Artists pick next generation for £120k new prizes

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Four young artists are to receive a £30,000 prize each as winners of a new competition organised by Gateshead’s BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, the first major ward to be judged solely by artists.

For the new Baltic Artists’ Award four international contemporary artists - Monica Bonvicini, Mike Nelson, Pedro Cabrita Reis, and Lorna Simpson – were asked to nominate an emerging artist. Each of the four, two men and two women, will receive £25,000 to make new work, a £5,000 artist’s fee and 13 week exhibition at BALTIC starting this summer.

The winners are Jose Dávila, 43, a sculptor based in Guadalajara, Mexico; Eric N Mack, 29, a painter who works in New York; Toni Schmala, 36, a German who works in Austria and had been a successful athlete before turning to sculpture; and Shen Xin, 26, a Chinese film maker graduate of the Slade who works in London.

Visitors to the exhibition of new works, which opens on June 30 and runs for 13 weeks, will be able to vote for the artists’ presentation they prefer to help decide on a commission for a new commission for Gateshead, which will be announced next year.

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