue amongst European Afro-descendants.
Henny Burnett’s 365 Days of Plastic takes a critical look at plastic consumption, moulding a year’s worth of packaging and into sculptures that comprise a 4 x 3 metre wall.
Andrew Leventis’ Freezer Box (Vanitas) and Refrigerator (Vanitas) tap into the material realities of the COVID-19 pandemic. The paintings transform Dutch vanitas into 21st century works that consider the experience of wide-spread panic, and the idea of ‘stocking up’ on items in a notion to survive.
2021 Aesthetica Art Prize
The annual Aesthetica Art Prize celebrates new talent from across the globe.
It provides a platform for those redefining the parameters of contemporary art.
Winners receive prize money, exhibition and publication as well as further opportunities for development.
The exhibition runs until 5 September. Tickets are free.
Book your place via the York Art Gallery website.
Spectrum Photographic is the print partner.
Main image: Installation shot Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition © Jim Poyner Photography