Image: Emma Talbot, Pictured with When Screens Break, 2020. Photo: Thierry Bal.
Emma Talbot has won the 8th edition of the Max Mara Art Prize for Women. This prize supports UK-based female artists who have not previously had a major solo exhibition. Awarded in alternate years since 2005, it is the only visual art prize of its kind in the UK. As the winner Talbot will spend six months in Italy on a bespoke residency planned for later this year, creating a new body of work to be shown in 2021 first at the Whitechapel Gallery and then at the Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy.
Emma Talbot, How is your own death so inconceivable? 2019, Acrylic on silk.
Emma Talbot lives and works in London. Her work in drawing, painting, installation and sculpture explores the inner landscape of personal thought, emotion and narrative. This individual position is then cast into wider narratives, addressing prevalent contemporary concerns. Her work is often hand-drawn or painted onto silk or other textiles and incorporates her own writing or quotes from other sources. It explores the personal as political, social politics, gender, the natural world, and our intimacy with technology and language.
Emma Talbot, When Screens Break (detail) 2020, Acrylic on silk.
Talbot’s winning proposal for the Max Mara Art Prize for Women questions deeply rooted positions of power, governance, attitudes to nature and representations of women, through a personal lens. It takes as a starting point Gustav Klimt’s Three Ages of Woman (1905), which features a naked elderly woman standing in apparent shame. In her work for the Prize, Talbot intends to animate the figure of the older woman as someone with agency, who overcomes a series of trials similar to the twelve labours of Hercules. Through her modern-day trials, Talbot will invest the woman with the potential to reconstruct contemporary society, countering prevalent negative attitudes to ageing.
For more information visit www.whitechapelgallery.org