Jury: Jonathan Watkins

Each year, the Aesthetica Art Prize celebrates excellence in art from across the world. A total of 100 artists are selected for publication in Future Now: the Aesthetica Art Prize Anthology, and 16 of these practitioners are exhibiting in the Art Prize Exhibition now on view at York Art Gallery until 10 September. Following last month’s Private View and Awards Ceremony, where Adam Basanta picked up the Main Prize, we reflect on the inspiring members that made up the 2017 Jury. We were delighted to invite Jonathan Watkins, Director at Ikon Gallery, to join the Judging Panel.

Director of Ikon since 1999, Watkins has previously worked as Curator of the Serpentine Gallery (1995-1997) and Director of Chisenhale Gallery (1990-1995). He has curated a number of large international exhibitions including the Biennale of Sydney (1998), Facts of Life: Contemporary Japanese Art (Hayward Gallery, London 2001), Quotidiana (Castello di Rivoli, Turin 1999, Tate Triennial (2003), Shanghai Biennale (2006), Sharjah Biennial (2007), Negotiations (Today Art Museum, Beijing 2010) and the Guangzhou Triennial (2012). He also curated the Iraqi Pavilion for the Venice Biennale 2013 and was the author of the Phaidon monograph on Japanese artist On Kawara.

Housed in a neo-gothic school building in central Birmingham, Ikon is an educational charity and works to encourage public engagement with contemporary art through exhibiting new work in a context of debate and participation. Established in the 1960s, the gallery showcases a variety of media, including sound, film, mixed media, photography, painting, sculpture and installation. Exhibitions Manager Roma Piotrowska provided an insightful overview of Ikon’s image-based shows with work by the likes of Janet Mendelsohn. From 16 June, Ikon will open its new exhibitions: Sidney Nolan, Sheela Gowda and John Stezaker.

For more, visit www.ikon-gallery.org.

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Entries are open for the Aesthetica Art Prize until 31 August.

1. Samuel Weniger in collaboration with Dardan Zhegrova. Aesthetica Art Prize 2017 Longlist.