Apollo Magazine

Artist of the Year

Apollo Awards 2017: Artist of the Year Shortlist

Frank Bowling

The abstract, textured paintings by the Guyana-born artist have been widely shown this year. A solo exhibition opened in June at Haus der Kunst, Munich (travelling to the Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and the Sharjah Art Foundation, UAE). Tate Britain is also due to mount a retrospective in 2019.

Photo: Alastair Levy


Lubaina Himid

Nominated for this year’s Turner Prize, Himid recently enjoyed three concurrent presentations of her work in the UK – at Nottingham Contemporary, Modern Art Oxford, and Spike Island, Bristol. The Nottingham exhibition traced the development of the British Black Arts Movement of the 1980s, with which Himid is associated. She is Professor of Contemporary Art at the University of Central Lancashire.

Photo: Denise Swanson


David Hockney

To celebrate his 80th birthday this year, Tate Britain (in partnership with the Centre Pompidou, Paris, and the Met, New York) presented a major retrospective of Hockney’s career. A two-part exhibition also opened at the Getty Center in Los Angeles, and he is designing a stained-glass window for Westminster Abbey.

© David Hockney. Photo: Jean-Pierre Gonçalves de Lima


Jasper Johns

London’s Royal Academy celebrated Johns by staging the first survey of his work in the UK. Earlier this year a five-volume catalogue raisonné covering the years 1954–2014 was published. Most recently, the 87-year-old announced that his 170-acre Connecticut estate will be transformed into an artists’ retreat after his death.

Photography by Sten-M. Rosenlund


Carolee Schneemann

A vast retrospective of the performance artist’s career was staged at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt and travelled to MoMA Ps1 in New York. She was also awarded this year’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale in recognition of her six-decade contribution to art.

Photo: Benjamin McMahon


Adrián Villar Rojas

The Argentinian artist – best known for site-specific works – staged four international exhibitions under the title ‘The Theater of Disappearance’. Alongside projects created for NEON in Athens, Kunsthaus Bregenz in Austria and the Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, Los Angeles, Villar Rojas was selected for the Met’s roof garden commission.

Photo: Panos Kokkinias; courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery, New York, Paris & London


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