7 Jul 2014
Prudential Eye Awards winner exhibited at Saatchi Gallery
From 4 July to 3 August 2014, London’s Saatchi Gallery is to present the first solo exhibition of Australian artist Ben Quilty, born in Sydney in 1973. Quilty is the overall winner of the first edition of the Prudential Eye Awards for contemporary Asian art. The prize of $50,000 was awarded to him in Singapore this January.
Hailed as Australia’s answer to Bacon and Freud, the exhibition displays his “Rorschach” series, where paintings are mirrored on a separate canvas, manipulating the techniques used in psychoanalytical Rorschach tests. He is most known for the thick brushstrokes which give his work a three dimensional aspect. Personal experiences and Australia’s cultural history, are two elements which influence the artist’s work. Speaking at the launch, Quilty said: “Being a painter, most of my work is autobiographical. A lot of the works in this exhibition are about sites of Aboriginal massacre…the end of their culture, symbolically – the end of the dreamtime, their culture, often at the hands of pretty violent English colonial people.”
Quilty’s works are currently part of the permanent collections at Gallery of New South Wales, Art Gallery of South Australia, as well as the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney.
Prudential Eye Awards are organised in collaboration with the Prudential Eye Programme; a partnership between Parallel Contemporary Art and Saatchi Gallery. The prize — founded by Global Eye Programme, a non-profit organisation which serves as a platform for emerging artists —, is dedicated to the often neglected sector of art produced from Asia, Azerbaijan, Russia, China, Korea, the Philippines and New Zealand. Furthermore, Prudential is embarking upon a new project in partnership with the British Council which aims to organise a series of activities to promote art appreciation, created by students and young people in Singapore.
The ceremony for the second edition of the Prudential Eye Awards will take place on 22 January 2015 in Singapore. Nominations begin in June and close in September, with the results to be announced in October 2014. The works of the finalists will be exhibited in Singapore, however the date and location are yet to be confirmed.