Apollo Magazine

Artist of the Year

Artist of the Year Award

Carmen Herrera

The Cuban-born American artist, who turned 101 this year, has been painting since the 1950s but her reputation has grown in recent years: she sold her first painting in 2004 and her work has been acquired by MoMA and Tate Modern. This year Herrera has been celebrated with a major retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, which follows an exhibition at Lisson Gallery New York – her first solo show in the US for 10 years.

Carmen Herrera. Photo: Jason Schmidt; Courtesy Lisson Gallery; © Carmen Herrera

David Hockney

Hockney remains hugely active: this year, the Royal Academy of Arts presented a new body of work (82 portraits and one still life) created since the artist’s return to LA in 2012, while the MAC Belfast mounted the artist’s first show in Ireland. He has also collaborated on the recently published book, A History of Pictures: From the Cave to Computers, with Martin Gayford. To celebrate Hockney’s 80th birthday next year, Tate Britain will survey the artist’s entire career.

David Hockney in his studio in Los Angeles on 22 February 2016. Photo: Jean-Pierre Goncalves de Lima; © David Hockney

Ragnar Kjartansson

The performance and video works of Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson gained much attention this year following a mid-career retrospective at the Barbican Centre – which was also the artist’s first exhibition in London (now at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Park until January 2017). The artist’s solo show at the Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal earlier this year followed his first solo exhibition in Paris, at the Palais de Tokyo, in late 2015.

Ragnar Kjartansson. Photo: Elisabet Davids; Courtesy Luhring Augustine

Jannis Kounellis

The work of the Greek-born painter, sculptor and performance artist – associated with the arte povera movement – was recently displayed in a major exhibition at London’s White Cube, following a show at the Monnaie de Paris earlier in the year. Other notable achievements this year include a site-specific installation to mark the opening of the Museo Espacio in Mexico and an installation at the Centro Arti Visive Pescheria in Pesaro to celebrate the centre’s reopening.

Jannis Kounellis. Photo: Elizabeth Young

Helen Marten

Helen Marten’s reputation has been steadily rising. Her multimedia works, combining sculpture, painting and installation, have this year earned her nominations for the Turner Prize and inaugural Hepworth Sculpture Prize. A major solo exhibition of new work at the Serpentine, ‘Drunk Brown House’ opened in September, and a monograph was published this year by Koenig Books following the artist’s solo exhibition at the Fridericianum in 2014.

Helen Marten. Photo: Juergen Teller; Courtesy Sadie Coles

Cornelia Parker

This year the English artist, best known for large-scale installations such as Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, was selected for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s fourth annual roof garden commission – for which she created Transitional Object (Psychobarn), an installation based on Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho. Parker also curated ‘Found’ at the Foundling Museum, which reflected on the museum’s history and featured over 60 artists, writers, and musicians. Parker had a major solo exhibition at the newly opened Whitworth Art Gallery in Manchester last year.

Cornelia Parker at the Summer Exhibition 2014 in the room she curated for the show. © Royal Academy of Art

The Apollo Artist of the Year Award is kindly supported by Rawlinson & Hunter.

The Shortlists | Museum Opening of the Year | Exhibition of the Year | Digital Innovation of the Year | Book of the Year | Acquisition of the Year

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