RICHARD BAKER WINS THIS YEAR’S £10,000 HIX AWARD

Turner-Prize winner Mark Wallinger, who presented the prize. From left to right: Mark Hix, Richard Baker and prize organiser and Hix Art curator Sophie Harriott

This year’s £10,000 Hix Award has been won by Richard Baker.

Baker prevailed over fifteen shortlisted artists with his work, Hall Stand.

Says Mark Hix: ‘As always, the judging panel, which this year included Tate Director Maria Balshaw and Mark Cass of Cass Art, had a tough time trying to pick a winner from such a strong field of candidates. But Baker’s Hall Stand proved to be the most popular and I congratulate him.’

‘While it is a small-scale work, it stood out for its great beauty and quiet strength. I would also like to congratulate the second prize winner, Megan Mary Baker for The Night Pill, as well as the Peoples’ Choice winner, Melissa Hartley, for her work Reflection. That said, all the shortlisted artists are exceptional, and I urge people to visit the exhibition and witness some of the most challenging and interesting art coming out of our art schools.’

Richard Baker, Hall Stand, 2019, 21 x 27cm, Oil on panel

Richard Baker’s practice explores the hidden human histories behind seemingly insignificant objects — often ignored, they bear witness to sensuous activity; be it remembered, lived, forgotten, or mythologised. In these modestly scaled works, the depicted objects are presented dislocated from their conventional domestic settings and isolated within an intangible space. The objects appear as unadorned, formal arrangements in a painterly restaging of the interrelationship between material, image, object and time.

AWARD SET TO USURP THE TURNER PRIZE

The £10,000 first prize, which is put towards studio costs, was created in 2013 by restaurateur and author Mark Hix to give artists a platform to showcase their work and take their first steps in their professional careers. It is open to current students and recent graduates of UK art colleges.

Megan Mary Baker, l, 2019, 229 x 244cm, Oil on board

As in former years, Baker will also receive a solo exhibition at HIX ART, Hix’s Shoreditch gallery. Meanwhile, the second prize winner receives £1,000 CASS art vouchers and the People’s Choice winner — chosen by visitors to the gallery — wins a weekend trip for two to HIX Townhouse in Lyme Regis with a dinner at HIX Oyster & Fish House.

, 2019, 244 x 438 x 1.2cm, Acrylic paint on birch ply

This year’s shortlisted artists were: Alexander Dixon, Bianca Barandun, Christopher Hartmann, Dafni Atha, David Mullen, Gabriela Giroletti, Jacob Littlejohn, Jung Min Park, Lucy Gregory, Megan Mary Baker, Melissa Hartley, Paul Wood, Richard Baker, Saroj Patel, Yulia Iosilzon.

The judges this year included Maria Balshaw, Director of Tate, Eliza Bonham-Carter, Head of Art, Royal Academy of Arts, the artist Charming Baker and Paul Robinson, founder of Artlyst.

From left to right: Megan Mary Baker, second Prize winner, Richard Baker, first prize winner, and Peoples’ Choice winner, Melissa Hartley

The main sponsor of this year’s award is the international gallery, Hauser & Wirth. Says its co- founder and President, Iwan Wirth: ‘Our role as gallery is to be an incubator for art, talent and ideas. Artists are at the core of all our activities, so we are particularly proud to support the HIX Award, an initiative which helps artists at a crucial moment when they are starting out on their journey.’

Past winners of the award include: Nicholas Permain (2013), Felix Treadwell (2014), Ally McIntyre (2015), Joshua Raz (2016), Sam Bailey (2017) and Elizabeth Eade (2018).

About Richard Baker

Richard Baker studied Fine Art at Leeds Metropolitan University; he completed a BA (Hons) in Fine Art in 2003. His paintings have been exhibited at The Royal Academy of Arts, London, The Mall Galleries, London, The San Francisco Arts Institute, Leeds City Art Gallery, as well as various museums across China and the National Museum of Poland in Gdansk. In 2018 Richard completed a Masters Degree in Creative Practice at Leeds Arts University.

In recent years Richard’s work has been shortlisted for the HIX Award (2019), the Neo Art Prize (2019), awarded runner up in the London Contemporary Art Prize (2019) and selected for the John Moores Painting Prize Exhibition (2018). His work has also been selected for the Columbia Threadneedle Prize Exhibition (2018), the Marmite Prize for Painting Exhibition (2016), the Lynn Painter-Stainer’s Prize Exhibition (2018, 2016), the Discerning Eye Exhibition (2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2012, 2010) and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition (2012, 2009).

https://www.hixaward.com/

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Freelance journalist covering fine art, photography, film and tech. UK based

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