Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Sovereign European Art Prize Shortlist Announcement

An artist from Slovenia has been shortlisted for the 2009-10 Sovereign European Art Prize. Primoz Bizjak’s work ‘Calle Amparo n17, Madrid’ from the series ’Interiores Madrileño’ will be exhibited at the Barbican Centre in June, amongst the 29 other shortlisted artists’ works.

The general public are also invited to cast their votes from today online at

Courtesy of The Sovereign Art Foundation

The prize received a record number of entries, with artists nominated by art experts from over 30 European countries. The shortlist was selected by this year’s judges Sir Peter Blake (artist), Tim Marlow (White Cube), Philly Adams (Saatchi Gallery), Gavin Turk (artist), Robert Punkenkhofer (Art & Idea), Joseph Backstein (Moscow Biennale) and Nasser Azam (artist).
Not only did the entries show a strong return to painting, but as Robert Punkenhofer said “The more than 350 entries clearly documented the wonderful diversity and strength of Europe´s artistic scene. The prize will certainly raise the visibility of some of the most promising painters and photographers from the continent.”

The judges will decide the winner of the €25,000 first prize during the exhibition of the shortlisted works at the Barbican Centre which will be held from 9 – 20th June, 2010. The general public are also invited to cast their votes from today online at The artist with the most votes will win the public vote prize of €1,000.
All works, excluding the main prize winner, will be available to purchase at a gala auction dinner, offering collectors and members of the public the fantastic opportunity to buy works by these rising stars of contemporary art. Prices start from the affordable €400 to over €30,000. All proceeds will be split 50:50 between the Foundation and the artists. This year The Sovereign Art Foundation will use the funds raised to support the Barbican Centre Trust, helping them to continue their fantastic arts outreach programme in the London area.
Howard Bilton, Founder and Chairman of the Sovereign Art Foundation said “We are delighted by the strength of this year’s shortlist, for this our fourth European competition. We hope the auction will raise a significant sum to support the inspiring work of the Barbican Centre Trust. We invite everyone to go to the exhibition, and to support the artists by coming to the dinner or by placing an absentee bid on their favourite works by these critically acclaimed artists.”


For further information please contact: Rachael Hornsby on +44 207 389 0555 or by email


A full set of images of the short listed works are available from

For further information regarding images please contact Rachael Hornsby as above.

Notes for Editors

1. The thirty shortlisted artists are as follows:

Rinus Van de Velde Belgium, Michael Van den Abeele Belgium, Tomislav Čeranić Croatia, Damir Stojnić Croatia, Petr Dub Czech Republic, Maarit Murka Estonia, Katri Kuparinen Finland, Sophie Combes France, Gabriel Vormstein Germany. Pétur Thomsen Iceland, David Godbold Ireland, Oliver Comerford Ireland, Mirko Smerdel Italy, Valentina D'Amaro Italy, Piero Golia Italy, Kristaps Gelzis Latvia, Liga Purmale Latvia, Evelīna Deičmane Latvia, Eun Young Lee Netherlands, Primoz Bizjak Slovenia,
Marek Kvetán Slovakia, Javier Arce Bueno Spain, Gonzalo Puch Spain, Andreas Hagenbach Switzerland, Andrew Palmer United Kingdom, Nicolas Ruston United Kingdom, Daniel Baker United Kingdom, Uta Kogelsberger United Kingdom, David Birkin United Kingdom, Oliver Clegg United Kingdom

2. The Sovereign Art Foundation is a charity registered in Hong Kong and the UK. It was established in 2003 and runs the annual Sovereign Asian and European Art Prizes. The Prizes are visual arts competitions that aim to give recognition to the region's most exciting contemporary artists, bringing together the work of established and emerging artists. For more information visit:

3. The Foundation was set up by Howard Bilton, a tax lawyer who turned his art-collecting hobby into what is now Asia’s largest art prize. Howard is also the chairman of The Sovereign Group.

4. The first Sovereign office opened in Gibraltar in 1987 and now has offices or agents in all the major offshore and onshore financial centres. This global reach enables them to provide international access from a local point of delivery.

Sovereign’s core business is setting up and managing tax-efficient structures to assist wealth management, foreign property ownership and cross-border business. In addition to high net worth individuals and their families, our clients include expatriates, entrepreneurs and businesses of all sizes. Sovereign also offers a wide range of services which are a natural adjunct to their main activity, including asset management, financing, spe­cialist tax advice and credit cards.

5. The Barbican Centre is one of the world’s leading arts centres, founded and run by the City of London Corporation. It provides all the arts - music, theatre, dance, cinema, the visual arts and education - under one roof and one creative direction. For more information visit:

6. The Barbican Centre Trust is the charitable arm of the Barbican Centre, a UK registered charity, and is dedicated to raising funds in support of Barbican arts and creative learning.

For press information about The Sovereign Art Foundation and The Sovereign European Art Prize, contact: Rachael Hornsby, 020 7389 0555,

For press information about the Barbican, contact: Lorna Gemmell, Communications Manager, Cross-Arts and Corporate, 07789 933 010,

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