ARTFORUM, POSTED MARCH 2, 2017
The Baltic Center for Contemporary Art in Gateshead announced today that Jose Dávila, Eric N. Mack, Toni Schmale, and Shen Xin were named as the four recipients of the inaugural Baltic Artists’ Award. They will each receive a thirteen-week exhibition at BALTIC, opening on June 30, as well as $30,000 to create new work and a $6,000 artist fee. The international award is the first worldwide art prize to be judged solely by artists.
Artists Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson served on the judges’ panel, which selected the four winning artists for their dedication to their artistic practice across a broad range of media. Public visitors to their upcoming exhibitions of new works will be able to vote for the artist’s presentation they feel most connected to. This will inform an additional commissioned project, to be announced in fall 2018.
Born in 1974, Dávila lives and works in Guadalajara. Influenced by Minimalism, American Conceptual art, and Brazil’s Neo-concrete movement, his artistic practice questions the inherent qualities of modern architecture and art throughout history: His sculptural work is based on the arrangement and overlapping of common construction materials such as boulders, glass, steel, concrete, and marble. Mack was born in Colombia in 1987 and now lives and works in New York. He often fuses paint with ready-made fabrics, structures of support, and his own clothing. Often deconstructing and reconstructing fabrics, he quilts large-scale patchwork panels that blur the line between utility and style.
Hamburg-born, Vienna-based Schmale began her studies in visual art following a career as a professional athlete. The artist’s sculptures critique existing social power relations and their stereotypical gender constructions. Born in Chengdu, Shen engages with moving images and focuses on the complexity of political narratives. Her films often aim to dismantle dominant power structures.