Dan Arps wins Walters Prize

Dan Arps, Explaining Things 2008 (installation detail), mixed media, Gambia Castle, courtesy of the artist and Gambia Castle.
Dan Arps, Explaining Things 2008 (installation detail), mixed media, Gambia Castle, courtesy of the artist and Gambia Castle.
Dan Arps.
Dan Arps has won the Walters Prize 2010 - along with $50,000 and an all expenses paid trip to New

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Dan Arps has won the Walters Prize 2010.

The Auckland-based artist wins $50,000 and an all expenses paid trip to New York with the opportunity to exhibit his work at Saatchi & Saatchi’s world headquarters.

International judge, former Tate Modern director Vicente Todoli says “I have awarded this prize to Dan Arps because he has created a total work of art in the Wagnerian sense of ‘Gesamkunstwerk’. His work is a development of a concept first created by James Joyce in Ulysses, which is the epiphany of everyday life. This idea was highly influential on Duchamp, when he developed the concept of the ‘Readymade’, and was transmitted into the present through movements like Fluxus and Pop. In this case, it would be the epiphany of the humble and the rejected.

"The artist has transformed these found materials through his own editing and his process of amelioration and has taken them into another, higher realm. Through this process, Dan Arps has turned his installation into an alchemical chamber. He incorporates such a diversity of art disciplines in the treatment of such dissimilar elements, which results in the creation of a conglomerate where the whole is bigger than the sum of its parts. Each of them radiates into the empty spaces between them, turning Explaining Things into a revelatory multi-layered experience.”

An independent jury of critics and curators selected the four finalists: Jon Bywater, Rhana Devenport, Leonhard Emmerling and Kate Montgomery.

Auckland Art Gallery director Chris Saines says, “The Walters Prize set out to focus on contemporary work, but unconditionally celebrates the contemporary artist. Ten years and five prizes on, the artists who have participated in the prize are, without exception, continuing to push forward and to exert uncommon influence on contemporary New Zealand art. It has proven itself a reliable core sampler of some of our best and most enduring new work.”

Named in honour of the late New Zealand artist Gordon Walters, the prize was established in 2002 by founding benefactors and principal donors Erika and Robin Congreve and Dame Jenny Gibbs, working together with the Auckland Art Gallery. The Prize set out to make contemporary art a more widely recognised and debated feature of our cultural life.

Previous winners are Peter Robinson in 2008 for ACK , Yvonne Todd in 2002 for Asthma and Eczema, the et al. collective in 2004 for restricted access and Francis Upritchard in 2006 for Doomed, Doomed, All Doomed.

Exhibition Opened:
24 July 2010
Exhibition Closes:
31 October 2010
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki New Gallery

Written by

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki

11 Oct 2010

Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki Art, history and culture are brought to life at Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tāmaki. Founded in 1888, the Gallery remains New Zealand’s largest visual arts experience, with a collection of more than 16,000 artworks.