16 February - 21 April | York Art Gallery, UK

Aesthetica Art Prize 2024

Art is a powerful agent of change. Throughout history it has influenced societies, challenged norms, questioned the status quo, raised awareness and prompted new perspectives. It reflects the cultural context in which it is created, and, by capturing the essence of our times, the artists in the Aesthetica Art Prize are contributing to society’s ongoing evolution. This year we present 21 artists from across the world who offer creativity as a form of expression. They tap into poignant emotions and motivate us to act, inspiring a collective response to challenges facing society. They remind us that the connection between artist and viewer can drive transformation, fostering greater empathy and understanding. 16 February - 21 April 2024. York Art Gallery, UK.

Images: Yeven Samuchenko; JeeYoung Lee; Margeaux Walter.

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Images: Thomas Jenkins; Alexej Sachov; Heather Agyepong. 

Art is an Agent of Change

From painting, photography and sculpture to video, mixed-media and installation, everything begins with an idea. Whilst the works offer the broadest possible view of the world today, they also interrogate established belief systems, creating different versions of the future. Many of the pieces draw attention to issues such as the climate crisis, the impact of technology, colonial legacies and inequality across society. These works are active not passive, and together, they create a new dialogue that defies existing paradigms, contributing to the progression of the human story. These artists will leave a legacy, influencing new generations. Cherie Federico, Director of the Art Prize, notes: “Contemporary art can change the world and, here in York, which is a global UNESCO City of Media Arts, we are doing just that. The pieces on display are timely, immediate and necessary.”

The Finalists

This year, the 21 shortlisted artists are: Alexej Sachov, Almudena Torró, Antonia Luxem, Ayrton 'Sam' Mendes, Brigitte Amarger, Caroline Jane Harris, Cinzia Campolese, Donna Mclean, Edgar Martins, Gala Hernández López, Heather Agyepong, Hussina Raja, JeeYoung Lee, Kenji Ouellet, Kriss Munsya, Margeaux Walter, Maryam Tafakory, Mo H. Zareei, Sigita Silina, Thomas Jenkins and Yevhen Samuchenko. This year’s nominees prompt viewers to consider important questions about the evolving relationship between humans and the natural world, the fluidity of medium, and the power of claiming identity. Many of the artists featured blur the boundaries between digital and analogue media, prompting viewers to think about the overlap between different types of artworks.

Images: Brigitte Amarger; Mo H. Zareei; Donna Mclean. Top: Kriss Munsya.

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