A lady looking at a modern piece of art suspended on a wooden pole

13 Sept 2019

A groundbreaking exhibition, which has been a launch pad for some of the UK’s most exciting artistic talent opens at Leeds Art Gallery this month.

Celebrating New Contemporaries 70th anniversary this year, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019, selected by internationally renowned artists Rana Begum, Sonia Boyce and Ben Rivers, will showcase the work of the UK’s up-and-coming artists from September 14.

Leading figures in the fields of modern painting and sculpture that have shown as part of New Contemporaries exhibitions early in their careers include now renowned artists such as David Hockney, Bridget Riley, Damien Hirst and Paula Rego.

This year’s exhibition will feature work by 45 artists and a programme which will explore some of the latest developments in visual arts, UK art education and the changing ideas about making art in the 21st century.

The artists whose work will be showcased as part of the exhibition are: Jan Agha, Eleonora Agostini, Justin Apperley, Ismay Bright, Roland Carline, Liam Ashley Clark, Becca May Collins, Rafael Pérez Evans, Katharina Fitz, Samuel Fordham, Chris Gilvan- Cartwright, Gabriela Giroletti, Roei Greenberg, Elena Helfrecht, Mary Herbert, Laura Hindmarsh, Cyrus Hung, Yulia Iosilzon, Umi Ishihara, Alexei Alexander Izmaylov, Paul Jex, Eliot Lord, Annie Mackinnon, Renie Masters, Simone Mudde, Isobel Napier, Louis Blue Newby, Louiza Ntourou, Ryan Orme, Marijn Ottenhof, Jonas Pequeno, Emma Prempeh, Zoe Radford, Taylor Jack Smith, George Stamenov, Emily Stollery, Wilma Stone, Jack Sutherland, Xiuching Tsay, Alaena Turner, Klara Vith, Ben Walker, Ben Yau, Camille Yvert and Stefania Zocco.

One of the featured artists Alaena Turner, is currently studying at the University of Leeds, Alaena said; “Studying in Leeds is a great way to gain an understanding of the contemporary art scene on a national scale. There’s a strong sense of community and DIY culture here, supported by the ethos of the art schools, great organisations including artist-run initiatives and opportunities for new studio spaces.”

Alongside the exhibition at Leeds Art Gallery, Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 will present a series of public programmes developed collaboratively with organisations across the city including The Tetley, Henry Moore Institute, Leeds Beckett University and East Street Arts.

Councillor Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “Leeds has a long and proud history of supporting excellence in the arts and has often been a proving ground for some of the country’s most progressive and exciting talent.

“We’re delighted to be welcoming this exhibition to the stunning surroundings of Leeds Art Gallery and to be showcasing the work of these dynamic and creative artists.”

Kirsty Ogg, Director, New Contemporaries said, “With a dazzling range of names in post-war and contemporary art, collectively our alumni have helped define contemporary visual culture. The annual exhibition is an example of visual art’s development, encapsulating UK art education at a given moment and embodying changing ideas about the social purpose of art.

While New Contemporaries has been shown in Yorkshire in the past, we are delighted to be launching for the first time in Leeds and to be working with so many of the city’s illustrious organisations and institutions”.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 will launch at Leeds Art Gallery on September 14 until November 17 2019.

The show will then travel to the South London Gallery from 6 December 2019 to 23 February 2020.


Notes to Editors

New Contemporaries is the leading organisation supporting emergent art practice from the UK’s established and alternative art programmes, serving as a barometer of intriguing new artwork. Since 1949 it has consistently supported contemporary visual artists to successfully transition from education into professional practice, remaining responsive to the radical movements of contemporary art. Receptive to diverse practices from a diverse demographic, New Contemporaries provides new artists at an important stage in their career both professional development support and a platform to show work. An annual, nationally touring exhibition is accompanied by a programme of educational activity and support such as peer mentoring and access to a national network of studio bursaries and residencies. In addition to receiving NPO funding from Arts Council England, Bloomberg Philanthropies has supported the New Contemporaries touring exhibition since 2000. For more information visit newcontemporaries.org.uk or follow @NewContemps, #NC70 #BNC19

Leeds Art Gallery

Founded in 1888 Leeds Art Gallery has strong collections of 19th and 20th century British painting and sculpture, widely considered to be one of the best outside national collections. With half a million visitors every year, it is one of the city’s most visited attractions and all the exhibitions are free. Alongside the extensive painting and sculpture collection, the gallery presents a dynamic temporary exhibition programme. museumsandgalleries.leeds.gov.uk//leeds-art-gallery/

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 Selectors

Rana Begum

Through her refined language of Minimalist abstraction, Rana Begum blurs the boundaries between sculpture, painting and architecture. Her works absorb and reflect varied densities of light to produce an experience for the viewer that is both temporal and sensorial. Exhibitions include ‘A Conversation with Light and Form’, Tate St. Ives (2018); ‘Occasional Geometries,’ Yorkshire Sculpture Park, ‘Space Light Colour,’ Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich (both 2017); ‘The Space Between’, Parasol Unit, London and the 11th Gwangju Biennial, Korea (both 2016).

Sonia Boyce

Sonia Boyce’s work incorporates a variety of media such as film, print, drawing, installation and sound. Her recent work also brings performers and audiences into sharper focus as an improvisational part of the artwork, demonstrating how cultural differences might be articulated, mediated and enjoyed. Exhibitions include ‘Sonia Boyce’ Retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery (2018); ‘We move in her way’, ICA, London (2017) and ‘All the World’s Futures,’ 56th Venice Biennale (2015).

Ben Rivers

Ben Rivers explores unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects, blurring the line between fiction and documentary. Exhibitions include ‘Islands,’ Kunstverein in Hamburg (2016); ‘The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers,’ The Whitworth, Manchester and Artangel, London.

Bloomberg New Contemporaries 2019 is supported by:

Bloomberg Philanthropies Bloomberg Philanthropies works in nearly 480 cities in more than 120 countries around the world to ensure better, longer lives for the greatest number of people. The organization focuses on five key areas for creating lasting change: Arts, Education, Environment, Government Innovation and Public Health. Bloomberg Philanthropies encompasses all of Michael R. Bloomberg’s charitable activities, including his foundation and his personal giving. For more information, please visit bloomberg.org or follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter @BloombergDotOrg.

Arts Council England is the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives. It supports a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections. Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us. In short, it makes life better. Between 2018 and 2022, it will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from the National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country. Artscouncil.org.uk