PRESS RELEASE - Artes Mundi 5 call for artist nominations

Date posted: April 19, 2011

Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Artes Mundi reveals new developments in Prize.
Artes Mundi, the UK’s largest art prize, launches its global call for the nomination of artists on 19 April. The closing date for nominations is 26 June this year. Nominations are reviewed by two established international curators who select a shortlist of six artists for the biennial exhibition in 2012. One artist will receive the £40,000 Prize and all other shortlisted artists will receive a new award of £4,000 each.

The call for nominations begins an international research process that enables Artes Mundi to recognise and support contemporary visual artists whose work engages with social reality, lived experience and the human condition. It gives a platform to artists who are established in their country or region and are emerging internationally but who are under recognised in the UK. The two selectors will be announced during the nomination period, and the artist shortlist will be revealed this September.

Exhibition and Prize Move to Autumn Dates

Artes Mundi 5 will open in September 2012 and run for three months, moving from the spring dates of previous Artes Mundi exhibitions. Ben Borthwick, Artes Mundi’s new Chief Executive and Artistic Director, said:

“By moving Artes Mundi 5 to the autumn, it will join a group of headline events in the international visual arts calendar that also take place in the UK during that season, including the Turner Prize, Frieze Art Fair and Liverpool Biennial. This is the appropriate context in which Artes Mundi will celebrate its tenth anniversary.”

An international judging panel awards the Artes Mundi Prize midway through the exhibition in November 2012.

New Artes Mundi and Mostyn Partnership

Ben Borthwick, who joined Artes Mundi from Tate Modern last autumn, revealed that the organisation has formed a new long term partnership with Mostyn in Llandudno. In future, following each Artes Mundi cycle, one of the shortlisted artists will be invited to present a solo exhibition in Mostyn’s recently refurbished galleries the year after the Prize. He said:

“This partnership with Mostyn enables us to broaden the access of audiences in North Wales to Artes Mundi. It also deepens our ongoing support of artists: the Prize recognises exceptional achievement for an existing body of work, while this new opportunity to develop a solo exhibition demonstrates our commitment to the development of artists’ practices.”

Martin Barlow, Director of Mostyn, said:

“Artes Mundi working with galleries is a significant development for the visual arts in Wales. Mostyn looks forward to creating an exciting joint project with Artes Mundi for 2013 as the start of an important and evolving long-term collaboration.”

National Museum of Art

Artes Mundi 5 will be installed in almost 800 square metres of new contemporary art galleries at Wales’ National Museum of Art under the roof of National Museum Cardiff, reinforcing Artes Mundi’s longstanding partnership with the Museum. Ben Borthwick said:

“The National Museum of Art has created exceptionally beautiful spaces that sensitively combine a white cube aesthetic with the building’s various architectural histories. This is a clear statement of the role of contemporary art in the Museum’s vision and Artes Mundi is proud that the positive audience reaction to its first four exhibitions has contributed so much to the development of that vision over the last decade.”

Details of the Artes Mundi 5 nomination process is available at or by calling +44 (0)29 2055 5300

Editor’s Notes:

Artes Mundi is an international arts organisation based in Wales. Established in 2002, Artes Mundi is committed to supporting groundbreaking contemporary visual artists from around the world whose work engages with social reality, lived experience and the human condition.

Every two years, working with artists, galleries, art institutions, curators and the British Council, Artes Mundi seeks nominations of artists known in their own country or region but who are still gaining wider international recognition.  Two independent selectors review the nominations and select six artists for the biennial Exhibition and Prize.

The 12 week Exhibition features a body of work from each of the shortlisted artists and takes place at the National Museum of Art in Cardiff.  A separate panel of five judges awards the Artes Mundi Prize which is one of the world’s largest cash prizes in the visual arts.  From 2012, Artes Mundi will award £40,000 to the winner and £4,000 each to the other shortlisted artists. A new partnership with Mostyn will also see one of the shortlisted artists present a solo show the year after the exhibition.

The first four Artes Mundi Exhibitions have been a popular success with diverse audiences and, particularly, with young people.  Public and curatorial events and education programmes are offered in Wales during each biennial and further touring and commissioning strands are being developed.

In 2010 the Artes Mundi 4 Prize was awarded to Yael Bartana who will represent Poland at the 2011 Venice Biennale. The first Artes Mundi Prize was awarded in 2004 to Xu Bing, a Chinese born artist living in New York. In 2006 the Artes Mundi 2 Prize was awarded to the Finnish artist Eija-Liisa Ahtila, and in 2008 to the Indian artist NS Harsha.

Artes Mundi is publicly funded by the Arts Council of Wales and by Cardiff City Council.

Ben Borthwick was appointed Chief Executive and Artistic Director of Artes Mundi in 2010. He is a curator and writer who specialises in international contemporary art, with particular focus on sound and socially engaged practices. During seven years at Tate Modern (2003-10) he curated exhibitions including Gilbert & George, Latifa Echakhch, Rodchenko and Popova, The Irresistible Force and Rosa Barba, and worked closely with Bruce Nauman and Doris Salcedo on their Turbine Hall commissions. In 2008, Borthwick co-founded Butcher’s, a non-profit arts organisation that produces projects in high street locations and public spaces. Prior to Tate, he worked on a number of public art projects with Artangel, Liverpool Biennial and Henry Moore Foundation. He writes regularly for exhibition catalogues and artist publications and was a regular contributor to The Wire music magazine from 1998 to 2008.

Wales’ National Museum of Art opens on 9 July 2011, showcasing the full range of the nation’s world-class art collection under one roof at National Museum Cardiff. For the first time, the National Museum’s mix of fine and applied art, from the historic to the contemporary, will be shown in a single series of integrated galleries, giving a new visibility to art in Wales and to the art of Wales.

The West Wing – six impressive new contemporary art galleries – will be the biggest space of its kind in Wales. Previously, the Museum had only one gallery to display its range of modern and contemporary art, which is one of the UK’s most important collections. This development will give the Museum nearly 800 square metres more space to show the strength and range of art produced in Wales since the 1950s, and how this relates to the international scene.

Mostyn reopened in May 2010 following a three year closure which saw it undergo an acclaimed major expansion project designed by Ellis Williams Architects. It now comprises six galleries housing a changing programme of exhibitions displaying the best contemporary art from Wales and the UK, as well as work by international artists. Mostyn is a member of Plus Tate, a partnership of the leading contemporary galleries in the UK and receives financial support from the Arts Council of Wales, Conwy County Borough Council Art Service and Llandudno Town Council.

For further press information contact:

Penny James
Penny James Press and Marketing Services
029 2076 6599.

For further general information about Artes Mundi contact:

Lauren Curl
Artes Mundi, St Johns Chambers, High Street Arcade, Cardiff  CF10 1BD
tel: + 44 (0)29 2055 5300 or

For further information about Wales’ National Museum of Art contact:

Catrin Mears
National Museum Wales, Cathays Park, Cardiff
Tel: +44 (0)29 2057 3185 or

For further information about Mostyn contact:

Nia Roberts
Mostyn, 12 Vaughan Street, Llandudno, LL30 1AB
tel: +44 (0)1492 879201 or

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