Every two years, the Guggenheim Museum in New York City awards the Hugo Boss Prize and on Tuesday, they announced the short-listed artists selected by a jury for next year’s prize. The artists who have made the cut for the 2020 shortlist are Nairy Baghramian, Kevin Beasley, Deana Lawson, Elias Sime, Cecilia Vicuña and Adrián Villar Rojas.
The Hugo Boss Prize began in 1996 and has highlighted 12 influential artists thus far in its 23-year history. Unlike other prizes, the Hugo Boss Prize does not place boundaries on its nominees; it’s open to artists of all ages, nationalities, medium, and genders. Winning the award gives an artist a load of prestige but also, they will receive a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim in 2021 and a $100,000 stipend, given by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and sponsored by Hugo Boss, to facilitate their work.
Born in Iran and living in Berlin, Baghramian (b. 1971) is fresh off the heels of her latest exhibition at Mudam Luxembourg – Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean. As a sculptor, she often explores notions of ‘incessant cycle of aesthetic object production’ through forms that are typically labeled as feminine. Working in sculpture, performance art, and sound installations, Beasley (b. 1985 and one of the youngest nominees) uses his work to reflect on his own experiences. Hailing from Virginia but now based in New York, Beasley has held solo shows at the Whitney, the Kitchen, and the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. A New York native, Lawson (b. 1979) photographs the people in her life in a manner that is surreal and normal all at once. If she wins this year’s prize, she will become the first photographer to have done so.
Sime, born in Ethiopia in 1968 where he still lives and works, utilizes a number of mediums and disciplines in his work. He has often made collages and sculptures out of found objects and now most often creates relief sculptures and architectural works. Today, his works are included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Royal Ontario Museum, and the Detroit Institute of Arts, among others. Born in Chile in 1948, Vicuña now works in New York and Santiago creating works of poetry, films, paintings, and sculptures. Most recently, she has held a solo exhibition at the Center for Contemporary Art in Rotterdam and the Wexner Center for the Arts in Ohio. Lastly, is Argentinian artist Rojas (b. 1980) who works in both Argentina and New York. Rojas’ installations are site-specific, often large-scale works that are made out of an array of mediums, some that are made to last an others that are meant to decompose, like those included in his 2015 The Most Beautiful of All Mothers installation at the Istanbul Biennale.
The 2020 prize is juried by Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary
Art, Chicago; Katherine Brinson, Daskalopoulos Curator, Contemporary Art, Solomon
R. Guggenheim Museum; Julieta González, independent curator; Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; and Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s artistic director and chief curator, is acting as chair of the 2020 jury.
Previous winners of the Hugo Boss Prize include Simone Leigh (2018), Anicka Yi (2016), Danh Vo (2012), Pierre Huyghe (2002), and Matthew Barney (1996).
‘After a rigorous examination of today’s artistic landscape, the jury identified a group of artists whose practices are beacons of cultural impact,’ said Spector in a statement. ‘While diverse in their approaches and themes, they each exemplify the spirit of experimentation and innovation that the prize has always championed.’
The winner of the 2020 edition of the Hugo Boss Prize will be announced in the fall of 2020.
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