Artists in India can now look forward to a worthy award for their efforts. The newly inducted Skoda Prize is the country’s first award for contemporary art, which will invite competition from young as well as mid-career artists, on a common platform.
“There are plenty of awards for emerging artists, but this is the only one that considers the rest as well,” says renowned art critic Girish Shahane, who is serving as a member on the advisory committee for the panel. He admits that the award is broadly modelled on Britain’s Turner Prize.
The prize, a collaboration between Skoda Auto India and Seventy Event Management Group, endeavours to celebrate contemporary art in India. All Indian artists below 45 years of age are eligible to compete for the Rs 10 lakh award. The winner, to be announced in January, will be accorded the title of The Skoda Prize winner for 2010-2011.
So far, the fraternity has received 169 entries from artists across India as well as Indians living abroad. 20 shortlisted artists will feature in The Skoda Prize catalogue. Entries are being judged on the basis of exhibitions or other presentations of the artists’ body of work, produced during a span of twelve months preceding the award.
“The prize highlights artistic quality above all, which is important in an atmosphere where prices and the market dominate media coverage of art,” stresses Shahane, adding, “The aim is to draw public attention to a generation of artists who are younger than the established masters, but nevertheless, produce innovative art.”
To sum up proceedings, the top three artists will be represented in The Skoda Prize Show, to be held in Delhi in January 2011.
Chairperson: Tasneem Mehta
Jury Members: Rajshree Pathy, Dr. Kavita Singh
Head of Advisory Committee: Girish Shahane
Members of Advisory Committee: Mortimer Chatterjee, Tara Lal