There are several art prizes and competitions claiming to have found the next crop of talented emerging artists. But of these, the one we find to be the most consistent in showcasing great young artists is the Catlin Art Prize. Its curator Justin Hammond travels the country picking the best artists from graduate shows, compiling them into a guide that has been shortlisted into seven finalists on display in this exhibition.
This year’s artists include Lara Morell’s evocative photography and sculpture that can only be described as agricultural vanitas, and Neil Raitt’s approach to landscapes where a small image is multiplied many times across large scale works. A special mention goes to Sarah Fortais for her adventurous sound, sculpture and video installation that attempts to use drums to replicate the sound of a rocket taking off.
Dennis Reinmüller has created a surreal atmosphere where the artist’s image is replicated multiple times on screen, in a futile version of the game Snake and all across the wallpaper. It’s bizarre, humorous and gets our vote for the prize.
Virgile Ittah’s wax sculptures are disturbing as they lay uncomfortably across two bed frames. Her work was also the strongest work in New Order II at the Saatchi gallery and she must be considered a favourite for the win. We think Ittah is likely to win the prize with Morell as our outside bet.
This year’s exhibition is superbly curated with each artist given a full room to express themselves, and so their works feel engrossing. Coupled with the fact that this is yet another strong set of artists, this is an excellent exhibition and an improvement on last year’s showing.
The Catlin Art Prize exhibition is on at the Londonewcastle Project Space, 28 Redchurch Street, E2 7DP until 24 May. Entrance is free
For more great art to see this month in London, check out our listings.