2011/12 winner of the select.ac curatorial competition

25 May 2011

The winner of the select.ac curatorial competition is Goldsmiths MFA Curating student Helen Kaplinsky.


Helen is a curator and writer based in London, and over the last 2 years has programmed for multiple platforms including Flat Time House (London), Sideshow of the British Arts Show 7 and Bury Text Festival, mostly working with new commissions and live art.


Helen writes opinion pieces on contemporary issues in the art world for Axisweb, and recently produced material for Resonance FM and Artsadmin among others.



A brief precis of the project follows:


The Arts Council Collection contains a recurrent vein of Abstract works all the way from its inception in 1946 to the present. Today artists are revisiting the aesthetics of Modernist Abstraction in order to critique it on its own terms. Modernism is not the ruined utopia, as we have so many times been told. Perhaps it’s not that modernism is deceased, but rather that it has been dirtied. It has been lived, commandeered and mocked but is certainly not dead. The European style modernism which never really ‘worked’ in the UK continues to be recrafted. This will not be a clean linear history of Modernist Abstraction, instead a soiled complicated web of formal association.


To view Helen's blog about the competition please visit: http://selectaccompetition.wordpress.com/


select.ac is a curatorial competition, inviting MA and PhD students in the UK to curate an exhibition from the Arts Council Collection.


select.ac makes the Arts Council Collection directly available to MA and PhD students in Britain. Collection staff will work with the successful candidate(s)in a mentoring role to make an exhibition drawing on the extensive modern and contemporary holdings of the Arts Council Collection.


The project offers a hands-on opportunity for curating as well as an invaluable opportunity to gain real world experience for future professional life.




The Arts Council Collection is the UK's most widely seen collection of modern and contemporary art.

With nearly 8,000 works by over 2,000 artists, it can be seen in exhibitions and public displays across the country and beyondThis website offers unprecedented access to the Collection, and information about each work can be found on this site.