Emma Talbot has been announced as the winner of the Max Mara art prize for women, for her reimagination of Gustav Klimt’s work.
Talbot’s proposal reinterprets Klimt’s 1905 work, the Three Ages of Woman, in which an older figure stands beside the two younger ones, apparently ashamed of her guise. Instead, Talbot suggests that the older figure be seen as one who has overcome a range of trials, comparable to those of Hercules.
Of her win, she said: “This prize comes at a crucial point that seems incredibly timely for me, as I only recently began to focus fully on my own work, having for many years taken on teaching roles to support my family, as a single parent. The Max Mara art prize for women will help me make the most of this major step.”
The prize is awarded every two years for a UK-based female artist who has not yet held a major solo exhibition. Contenders this year included Allison Katz, Katie Schwab, Tai Shani and Hanna Tuulikki.
Director of the Whitechapel Gallery, Iwona Blazwick, has described Talbot’s work as comprising of “radiant drawings and polychromatic sculptures on an epic scale; and combines word and image to express the lyricism and the pain of subjectivity.”
Part of the prize includes a residency in Italy, where Talbot will spend time in Rome, Reggio Emilia and Sicily. This is subject to the coronavirus outbreak.
The first exhibition will take place mid next year.