The exhibition showed selected pieces by Kurt Beers who is the sole author of the book, a serious collection and with great vision, of young international artists’ works.
Beers, who is director of the Beers Contemporary Gallery in London, talked to us about his work and the most interesting moments in their inquiry to «the artists of tomorrow.»
– Since when have you been directing the gallery in London?
I have been Director of Beers Contemporary since its inception in Canada and relocation to London in 2010.
– Tell me more about the book, how did you came up with this idea?
In my position as Director of Beers Contemporary, I worked with a lot of emerging and underexposed artists. In conversation, I began to notice a marked trend in which many talented artists – in this particular case, painters – were growing increasingly frustrated due to what they felt was an overwhelming lack of opportunities directed toward them; in my discussions with painters, it arose that this enduring media was being inadvertently overlooked by the (shall we call it) institutional arena. There appears to be countless awards, bursaries, and residencies available to artists working in other media, but such opportunities seemed somewhat overlooked for painters. Opportunity leads to exposure, and I always say to the artists with whom I work: ‘you can be the best artist in the world, but if you’re working in a vacuum and no one is exposed to your work, none of that matters’.
To the best of my knowledge, ‘100 Painters of Tomorrow’ is the first serious survey of young and promising painters as selected by a host of renowned artists, curators, critics, art historians and collectors.
– What criteria did you use to select the different artists?
The criteria for entering the open-call implied any artist who utilises paint as their primary medium and there was no age limit for entry but each of the selected artists must have gained professional recognition in the last five years. We were looking to be surprised. Artists of all ages, located internationally, at any stage of their career and/or education were welcome to submit – provided that they were not already considered ‘established’ at the time of the submission. The project eventually drew over 4,300 applicants from which a hundred were chosen as the best by myself and members of the jury.
– How long did it take to make the selection?
The open-call to artists closed on March 22nd, 2013 and from 4,300 submissions a selection of 427 artists was announced to the public on June 27th 2013. The final 100 painters selected for inclusion in the book were not announced publically until August 1st, 2014, though all of the artists and their respective galleries were notified a few months prior to that.
The excellent work of Kurt Beers could be seen for a month in New York gallery One Art Space. Many collectors who appreciated the talent of these young people for whom galleries in London and New York opened a great chance of success.
“Creer en el hombre significa creer en su libertad. Libertad de pensamiento, de palabra, de crítica, de oposición.” - Oriana Fallaci