Phyllida Barlow and Helen Marten Lead Race to Win First Hepworth Sculpture Prize

The exhibition of works by the finalists opens today.

Visitor takes first look at Bluebutter Idles (2014) and Part offering (new and amazingly sexual daughters) (2014) by Helen Marten. Photo courtesy Danny Lawson/PA Wire.
Visitor takes first look at Bluebutter Idles (2014) and Part offering (new and amazingly sexual daughters) (2014) by Helen Marten. Photo courtesy Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

The first Hepworth Sculpture Prize exhibition opens at the Hepworth Wakefield Museum in Yorkshire, England today, exhibiting works by the four shortlisted artists: Phyllida Barlow, Steven Claydon, Helen Marten, and David Medalla.

The winner will receive a significant £30,000 prize ($36,678), which will be announced at an on-site dinner on November 17.

Visitor takes first look at 'Screestage' (2013) by Phyllida Barlow, part of the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Photo courtesy: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Visitor takes first look at Screestage (2013) by Phyllida Barlow, part of the inaugural Hepworth Prize for Sculpture. Photo courtesy Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Featuring both old works as well as new, the show presents a truly interesting body of work from its featured artists.

The very successful young artist Helen Martin, who is also on the shortlist for the Turner Prize this year and currently showing at the Serpentine Gallery, is making headlines with her work, which is at once sculptural and painterly. Among seven works by Martin are a series of screen-printed leather canvases decorated with cigarettes and cherry stones.

A visitor views a series of works by Helen Marten at The Hepworth Wakefield. Photo courtesy: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

A visitor views a series of works by Helen Marten at the Hepworth Wakefield. Photo Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

The artists have been chosen for their “significant contribution to sculpture” and are indeed doing so, with Phyllida Barlow representing Britain at the 57th Venice Biennale, opening next year. She is the second consecutive female artist to show at the British Pavilion, with the last edition featuring London-based Sarah Lucas.

At the Hepworth Wakefield, Barlow has kept things simple with the use of low-cost materials like plywood, sand, tape, and PVA glue to construct an immense and immersive work.

Artist David Medalla poses with his work <i>Cloud Canyons</i> (1964-2016). Photo courtesy: Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

Artist David Medalla poses with his work Cloud Canyons (1964-2016). Photo Danny Lawson/PA Wire.

The Philippine-born artist David Medalla has installed a large foam-producing sculpture, made up of intricate tubes and tunnels, a continuation of the work that he began in the 1960s. Steven Claydon on the other hand, is showing work from a recent show at Sadie Coles HQ, put together with a large yellow PVC curtain which has been scented with citronella.

The winner is to be chosen by a panel of judges that includes the architect David Chipperfield; president of the Sharjah Art Foundation Sheikha Hoor al-Qasimi; and the art critic Alastair Sook, among others. Members of the public attending the exhibition will also get the chance to vote for a winner for the People’s Choice Award.


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