The selectors for the 2019 Bloomberg New Contemporaries, which will see the exhibition celebrating its 70th anniversary, are the artists Rana Begum, Sonia Boyce, and Ben Rivers. The panel will select this year’s exhibiting artists following an open submission.

The annual, national touring exhibition is open to undergraduates in the final year of a degree in fine art at a UK college and postgraduates enrolled on a degree in fine art at a UK college. Last year was the first edition that also featured submissions from non-degree awarding alternative art education programmes.

Rana Begum works with sculpture, painting and architecture to explore minimalist abstraction. Recent exhibitions include ‘A Conversation with Light and Form’ at Tate St. Ives and ‘Occasional Geometries’ at Yorkshire Sculpture Park.

Sonia Boyce was awarded an OBE for services to art in the New Year’s Honour’s List. Her work incorporates a variety of media such as film, print, drawing, installation and sound. She recently exhibited at the 56th Venice Biennale, as well as having a retrospective at Manchester Art Gallery last year. Her work is also represented in the permanent collections of Arts Council England and Tate Modern, London.

Ben Rivers is known for exploring unknown wilderness territories and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects. Recent shows include ‘Islands’ at the Kunstverein in Hamburg and ‘Earth Needs More Magicians,’ at Camden Arts Centre, London.

Recent New Contemporaries selectors have included Benedict Drew, Katy Moran and Keith Piper in 2018, and Caroline Achaintre, Elizabeth Price, and George Shaw in 2017.

Since 1949 the New Contemporaries exhibition has showcased work by new and recent graduates from UK art schools. A number of artists who have featured in previous editions have gone on to become leading figures in contemporary art including: Frank Auerbach, Paula Rego, Patrick Caulfield, David Hockney, Gillian Wearing, Chris Ofili and Mark Leckey.

More recently, artists who have featured in the exhibition include Monster Chetwynd, Rachel Maclean, Laure Prouvost and Hardeep Pandhal.

New Contemporaries director Kirsty Ogg commented: “New Contemporaries celebrates its 70th anniversary in 2019. While we will take this moment to pause and reflect back on our incredibly rich history, it is important that we also remain responsive to the needs of emerging artists.

“Opening up our annual call to artists outside of formal, degree-awarding programmes has been a significant moment for us, and a way to publicly acknowledge that not all artists follow the same path when developing practice.”

Submissions to New Contemporaries 2019 are open until 28 January 2019. For more information visit

1. 2019 New Contemporaries selectors (l-r) Rana Begum, Sonia Boyce and Ben Rivers. Courtesy: New Contemporaries

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