The Board of Trustees of the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation announced the recipients of the 93rd annual Guggenheim Fellowship awards. Selected from a pool of nearly 3,000 applicants 173 awards were given to a diverse group of scholars, artists, and scientists. Established in 1925, the Foundation has granted more than $350 million in Fellowships to over 18,000 individuals. The 2017 recipients in the Creative Arts/Fine Art include: Derek Boshier, Burkhart Cassils, Mahwish Chishty, Joseph DeLappe, Lesley Dill, Harry Dodge, Eugenio Espinoza, Elana Herzog, Nicholas A. Hill, Byron Kim, Kathe Kim, Jennie Jieun Lee, John W. Love, James Luna, Shari Mendelson, Sandeep Mukherjee (seen above), Paul O’Keeffe, Jefferson Pinder, Hunter Reynolds, Kay Rosen, Paul Rucker, Zinadu Saro-Wiwa, Jeanne Silverthorne, Roy Thurston and Leslie Wayne.
The J. Paul Getty Trust announced Anselm Kiefer and Mario Vargas Llosa recipients of the annual J. Paul Getty Medal. Established in 2013 by trustees of the J. Paul Getty Trust, the medal awards artists to honor their contributions to the practice, understanding and support of the arts. German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer is known for powerful mixed-media work addressing complex subject matter addressing themes of history, war and the holocaust, whose works can be found in numerous public collections, including Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; Tate Modern, London; and The Broad Museum in Los Angeles. Mario Vargas Llosa is a Peruvian writer, politician, journalist, college professor and recipient of the 2010 Nobel Prize in Literature. The awards will be presented at a dinner in New York City on November 13, 2017.
The Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts announced awardees of its second annual Artist Project Grants. The 2017 recipients were chosen through a competitive application process by a panel of artists, curators, and art writers, including Charles Gaines, Gene Moreno, Frances Stark, Astria Suparak, and Jan Tumlir. In total, the 2017 award provides $319,000 to cover project-related expenses to eight Los Angeles-based nonprofit institutions and organizations. This year’s grantees include: Human Resources /356 S. Mission Rd., LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes and the California Historical Society, The Industry, REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater), The Society for the Activation of Social Space through Art and Sound, University Art Museum at California State University, Long Beach, Vincent Price Art Museum, and the Pasadena Arts Council/Volume.
The High Museum of Art announced the acquisition of 54 artworks from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation. The gift includes 13 works by Thorton Dial (1928 – 2016), spanning four decades of the artist’s career and 11 quilts by the women of Gee’s Bend, Alabama and is considered to be one of the most significant acquisitions by the Folk and Self-Taught department of the Atlanta-based museum. Established in 2010, Souls Grown Deep Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Atlanta, dedicated to the preservation and distribution of artworks made by contemporary African-American artists in the American South.
The winners of the 2017 Francis J. Greenburger Awards, an unrestricted prize of $12,500, have been announced. The prize was established by Greenburger in 1986 following a conversation with his friends, André Emmerich and Clement Greenburg to honor established, yet underrecognized artists to be selected by invited art world professionals, including artists, gallerists, writers, museum professionals and/or collectors. This year’s recipients include artist Gary Lang, to be presented by Eric Fischl, Ryszard Wasko by Robert G. Morgan; Lorraine O’Grady by Franklin Sirmans; Barry Le Va by Angela Westwater; and Judy Pfaff to be presented by Marieluise Hessel. The awards were presented at the OMI International Arts Center, founded by Greenburger, April 25, 2017.
In related news, the Charlotte Street Foundation in partnership with Omi has announced Rodolfo Marron III recipient of the Art Omi International Artists Residency Program for Summer, 2017, and Samara Umbral as this year’s recipient of the Byron C. Cohen Award.
The Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) announced the addition of nine new acquisitions during the museum’s 31st annual Collectors Committee Weekend. The two-day fundraising event, led by LACMA trustee, Collectors Committee chair, and Acquisitions Committee co-chair Ann Colgin, included curator-led art presentations, private dinners at the homes of major LACMA supporters, and a gala dinner where members of the 90-person committee voted on artworks previously selected by LACMA curators as possible additions to the museum’s permanent collection. The acquired artworks include works by: Vera Lutter, Shirin Neshat, Mariana Castillo Debal, and “Hamilton Press Archive” (1990 – present) featuring over 300 lithographs by 90 artists created at the Los Angeles-based founded by master printer Ed Hamilton and artist and printmaker Ed Ruscha.
The Anderson Ranch Arts Center has announced Wangechi Mutu as the recipient of the 2017 National Artist Award. The award is given to nationally or internationally recognized artists who advance innovations in art education, and who set an example for other artists, past recipients include Carrie Mae Weems, Frank Stella, Theaster Gates, Bill Viola, and Cindy Sherman. In addition, for the 21st annual edition will award the Service to the Arts Award to Jan and Ronnie Greenberg, and the Extraordinary Leadership Award Honoree to Ann Korologos.
Chad Alligood named new Virginia Steele Scott Chief Curator of American Art at the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens. Alligood previously served as curator at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Ark., where he worked with former museum president Don Bacigalupi on the 2014-15 exhibition, “State of the Art: Discovering American Art Now.”
The Art Institute of Chicago (AIC) announced Sarah Kelly Oehler will advance to the position of Chair and Curator of American Art. Oehler, who joined AIC in 2002 as assistant curator of American painting and sculpture, recently served as the curator of American art. Her work at AIC includes the 2018 “Charles White: A Retrospective,” the first major retrospective of the African-American artist’s work in several decades.
The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College has named Lauren Cornell director of its graduate program in curatorial studies as well as chief curator of the school’s Hessel Museum of Art. Cornell comes to Bard College from her current position as curator and assoicate director of Technology Initiatives at the New Museum.
The Museum of Contemporary Art Tucson has named Ginger Shulick Porcella as Executive Director and Chief Curator. Porcella previously served in these dual roles at the San Diego Art Institute, where she initiated a program of discussions, concerts and performance series, and implemented an artist-in- residence program at the museum.
In recent news, the passing of several major artists of the 20th century, have died. In a far too brief summary below, we survey these artists whose legacies will continue to inspire and whose contributions shape the ongoing legacy of contemporary art.
Pioneering figure of Op Art Julian Stanczak, died on March 25, 2017 at the age of 88. Stanczak, whose work was included in MoMA’s now-legendary 1965 exhibition, “The Responsive Eye,” is known for his use of bold, saturated colors and use of interlocking geometric forms. The Polish-born, American artist studied at Yale with Josef Albers, and was an influential professor for nearly 40 years at Cleveland Institute of Art.
Oakland-based sculptor/musician Cyrus James Tilton, rising talent who was awarded the Crocker Art Museum’s inaugural $25,000 John S. Knudsen Prize, died of esophageal cancer on March 28. He was 39.
American Pop artist James Rosenquist passed on March 31, 2017 at the age of 83. Rosenquist, who worked as a commercial billboard painter while attending the Art Students League first made his mark on the contemporary art scene with the debut of the 86-foot-long painting, F-111, at the famous Leo Castelli gallery in 1965.
Barkley L. Hendricks, best known for his portraits of African Americans, passed away April 12, 2017 at the age of 72. A graduate of Yale University, Hendrick’s, whose work is cited as a key influence of later artists, was featured in the influential exhibition, “Black Male: Representations of Masculinity in Contemporary American Art,” at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1994.
Magdalena Abakanowicz, internationally renowned sculptor and fiber artist has died on April 21, 2017. She was 86. The Polish artist is best known for her headless sculptures which echo the devastation and continuity of war wrought during the 20th century.
Controversial sculptor, performance, and video artist and influential instructor Vito Acconci, best known for his subversive performance-based artworks of the 1960s -70s, and more recently known for his public art, died on April 28, at the age of 77.