This is the first UK solo exhibition of Australian painter Ben Quilty which is being held at the Saatchi Gallery.
The exhibition celebrates the artist’s achievements in being the overall winner of the inaugural Prudential Eye Awards. In addition to this solo show, Quilty was awarded a prize of $50,000.
The exhibition at Saatchi Gallery includes a selection of Quilty’s paintings from his acclaimed Rorschach series to his highly expressive portraits which use his distinctive and gestural painterly style. He frequently exploits this rich impasto finish by mirroring the painted surface on a twin blank canvas, mimicking the famous psychoanalytic ‘Rorschach’ technique to reference the reflective, interrogative nature of his work.
About The Artist
Born in 1973 in Sydney, Quilty makes paintings that meditate both on his own past growing up in Australia and on Australia’s wider cultural history. He is becoming widely known for both his unsettling subject matter and quick working method, which deliberately leaves smears, smudges and almost three-dimensional brush marks on the canvas. His works feature in the collections of the Art Gallery of New South Wales, the Art Gallery of South Australia and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney amongst many other significant museums.
Accepting his award in January 2014, Ben Quilty said:
“As an Australian artist I am aware of how remote Australia is in the sense that we have European heritage and yet are very much remote from Europe. We struggle to define our identity and thus we create barriers, yet we are geographically bang in the middle of South East Asia. This is an important prize that is about positively enriching that cross cultural bond.”
￼Speaking about the exhibition, Nigel Hurst, CEO, Saatchi Gallery said:
“The Saatchi Gallery is delighted to be able to host this exhibition and provide a showcase for recent work by renowned Australian artist Ben Quilty for the very first time. The show provides a wonderful opportunity to bring his unique and very individual Rorschach paintings and portraits to the attention of a new audience”.
About The Prudential Eye Awards
The Prudential Eye Awards are part of the Prudential Eye Programme, a partnership between Parallel Contemporary Art and the Saatchi Gallery.The awards celebrate the often overlooked but immensely significant art being made in countries across the geographically and culturally diverse region of Greater Asia, which spreads east from Azerbaijan across Russia, China, Korea, the Philippines and as far south as New Zealand. The inaugural edition was launched in Singapore, January 2014 with an exhibition and a high profile awards ceremony.
The awards were judged by a group of experts in contemporary Asian art:
Serenella Ciclitira (Founder, Parallel Contemporary Art)
Andreï Erofeev (independent curator and art critic)
Sir David Green KCMG (Former Director-General, British Council)
Nigel Hurst, (Director and Chief Executive of the Saatchi Gallery)
Lee Young Hye, Creative Director (Gwangju Design Biennale)
Nick Mitzevich (Director, Art Gallery of South Australia)
Tan Boon Hui (Group Director, Programmes Group, National Heritage Board)
The second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards returns in 2015. Nominations will be drawn from an Academy of Asian Contemporary Art comprising experts and leading curators. Nominations commence in June and close in September 2014, with the finalists announced in October this year. The finalists’ works will be shown in an exhibition in Singapore (date tba). The ceremony will be held in Singapore on 22 January 2015.