Reynir Hutber wins the Catlin Art Prize 2010

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29 year-old London based artist Reynir Hutber has won the 2010 Catlin Art Prize. Now in its fourth year, the prize acts as an annual showcase for recent art school graduates looking for a foothold in the unforgiving art world.

University of Brighton graduate Hutber, who works across a number of disciplines, presented a video/performance art installation for the Catlin Art Prize exhibition, which opened in London last week.

Called "Stay Behind The Line", the work was praised for placing the viewer within the piece itself. Using looped video footage, its appears that the viewer is within touching distance of the artist when in fact the installation space is empty.

"Rather than focus on the production of objects, I stage open-ended scenarios whose implications are ultimately determined by the audience’s response and interaction," Hutber said of his winning work.

In video: an installation of Hutber's work from 2008

This year’s nominations process, compiled by art dealer, gallerist, writer, and curator Justin Hammond, brought together 40 emerging artists from art schools across the UK. This list was then cut down in January to a shortlist of eight artists - Alexander Allan, Adam Dix, Alex Virji, Reynir Hutber, Victoria Matkin, Sonny Sanjay Vadgama, David A Smith and Miyo Yoshida - who are taking part in a group show at the Village Underground space in East London. The show opened on 13 May and runs until Sunday.

While all of those shortlisted have been recognised for their fresh approaches to contemporary art, Hutber’s work was seen as especially promising. The young artist, who was awarded £3,000 (enough to run a studio for a year), was announced over-all winner by a panel of judges from the UK art scene, which included Prospect art critic Ben Lewis, curator and collector Cathy Wills and Senior Specialist in the Contemporary Art and Design at Bonhams Alan Montgomery.

"We spent a long time arguing over the relative merits of three of the selected artists," said Lewis, "Reynir's video installation, which turned the viewer into a perpetrator with an unmistakeable reference to Iraqi and Afghani prisons, eventually won out thanks to its combination of pressing political urgency yet modest and un-theatrical form, and the relational way it turned the position of the viewer into the real subject of the piece."

Click here or on the image above to see works from this years Catlin short listed works.

Catlin Art Prize 2010, until 23 May, Village Underground, Shoreditch, London, www.artcatlin.com

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