Eighteen artists from across the globe will compete for this coveted international prize, which celebrates contemporary artists who pay homage to the skill and traditions of the past. An exhibition of their work will be held at Gallery 8 in the heart of London’s St James’s from 19 to 24 June. The winner will be announced on 21 June.
The shortlist includes Ghanaian-British multi-media artist Amartey Golding whose film Chainmail throws light over cultural behaviours towards race, gender and sexuality, while channelling the darkness of El Greco and Goya; Dutch fine art photographer Isabelle van Zeijl who blends the techniques and idioms of the Old Masters with present-day aesthetics to create striking self-portraits; British print-maker John Phillips whose eerie still lifes are created from over 1,000 separate photographs; and American painter Lucy Beecher Nelson who reinvents 15th century Italian marriage portraits.
Ten artists have also been shortlisted for the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, a strand of the Young Masters Art Prize that was launched in 2014 to give a separate platform for ceramics and highlight the creative and innovative potential of this artistic medium. The shortlist includes British artist Katie Spragg who creates miniature worlds modelled in porcelain, and Danish artist Malene Hartmann Rasmussen, whose figurative and narrative pieces have been influenced by the 15th century potter Bernard Palissy.
The Young Masters Art Prize was established in 2009 by gallerist Cynthia Corbett. 2017 marks the fourth edition of the prize and is being judged by art historian Godfrey Barker (Chair) with Melanie Gerlis, Art Market Columnist at the Financial Times and Editor-at-large at The Art Newspaper; Daisy McMullan, Curator; Hannah Rothschild, writer, filmmaker and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Gallery, London; Charles Saumarez Smith, Secretary and Chief Executive of the Royal Academy of Arts and Jean Wainwright, Art Historian, Critic and Professor of Contemporary Art and Photography at the University for the Creative Arts.