Preview - Bloomberg New Contemporaries
This year, Bloomberg New Contemporaries returns to Liverpool’s Bluecoat after 30 years with a new crop of emerging artists. The show forms part of Liverpool Biennial 2016, of which New Contemporaries has been an integral component since 1999.
Supporting emergent practice from British Art Schools by providing a critical platform for new and recent fine art graduates, New Contemporaries is highly regarded and most recognised primarily for its nationally touring annual exhibition. Independent of place, the organisation holds strong democratic values and participants are selected by a rigorous process. Work is considered within a broad cultural context by a panel of influential figures within the art world; curators, writers and artists, this year including artists Anya Gallaccio, Alan Kane and Haroon Mirza. New Contemporaries alumni include Tacita Dean, Mona Hatoum, Damien Hirst, Mike Nelson and Laure Prouvost, and this years selected group seem set to follow suit.
A range of themes including the mass-produced and the digital, socio-economics, gender equality, home and cultural identity are explored through a variety of media, from traditional techniques to digital processes. The result is both bold and haunting and speaks loudly of both aesthetic values and the preoccupations of the younger generation.
Photographer James Berrington, who graduated from the University of Westminster back in 2015, holds a particular focus on social documentary. In this show, he creates still life images of bricks which cast a critical eye over the UK’s current housing crisis whilst also responding to his own experience working within social housing for over 25 years. The harsh simplicity of Berrington’s images command the viewer to consider their own experiences of home in the most basic of ways, as well as the many complex facets associated with our foundational memories and experiences.
Richard Nicholson’s practice is concerned with materiality and the passage of time. Investigating questions raised by the transition from analogue to digital technologies, he attempting to ask fundamental questions about the nature of materiality and its relationship to the digital image. Nicholson’s deconstructed images provoke a fresh encounter with the brute materiality of the object.
From her experience as a Hungarian living abroad in the U.S. and now in the UK, Zsofia Schweger explores notions of home and belonging, local identity, and the emigrant experience. Returning to her first home in Sandorfalva, Hungary – which is now frozen in time, with most furniture and belongings still in place, waiting for eventual moving or disposal – her first home becomes a motif in her paintings to explore memory, time and place.
Bloomberg New Contemporaries shows the diverse approaches of emerging artists working today. Social, cultural and environmental changes to the world around us are represented in the show, on both a personal level and in a broader perspective, with artists reflecting on geo-political turmoil, cultural legacies and environmental concerns. The show looks set to stimulate the senses, question our sensibilities and become an overarching highlight in the Biennial’s programme.
Selected artists for Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2016 are: Victoria Adam, Katja Angeli, Diana Anghel, Saelia Aparicio Torinos, James Berrington, Jack Bodimeade, Anna Bunting-Branch, Leah Carless, Michael Cox, David Donald, Jemma Egan, Kate Fahey, Jamie Fitzpatrick, Harry Fletcher, Mary Furniss, Roxman Gatt, Christopher D.A. Gray, Jamie Green, Thomas Greig, Byzantia Harlow, Sebastian Jefford, Seungjo Jeong, Alfie Kungu, Janina Lange, Lana Locke, Georgia Lucas-Going, Sophie Mackfall, Karolina Magnusson-Murray/ Leon Platt, Richie Moment, Zarina Muhammad, Richard Nicholson, Mooni Perry, Lisa Porter, Alicia Reyes McNamara, George Ridgway, Rodrigo Red Sandoval, Zsofia Schweger, Leonor Serrano Rivas, Ruth Spencer Jolly, Oriele Steiner, Margreta Stolen, Reece Straw, Maryam Tafakory, Tenant of Culture and Jack West.
The exhibition runs from 9 July to 16 October 2016 at Bluecoat, Liverpool before traveling to ICA, London from 23 November.