The second of a series of five annual Awards, presented by the AKO Foundation, was announced on 5 December 2018. The Award, offered to graduates of The Courtauld Institute’s MA Programme Curating the Arts Museum (2017/18), has been conceived to support and encourage the development of curatorial skills among recent graduates, and follows a competition for exhibition proposals based on Nicolai Tangen’s extensive collection of modernist art in all media from the Nordic countries. Students focused on a wide range of themes and periods in their proposals.
The Award, a prize of £2500, has been won by Laura House, with a proposal titled Beyond Our Reach: Horizons Seen and Imagined.
Two runners-up (each of whom receive £500) were selected: Naomi Polonsky for her proposal A Human Touch: People, Places and the Environment in Contemporary Nordic Photography; and Felicien Grand d’Esnon, for his proposal Melting Gryte.
The Award was judged by Martin Caiger-Smith, Head of the Curating MA, Dr Barnaby Wright, Deputy Director of The Courtauld Gallery, Else-Brit Kroneberg, Curator, Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, and Beate Mjaaland (AKO Foundation) with Nicolai Tangen. Laura House’s winning exhibition proposal explores a fundamental feature of the natural world – the horizon – as a site of introspection, aspiration, disquiet and the unknown. It particularly impressed the judges for its sensitive and nuanced development of the theme, and its well-judged selection of a broad range of work in diverse media. Laura House is to be invited to visit the Sorlandets Kunstmuseum to discuss the proposal with the museum’s curators and further develop it in an exhibition to be mounted there in late 2019.
The jurors found the overall standard of the submissions very strong. Nicolai Tangen commented: ‘I was enormously impressed by the very high quality proposals, which show creativity combined with a deep understanding of art. This is clearly an incredibly talented group of curators who will go on to achieve great things in the international world of art.’
The Tangen Collection is the largest collection of Nordic modernist art. It has been offered to the town of Kristiansand, in southern Norway, where it will be located, together with the collection of the Sorlandets Kunstmuseum, in a new museum to be constructed on the town’s waterfront. The museum is a complete refurbishment of a former grain silo. Following an open international competition in 2016, the architectural project selected was Silosamlingen, developed as a collaboration between Mestres Wage Arquitectes and MX_SI Architectural Studio in Barcelona. The Museum, which will provide ca 4000sq. m of exhibition space is due to open in the autumn of 2021.