On the occasion of the Max Mara prize, chaired by Whitechapel Art Gallery’s Iwona Blazwick, The Independent covers the waterfront on new women artists:
Blazwick believes the Max Mara prize has been an invaluable process in uncovering new female talent. She says: “These women can’t be pinned to a certain generation, but most of them have emerged since 2000 and most have been through London art-school process. They come here to do an MA. The art-school effect is critical to the strength of this art, as is the cosmopolitan nature of London. They come to study from all over the world. Conversations between artists are like a cross-fertilisation. […]This generation of female artists is united by their differences: they work as individuals, singular figures, rather than within any kind of group identity. Anne Hardy constructs imaginary rooms in her studio and photographs them: she is as much a sculptor as a photographer. Tomma Abts paints small, abstract canvases using a rigorous geometric approach. Eva Rothschild makes sculptures, influenced by Minimalism, that are light and delicate in the way they occupy space. Hannah Rickards has worked with sound, making work using birdsong, the human voice and thunder. Goshka Macuga uses research and curating in her work, making installations from historic objects and documents. She explores the relationship between aesthetics and politics. At the moment she has a large installation on show in the Whitechapel Galleries. Titled The Nature of the Beast, it includes a tapestry of Picasso’s Guernica,
Much of the work by women artists working now is not definably feminine; at first sight there is nothing noticeably “female” about it. Unlike work by earlier artists such as Emin and Lucas, there is not a clitoris or an exposed breast in sight. […]
Lucy Skaer, 33
Born in Cambridge and lives between London and Glasgow. She graduated from Glasgow School of Art with a degree in environmental art and has been nominated for the Turner Prize this year. Skaer is a founder member of the artist collective Henry VIII’s Wives, who aim to build the unrealised utopian tower designed by the artist Vladimir Tatlin in the 1920s. This work, even though it was never built, is regarded as one of the greatest works of the Russian Constructivist period.
Eva Rothschild, 36
From Dublin. She was given the Duveens Commission at Tate Britain this year, a prestigious award, and her sculpture ‘Cold Corners’ consists of 26 enormous triangles that snake through the grand neoclassical hall. Her work is usually on a smaller, intimate scale, delicate sculptures that reference Minimalism.
Hannah Rickards, 30
From London and the winner of the MaxMara Art Prize. She works with sound as well as other visual media. ‘Thunder’ (2005) is a recording of an eight second thunderclap stretched into a seven-minute passage. She recreated the sound of birds singing, using her own voice, in ‘Birdsong’ (2002).
Katie Paterson, 27
Scottish and a graduate of London’s Slade School of Fine Art. She had an exhibition at Modern Art Oxford last year in which she painstakingly translated Beethoven’s ‘Moonlight’ Sonata into Morse code then transmitted it to the moon, where it was reflected back to earth. She uses modern technology to find poetry in landscape.
Katy Moran, 33
Born in Manchester and lives in London. She graduated from the Royal College of Art in 2005 with an MA in painting. Her work has been shown in London, at Tate St Ives and at the Andrea Rosen Gallery in New York. Her canvases are domestic abstractions: small and beautiful with a touch of nostalgia. Her palette is muted with flashes of colour, an ethereal cascade of blue and white that could be a waterfall, a hazy beach or a snowstorm.
Women at Work (The Independent)