Congratulations to Sarah Contos for winning the inaugural Ramsay Art Prize. The Sydney-based artist won the acquisitive $100,000 award with her work Sarah Contos Presents: The Long Kiss Goodbye, which will now become part of the permanent collection at the Art Gallery of South Australia (AGSA).
Nick Mitzevich, director of AGSA, described the winning piece as a “tour de force” and the artist’s most ambitious work to date.
“Previous works of art and exhibition histories are all captured in this textile time-capsule,” Mitzevich said, “making it a self-initiated retrospective of her life in art.”
The Ramsay Art Prize supports contemporary Australian artists under 40 working in any medium. The prize is presented by the James and Diana Ramsay Foundation and will be held every two years.
The judges of the 2017 Ramsay Art Prize were Rhana Devenport, director of the Auckland Art Gallery; contemporary Australian artist Nell; and Leigh Robb, curator of contemporary art at AGSA. Their decision was unanimous.
“Contos’s 21st century quilt spills over, and, like a new epic history tableaux, celebrates power women in all their glory with fireworks, sequins and PVC,” said Robb.
The work of all 21 finalists is on show in The 2017 Ramsay Art Prize exhibition.
Visitors can vote for the People’s Choice Prize, a non-acquisitive award of $15,000 which will be announced on 11 August 2017.