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Nuala O'Donovan. Grid Demisphere, Elizabeth Fern. copy

10th anniversary edition of the Young Masters Art Prize

A manga-inspired print of Frida Kahlo in The Oval Office and an immersive installation created from hundreds of fabric flowers are among the works created by the artists shortlisted for the 2019 Young Masters Art Prize. This international art prize, initiated by The Cynthia Corbett Gallery in 2009, celebrates contemporary artists whose work responds to art from the past.

Twenty contemporary artists from all of the world have been shortlisted for the £1,500 Young Masters Art Prize, with an exhibition of their work at La Galleria in the Royal Opera Arcade in central London from 30 September. They include June August, whose Warhol-esque screen prints take inspiration from the Japanese high art of the Edo period and the art of manga and animé; Ruth Chambers, whose painstakingly formed envelope drawings are influenced by Modernism, while nostalgically celebrating the slowness of paper communication; Amanda McCavour who ‘draws in thread’ to create immersive textile installations using floral motifs based on historical botanical embroidery and drawings; and Keith Maddy, whose collages reinterpret and repurpose vintage children’s books and ephemera into contemporary works of art.



Fifteen artists have also been shortlisted for the Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramics Prize, a strand of the Young Masters Art Prize that was launched in 2014 to give a separate platform for ceramics. They include Connor Coulston, whose figurines inspired by his Nan’s kitsch ornaments tackle issues ranging from child poverty to class and identity; and Nuala O’Donovan, who creates delicate porcelain pieces based on the geometry of natural forms.

The winners of both strands of the Young Masters Art Prize will be announced on 1 October at a prize ceremony during the shortlist exhibition. To mark the 10th anniversary of the prize, for the first time members of the public will also be invited to have their say in the £500 Young Masters People’s Choice Award, sponsored by Brownhill Insurance.

The Young Masters Art Prize exhibition will be at La Galleria, Royal Opera Arcade, London from 30 September to 5 October 2019.

See the full list of the shortlisted artist here. 

BrownhillLateNight Thursday 3rd October, 6.30 – 9 pm
FriezeBrunch Saturday 5th October, 11.30 am – 2 pm

La Galleria Pall Mall, Royal Opera Arcade, 5b Pall Mall, St. James’s, London, SW1Y 4UY.

Nearest Tubes: Green Park & Piccadilly (St. James’s exit)

Hours: Daily 11 am – 7 pm or by appointment





In 2009, Cynthia Corbett launched the Young Masters Art Prize, a not-for-profit initiative that gives a platform to both emerging and established contemporary artists who pay homage to the skill and innovation of the art of the past. The 2014 edition saw the launch of the first Young Masters Maylis Grand Ceramic Prize for artists working in ceramics. For the first time in 2017, an additional award was launched to profile and reward the work of an emerging female artist. In 2019, a People’s Choice Award will be introduced.

Young Masters tours internationally throughout the year, offering a wider audience the opportunity to engage with the debates between contemporary art and art of the past.

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