New Zealand's contemporary art award, the Walters Prize returns to the Gallery in 2018 for its ninth iteration.
Named in honour of pioneering modernist painter Gordon Walters (1919–1995), the Walters Prize is awarded for an outstanding work of contemporary New Zealand art produced and exhibited during the past two years. The biennial Prize aims to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of cultural life.
The four finalists were nominated by an independent jury for the following works:
- BAD VISUAL SYSTEMS, 2016, by Ruth Buchanan, exhibited at the Adam Art Gallery Te Pātaka Toi, Victoria University of Wellington, 2 October – 22 December 2016
- The Making of Mississippi Grind 2017, 2017, by Jacqueline Fraser, exhibited at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki, 20 May – 15 October 2017
- Whol Why Wurld, 2017, by Jess Johnson and Simon Ward, exhibited at Carriageworks, Sydney, 30 March – 25 June 2017
- Fāgogo, 2016, by Pati Solomona Tyrell, exhibited at ST PAUL Street Gallery, AUT, Auckland, 8 June – 21 July 2017
Each of the four finalists have redeveloped or expanded their nominated work for the Prize exhibition.
Previous winners were; Yvonne Todd for Asthma and Eczema (2002), et al. for restricted access (2004), Francis Upritchard for Doomed, Doomed, All Doomed (2006), Peter Robinson for ACK (2008), Dan Arps for Explaining Things (2010), Kate Newby for Crawl out your window (2012), Luke Willis Thompson for Inthisholeonthisislandwhereiam (2014) and Shannon Te Ao for Two shoots that stretch far out and Okea ururoatia (never say die) 2016.