Aesthetica Art Prize Exhibition 2021

28 May – 5 September | York Art Gallery, UK
Free entry. Pre-booking required.  

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The Aesthetica Art Prize is an annual exhibition that invites you to explore, discover and engage with new ideas.  The works on display are unearthing the intricate layers of what it means to be alive today. Life was complicated before Covid-19, but the pandemic has placed a new set of strains and challenges on society.  

However, the artists’ works are covering themes such as the climate crisis, colonial histories, racism, new technologies and the impact it has on our lives. The pieces draw on both personal and universal narratives and in many ways that unique blend of the macro and the micro makes this exhibition immediate, compelling and highly relevant for the times in which we live.  

Genres include painting, photography, sculpture, video and installation, and these immersive works are part of a wider line of enquiry into our complex world. The featured projects span the UK, USA, Germany, Canada, Australia, Taiwan and Brazil.

Click here to watch artist interviews.

Artists are the chroniclers of our times. Through work that digests the very nature of life in the 21st century, we are able to question further, make sense of and unite in this time of uncertainty and change. Human history has been re-written, and we are living in that moment right now.  

The 2021 shortlisted artists include: Alice Duncan, Andrew Leventis, Carlos David, Cesar & Lois Collective, Chris Combs, Cathryn Shilling, James Tapscott, Christiane Zschommler, David Brandy, Dirk Hardy, Erwin Redl, Gabriel Hensche, Henny Burnett, Juliana Kasumu, Kitoko Diva, Monica Alcazar-Duarte, Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard, Seb Agnew and Shan Wu.

Discover this year’s Aesthetica Art Prize Longlist

The 2021 longlisted works are a call to action. Collectively, these works cover the biggest themes of our times. Selected from an open call, these pieces draw on both personal and universal narratives. Through a union of the ordinary and the extraordinary, we are reminded of the one thing that binds us together: our humanity. Watch our round-up of all 125 artists, whose work spans all disciplines. Learn more about them on our Artists’ Profile Pages and browse this year’s Future Now Anthology.

Submit Your Work

Aesthetica is looking for artists redefining the parameters of contemporary art. The Prize is open to multiple genres including photography, sculpture, installation, digital media, video, painting and more. Since its establishment 10 years ago, the Art Prize has provided a platform for artists across the globe to showcase their work through publication, exhibition, £5,000 prize money and wider exposure. Our Jury comprises influential art world figures, including curators, academics, gallerists, editors and practitioners whose expertise span across a range of media. Deadline: 31 August.

Enter the Aesthetica Art Prize