Tracey Moffatt, one of Australia’s leading internationally acclaimed contemporary artists, and Juliana Engberg, Artistic Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) in Melbourne and Artistic Director of the forthcoming Biennale of Sydney; are being honoured today for their achievements in the arts with the Australia Council Visual Arts Award and Medal respectively.
Since her groundbreaking Something More exhibition, presented at the Australian Centre for Photography in 1989, Tracey Moffatt’s work has featured in more than 100 solo exhibitions across Europe, the USA and Australia. Her work is held in the collections of some of the world’s most prestigious art museums and galleries including the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the Guggenheim, Centre Pompidou and the Tate Gallery. Many of her photographs and short films have achieved iconic status both in Australia and around the world.
"Tracey Moffatt’s outstanding contribution to the cultural life of this nation has been acknowledged with the 2012 Australia Council Visual Arts Award," says Mr Rupert Myer AM, Chair of the Australia Council, who is presenting the $40,000 award at an award ceremony at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MCA) in Sydney this evening.
"Tracey’s work has been critically acclaimed internationally for more than two decades, following the selection of her short filmNight Cries for official competition at the 1990 Cannes Film Festival," says Mr Myer. "More recently, she was recognised with a solo exhibition of her films and videos at the Museum of Modern Art in New York."
"During the intervening decades Tracey’s career has been defined by an extraordinary list of achievements. She more than fulfils the criteria of the Award to ‘inspire Australians’ through her her compelling and dynamic practice," he says.
Juliana Engberg receives the $10,000 Medal for her outstanding contribution to the development of the Australian cultural sector. In a career spanning nearly 30 years of curating, teaching, talking and writing about art, Juliana Engberg continues to be at the forefront of contemporary curatorial practice. As well as curating over 400 exhibitions, she is a prolific writer and editor, having written over 1,500 articles about contemporary art in catalogues, books and journals. She is one of Australia’s most accomplished public commentators on contemporary art.
"Few individuals have made such a distinguished contribution to the development of the Australian visual arts sector as Juliana Engberg," says Mr Myer. "As a curator and advocate for Australian art she has taken the work of Australian artists to the world and brought the best of international practice back to Australia.
"As Artistic Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA), in Melbourne since 2002, Juliana has brought a keen intellect and distinctive eye to the curatorial process that has enlivened the cultural scene in this country and simultaneously advanced the careers of many Australian artists".
Both Engberg and Moffatt will be honoured at a ceremony at the MCA at 6PM this evening, surrounded by arts sector leaders and close family and friends. A key note address will be delivered by philanthropist and Chief Commissioner of the Venice Biennale, Simon Mordant AM.