The organisers of the HIX Award, the annual art prize set up by the restaurateur and author Mark Hix, are delighted to announce that this year’s main sponsor will be Hauser & Wirth.
The award, which carries a £10,000 first prize to put towards studio costs, is open to current students and recent graduates of UK art colleges. It was created in 2013 by Hix to give young artists a platform to showcase their work and take their first steps in their professional careers. The winner will also receive a solo exhibition at HIX ART, Hix’s Shoreditch gallery.
Hauser & Wirth have galleries in nine locations: London, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, New York, St Moritz, Gstaad and Zurich, as well as in Somerset. It works with more than 80 artists worldwide, including three former Turner Prize-winners: Martin Creed, Keith Tyson and Mark Wallinger. Key to its activities is promoting art through its extensive education programme and imprint, Hauser & Wirth Publishers.
Says Hix: ‘We are thrilled that Hauser & Wirth have come on board as our principal sponsor. While the gallery represents some of the most influential artists in the world, it is also aware that many artists struggle to find their first toehold. It was to help them that I set up the awards, and in lending their support they are doing the same.’
Says 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.’
The judges this year include Iwan Wirth, the co-founder and President of Hauser & Wirth, Eliza Bonham- Carter, Head of Art, Royal Academy of Arts, Dylan Jones, GQ editor and Joe Kennedy, Unit Gallery Founder Director.
This year’s award attracted a record number of entries when the deadline closed on July 31. The judging process took place throughout August, and a single work by each artist will be presented at an exhibition at HIX ART, Shoreditch, running for eight weeks from 14 September.
The winner will be announced on 24 October at an awards ceremony at the gallery, where they will be presented with a trophy designed by the artist Damien Hirst. The second prize winner will receive £1,000 CASS art vouchers and the People’s Choice winner will get a weekend trip for two to HIX Townhouse in Lyme Regis with a dinner at HIX Oyster & Fish House.
Past winners of the award include: Nicholas Permain (2013), Felix Treadwell (2014), Ally McIntyre (2015), Joshua Raz (2016), Sam Bailey (2017). Last year’s winner, Elizabeth Eade says: ‘Winning the HIX Award has been amazing. The prize money has allowed me to continue to take adventures with my work, which has been a joy. I have had a busy year exhibiting, preparing for my solo exhibition and finishing my MA at Brighton, this has really focused my practice. It has also given me a confidence in my artistic convictions and I hope that this has translated into my work. I guess I feel braver.’