2014’s Prize-Winning Artists
The enigmatic, politically charged work of Paul Chan earned him the 10th Hugo Boss Prize, awarded biannually in conjunction with the Guggenheim Foundation. The art world got a good retrospective look at the Hong Kong-born and Brooklyn-based Chan’s increasingly ephemeral sculpture, video, and lightworks in his solo exhibition at Schaulager in Basel earlier this year—Chan’s first major show since 2009, when he presented the balladic, nearly six-hour animation Sade for Sade’s Sake at the 53rd Venice Biennale. In addition to receiving a $100,000 grant, Chan will present a solo show at the Guggenheim in spring 2015; read more about the history of the prize in our interview with Guggenheim curator and Hugo Boss Prize judge Katherine Brinson.
Dublin-born, Glasgow-based filmmaker Duncan Campbell was awarded the 30th Turner Prize this year for his 2013 film It for Others, which he created for Scotland’s pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. Campbell has said the piece, which responds to the 1953 film Statues Also Die, by Chris Marker and Alain Resnais, is about “how you can understand certain histories through objects.” The prize, awarded annually since 1984, recognizes a UK artist under 50 on the basis of an outstanding presentation of their work in the previous year. Campbell’s work is on view along with that of the prize’s other shortlisted artists (who each receive £5,000) at Tate Britain, through January 4th.
Moroccan multimedia artist Yto Barrada received a $100,000 commission for the 7th annual Abraaj Group Art Prize, which supports contemporary artists in the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia. Barrada’s commissioned work will be on view at Art Dubai in March 2015, in an exhibition guest curated by Omar Kholeif (of London’s Whitechapel Gallery, and recently tapped to curate The Armory Show’s Focus section in March 2015) that also includes works by Sarnath Banerjee, Setareh Shahbazi, and Mounira Al Solh, who were shortlisted for the prize.
Anila Quayyum Agha, winner of $300,000 from ArtPrize
This year marks the first time in its six-year history that both jury and public have agreed on one winner for the much-hyped ArtPrize, with the Pakistan-born Agha taking home the $200,000 Public Vote Grand Prize (representing votes from over 40,000 people) and receiving half of the allotted $200,000 for the Juried Grand Prize. Her winning installation, Intersections (2013), combines laser-cut wood with light and shadow to probe the sacred geometric patterns of Islamic tradition. The jury—the late Susan Sollins, Leonardo Drew, and Katharina Grosse—also awarded $100,000 to Sonya Clark for her “Hair Craft Project,” which explores “the poetry and politics of black hair care specialists.”
New York-based artist Zoe Leonard was named winner of the eighth Bucksbaum Award, given by the Whitney Museum of American Art every two years to an artist featured in its biennial. Leonard’s work was shown in the 1993 and 1997 editions of the biennial, and her 2014 installation, 945 Madison Avenue, converted a wing of the museum’s fourth floor into an oversized camera obscura. She received a $100,000 grant, and will present a solo exhibition at the Whitney’s new Renzo Piano-designed building within the next two years.
Julien Prévieux, winner of the €35,000 Prix Marcel Duchamp
Awarded annually at Paris’s FIAC (International Contemporary Art Fair), the 14th Prix Marcel Duchamp went to Julien Prévieux, a French multimedia artist nominated for his 2006–2011 video installation What Shall We Do Next. The video, like much of Prévieux’s work, probes the relationship between technology and social interaction, which we’ll see more of in the artist’s forthcoming Centre Pompidou exhibition, awarded (along with a €35,000 production budget) in conjunction with the prize’s €35,000 grant.
From the 21 shortlisted artists for the third Future Generation Art Prize, offered by the Kiev-based PinchukArtCentre, multimedia artists Carlos Motta and Nástio Mosquito were picked to split this year’s $100,000 main prize. The Colombian Motta, who received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 2008, has shown his work at Tate Modern, the Guggenheim, and MoMA/PS1, among others; Mosquito, born in Angola, has been featured in the 2007 Venice Biennale, the 2010 São Paulo Biennale, and the Gwangju Biennial. The jury, which included Francesco Bonami, director of the 50th Venice Biennale, artists Jan Fabre and Doris Salcedo, and Adam Szymczyk, artistic director of documenta 14, also recognized Russian artist Aslan Gaisumov and Ukrainian artists Nikita Kadan and Zhanna Kadyrova with a special prize and a shared $20,000 residency award.
Rick Lowe, winner of a $625,000 MacArthur Fellowship
Rick Lowe was trained as a painter, but it’s his creative work with community outreach that earned him a MacArthur Fellowship, the “genius grant” that awards fellows in all fields with $625,000 over five years. Project Row Houses, the combination of art studios and galleries, classrooms, and community spaces that Lowe created in Houston’s Third Ward in 1993, has served as the model for similar “social sculptures” he has since established in Los Angeles, New Orleans, and Dallas.
American Lawrence Weiner is the 15th artist to win the Roswitha Haftmann Prize, touted as “Europe’s best endowed art award” at 150,000 Swiss francs. A legendary pioneer of conceptual art in the 1960s, Weiner received the award in recognition of his prolific body of work, which employs language as an art form that can be embodied in many media—from printwork to paintings, books to films. Past winners of the prize have held similar positions of influence, among them Pierre Huyghe, Cindy Sherman, Sigmar Polke, Douglas Gordon, Robert Ryman, and Walter de Maria.
Foam’s 8th Paul Huf Award, which honors innovative photographers under 35, went to the Brooklyn-based Daniel Gordon, who was unanimously chosen by a jury that included Festival Images director Stefano Stoll, Magnum Photos’ Andrea Holzherr, and New York Times photography director Kathy Ryan. Gordon received a €20,000 prize and will show his bright, perplexing still-lifes—which, despite their appearance of digital manipulation, are intricately constructed before they are photographed—in a solo exhibition at Foam Amsterdam.
From a shortlist that included Pierre Huyghe, Manfred Pernice, Willem de Rooij, and Gillian Wearing, French-Albanian artist Anri Sala was selected as the winner of this year’s Broere Foundation-presented Vincent Award. Sala is the 5th artist to win the €50,000 prize, awarded annually to a mid-career artist with a profound influence on the direction of contemporary art; the winner is announced in the midst of an exhibition of works by the shortlisted artists, presented this year at The Hague’s Gemeentemuseum and on view through February 1st. Sala created a new installation for the show by combining three previous video works, featuring his characteristic combination of muted imagery and expansive soundscapes.
Michael Schmidt, winner of the CHF100,000 Prix Pictet
The late German photographer Michael Schmidt received the 5th Prix Pictet prize just three days before he lost a struggle with cancer at 68. A contemporary of the Düsseldorf school of photography (a group that includes Andreas Gursky, Thomas Struth, and Candida Höfer), Schmidt was honored for his 2006–2010 project Lebensmittel, which documented the expansion of the global food industry—a subject worthy of the 100,000 Swiss franc prize, which recognizes photographers working to confront social and environmental issues in the contemporary context. Schmidt’s award was presented by Kofi Annan, who serves as honorary president of the Prix Pictet.
New York-based Irish artist Richard Mosse was awarded the 17th Deutsche Börse Photography Prize for The Enclave, the haunting video installation he created for the Irish pavilion at the 55th Venice Biennale. The vibrant, otherworldly color palette of the video footage was achieved by shooting on discontinued military surveillance film, heightening its subjects—participants in, victims of, and the landscape surrounding the ongoing conflict in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The £30,000 prize is awarded annually by the Photographers’ Gallery in London to a living photographer for a major contribution to the European photography scene in the previous year.