The Hepworth Wakefield announces the four shortlisted artists and judging panel for the UKís first prize for sculpture

Hepworth Sculpture Prize

Today, The Hepworth Wakefield announced the four shortlisted artists and judging panel for the UK’s first prize for sculpture.

The £30,000 new biennial award, The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture will recognise a British or UK-based artist of any age, at any stage in their career, who has made a significant contribution to the development of contemporary sculpture.† The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture is an integral part of the gallery’s 5th anniversary celebrations and named in honour of Barbara Hepworth. †

Dr Sophie Bowness, art historian, THW Trustee and granddaughter of Barbara Hepworth said: “The launch of the UK’s first Prize for Sculpture is a fitting legacy to Barbara Hepworth, one of Britain’s greatest sculptors whose career was enhanced through a variety of awards, from her early scholarships the Grand Prix at the 1959 S„o Paulo Bienal”.

Simon Wallis, Director of The Hepworth Wakefield and Chair of the Selecting Panel said: “We are delighted to have such a strong and diverse shortlist for our inaugural Prize and are looking forward to working with these artists and to inspire and engage our audiences with the medium of sculpture. It is particularly fitting that we launch the first Prize of its kind, here in the heart of the Yorkshire Sculpture Triangle.”

He added: “While there is no shortage of prizes in the art world, few specifically recognise sculpture and it is our aspiration to redress that with the launch of one of the UK’s most important new awards. We have based the selection of the four shortlisted artists on the significance of their contribution to sculpture in its broadest definition.”

The four shortlisted artists are (in alphabetical order):

- Phyllida Barlow
- Steven Claydon
- Helen Marten
- David Medalla

The finalists will present their work in an exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield from 21 October 2016 until 19 February 2017. Visitors to the exhibition will be encouraged to ‘judge’ the Prize for themselves. The winner of the first Hepworth Prize for Sculpture will be announced at an awards dinner in November.

Phyllida Barlow said: "It was a surprise and huge honour to be short-listed for the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Without doubt, it will be a thrilling experience to exhibit at The Hepworth Wakefield and to take into consideration its dynamic architecture which has sculpture very much in mind. It is also exciting to be exhibiting with the three other short-listed artists."

Steven Claydon said: “I’m very pleased to have been shortlisted for this award. Although multifaceted, my work derives primarily from interaction with the world of objects: they are the conduits, the vehicles that provide access to the intangible realms of the emotional, digital, poetic and theoretical. In that way, sculpture always endures. It is legitimised by the cultural context and the physical realities of the epoch in which it is formed. The background noise of subliminal qualities is ultimately encoded within it. This award is a validation of these imperatives, and of the part played by artists in Britain who contribute toward this medium.”

Helen Marten: said: “In a world collapsing under the pressure of billions of personal interfaces, it is exciting to celebrate our relationship to physical touch and the material substance of our daily actions. I am particularly honoured to be included in a shortlist of artists so dedicated to making sculpture, and am excited to make an exhibition with a group of such esteemed and diverse practitioners.”

David Medalla added: “'I feel honoured in being selected for an exhibition at The Hepworth Wakefield. I think the Hepworth Prize for Sculpture is a palpable expression of the greatness of Barbara Hepworth as a sculptor. I love her enduring and inspiring art.'

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture 2016 Judging Panel of five comprises:

- Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Director of Castello di Rivoli Museo d’Arte Contemporanea and GAM Galleria Civica d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea di Torino
- David Chipperfield: architect and designer of The Hepworth Wakefield
- Sheika Hoor al-Qasimi, President Sharjah Art Foundation
- Patrizia Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, President of The Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo, collector and patron of the arts
- Alastair Sooke, art critic and broadcaster

A nomination panel of five chaired by Simon Wallis compiled the shortlist:

- Katrina Brown, Director of Common Guild
- Jennifer Higgie, Co-Editor of Frieze
- Lisa Le Feuvre, Director of the Henry Moore Institute
- Sally Tallant, Director of Liverpool Biennial
- Bart van der Heide, Chief Curator at Stedelijk Museum

The Hepworth Prize for Sculpture is supported by the following individuals:

- Linda Bennett
- David Liddiment
- David Roberts

Supporting Sponsor:



Regional media partner for the Hepworth Sculpture Prize:

The Yorkshire Post†

Image: Barbara Hepworth working on the prototype of the United Nations ’Single Form’, St Ives, Cornwall, 1963. Photograph: Studio St Ives © Bowness