‘Masterly’ artist Kim Pieters wins $20,000 art award with abstract painting

TOM LEE/STUFF

Elizabeth Caldwell, the judge of this year’s National Contemporary Art Award competition, was very impressed by the $20,000-winning work by Dunedin artist Kim Pieters, titled The Meaning of Ethics.

A Dunedin artist who is being hailed as “a complete master of her craft” has earned one of this country’s highest honours for creative endeavour.

Kim Pieters’ mixed media painting The Meaning of Ethics has been named the $20,000 winner in this year’s National Contemporary Art Award, at a ceremony on Friday night at Waikato Museum.

The work evokes themes of memory, including how the impression of things remembered can end up being subtly distorted with time, awards judge Elizabeth Caldwell said.

Caldwell said she was awed by Pieters’ talent.

“The work draws on a tradition of stylistic abstract painting. As a judge, one of the things I look for is orginality and a signature style. Kim Pieters is an artist who uses her own vocabulary of gestures in her art-making. She has got complete mastery of her craft.”

Caldwell – the director of the City Gallery in Wellington – assessed the 236 entries for the award. The finalists – 51 artworks by 49 artists from across New Zealand – were selected through a “blind” judging process where Caldwell reviewed the creators’ statements, images and optional video works online without ever knowing their identity.

As well as the $20,000 prize for the winning work sponsored by Chow Hill and…

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