Awards season is underway with Sunday night’s BAFTAs kick-starting celebrations for achievements in film over the past year, and the Oscars to follow later this month. With this in mind, and seizing the opportunity to celebrate some art-world happenings, we are delighted to present the Golden Squared Consulting Awards:
Best Director: Nicholas Serota
With 28 years at Tate under his belt, his legacy will be long enjoyed by all of us. It is hard to think of London (the world even) without the Tate Modern, but thanks to Serota’s vision the bankside museum is not only a cultural and tourist hotspot, but an iconic internal museum long to be enjoyed for future generations. As well as the opening of Tate Modern in 2000 and its new development in 2016, under Serota’s directorship, Tate has seen an incredible expansion including the extension of Tate Liverpool in 1998, the launch of Tate St Ives in 1993, the re-launch of the original Millbank gallery as Tate Britain in 2000 and its new development in 2013. Serota steps down this year and will be replaced by the equally impressive and exciting, Maria Balshaw.
Female in a Leading Role: Guerilla Girls
Is it even worse in Europe? asks the Guerilla Girls, in their latest commission for the Whitechapel Gallery that closes on 5th March. Guerilla girls, are the anonymous group of feminist activists who use facts, stats and humour to produce posters, banners, stickers, and other public projects to expose sexism, racism and corruption in art, film, politics and culture. Founded in 1985, this exhibition revisits their 1986 poster stating “It’s Even Worse in Europe” and explores diversity in European art organisations. It presents responses to questionnaires sent to 383 directors about their exhibitions programme and collections, offering much to reflect on.
Best Newcomer: The Louvre, Abu Dhabi
The Louvre Abu Dhabi was originally scheduled to open in 2012 and has been pushed back to open this year. Maybe it is jumping the gun to suggest an award for an institution that hasn’t even opened yet, but when this seismic, cultural collaboration opens its doors (hopefully) later this year, it will undoubtedly be a huge event in the art-world calendar.
Icon Award: Hannah Snell (1723 – 1792)
Prompted by the recent comment from the newly elected President of the United States, that the female contingent in his staff should ‘dress like women’, we are pleased to announce Hannah Snell as the winner of the Icon Award. Snell is known for being Britain’s most famous sea soldier as she disguised herself as a man, adopted the name James Gray, and served four and a half years in the Royal Marines, after boarding the ship Swallow at Portsmouth on 23 October 1747. If this doesn’t prove that ladies can get things done whilst wearing trousers, I don’t know what does. A portrait of Hannah Snell features in an important exhibition at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, which opens this weekend at the National Museum of the Royal Navy. Titled, ‘Pioneers to Professionals: Women and the Royal Navy’, it will celebrate Women in the Royal Navy (WRNs) and their contribution to the naval services over the last 250 years.