Artes Mundi extends its worldwide reach

Date posted: July 29, 2011

Nominations for Artes Mundi 5, the most valuable art prize in Britain, have reached record levels.  Over 750 nominations have been received for the Wales-based prize, representing 576 individual artists from more than 90 countries.

The depth of quality in the nominations has been outstanding, and Artes Mundi 5 promises to be particularly rich in stories of lived experience from all over the world

Ben Borthwick, Artes Mundi’s Artistic Director, said “This is a step-change for Artes Mundi.  Nominations have increased by more than 50% and the artists cover almost half the countries in the world. The depth of quality in the nominations has been outstanding, and Artes Mundi 5 promises to be particularly rich in stories of lived experience from all over the world. I am incredibly excited and I am confident audiences will share that excitement when they visit the exhibition.”

Huw Lewis, Minister for Housing, Regeneration and Heritage, commented that “the cultural life of Wales is of crucial importance to the way our country is perceived internationally and directly impacts on our economic growth.  Artes Mundi is at the forefront of building our worldwide reputation for excellence in the arts and I welcome the substantial increase in the number of countries involved as a sign that a major event in Wales is establishing itself as an important global focal point for the visual arts”.

The task of whittling the long list of nominations down to the handful who will be invited to exhibit their work in Cardiff falls to two internationally-respected curators, Sofía Hernández Chong Cuy and Anders Kreuger.

Anders said “As a curator of contemporary art I’m always thankful for opportunities to do in-depth new research. Shortlisting for Artes Mundi is such an opportunity: an honour, and a responsibility to be taken seriously. Almost 600 artists have been nominated this year, so it is a challenge to select six or seven of these highly accomplished individuals. But I am certain that we will be able to present some of the world’s best artists, of different generations and from all across the globe, in Cardiff next year.”

The Artes Mundi shortlist will be announced in London and in Cardiff in October 2011.

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