30 June – 4 September 2022
For her winning Max Mara Art Prize for Women commission, Emma Talbot (b. 1969, UK) questions deeply rooted positions of power, governance, attitudes to nature and representations of women through an acutely personal lens. It takes as a starting point Gustav Klimt’s painting The Three Ages of Woman (1905), which features a naked elderly woman standing in apparent shame.
Over the course of a bespoke six-month Italian residency organised by The Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy, Talbot re-framed the older woman as a figure with agency, capable of overcoming a series of trials similar to The Twelve Labors of Hercules. Through her modern-day trials, the woman reconstructs contemporary society, tackling some of the most pressing issues of our time.
Follow the twists and turns of this contemporary epic across two 11-metre-long free-hanging silk paintings, a life-sized sculptural figure, drawings and an animation.
Emma Talbot (b. 1969, Stourbridge) lives and works in London. She studied at the Birmingham Institute of Art & Design and Royal College of Art. Working in drawing, painting, animation and sculpture Talbot often articulates internal narratives as visual poems or associative ruminations, based on her own experience, memories and psychological projections. Incorporating her own writing and references to other literary and poetic sources, Talbot’s work considers complex issues such as feminist theory and storytelling; ecopolitics and the natural world; and pertinent questions regarding our shifting relationships to technology, language and communication. Her work is currently on show in Milk of Dreams at The 59th International Art Exhibition – La Biennale di Venezia. Recent solo exhibitions include: When Screens Break Eastside Projects, Birmingham (2020); Ghost Calls , DCA, Dundee (2020);Ghost Calls and Meditations Kunsthaus Pasquart, Biel (2021); Sounders of The Depths, GEM Kunstmuseum, The Hague, Netherlands (2019-20); Emma/Ursula, Petra Rinck Galerie Dusseldorf (2020); ArtNight 2019 commission: Your Own Authority, William Morris Gallery; 21st Century Sleepwalk, Caustic Coastal and Salford Lad’s Club, Salford (2018); Woman-Snake-Bird, Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam (2018); Open Thoughts, Neuer Aachener Kunstverein (2017); The World Blown Apart, Galerie Onrust, Amsterdam 2017; Stained With Marks Of Love, Arcadia Missa, New York (2017). Her work is held in the collections of Guerlain, Paris, British Council Collection, Arts Council Collection, City of Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, David Roberts Collection, Saatchi Collection, University of the Arts London, Art Gallery of Western Australia, Perth, Fries Museum NL, Arnhem Museum NL, KRC Collection NL, AkzoNobel NL.
The Max Mara Art Prize for Women, in collaboration with Whitechapel Gallery is a biannual award established in 2005. It is the only visual art prize for women in the UK and aims to promote and nurture female artists, enabling them to develop their potential with the gift of time and space. The prize is open to women artists living and working in the United Kingdom who have not previously had a major solo survey exhibition. The partners of the prize are Max Mara, Whitechapel Gallery and Collezione Maramotti who collaborate on each phase of the prize. For each edition a jury, chaired by Whitechapel Gallery Director Iwona Blazwick, and including a gallerist, critic, artist and collector, agree on a shortlist of artists before the winner is decided based on the artists’ proposals. The winner is awarded a six-month Italian residency tailored to fit the artist and her winning proposal for the Prize. During the residency, which is organised by Collezione Maramotti, the artist has the opportunity to realise an ambitious new project which is presented in major solo exhibitions at the Whitechapel Gallery in London and at Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, Italy, which then acquires it. The Max Mara Art Prize for Women was awarded the British Council Arts & Business International Award in 2007 and has enabled winning artists to take major steps in their careers