Immigrant Contributions To American Society Recognized With 2017 Vilcek Prizes

Visual Artist Nari Ward And Biophysicists Lily And Yuh-Nung Jan Receive $100,000 Vilcek Prizes

Winners Of Vilcek Prizes For Creative Promise Each Receive $50,000 Awards

The Vilcek Foundation is pleased to announce the winners of the annual Vilcek Prizes, recognizing outstanding immigrant contributions to the American arts and sciences. The Vilcek Prize in Biomedical Science will be awarded jointly to Chinese-born Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan, a collaborative research duo and professors of molecular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco. The Vilcek Prize in the Arts recognizes Jamaican-born Nari Ward, a New York-based visual artist known for found-object assemblage art. Each prize includes a $100,000 cash award. The prizewinners were selected by panels of experts in each field; they will be honored at an awards gala in New York City in April 2017.1083773.jpg

Like all great artists and scientists, these immigrant prizewinners challenge our very perceptions of the world,” said Rick Kinsel, president of the Vilcek Foundation. “Their works are attempts to understand fundamental questions and concepts in American society, from the neurological underpinnings of the self to the institution of democracy.”vilcek_logo_black_xsmall

The Vilcek Foundation was established in 2000 by Jan and Marica Vilcek, immigrants from the former Czechoslovakia. The mission of the foundation, to honor the contributions of immigrants to the United States and to foster an appreciation of the arts and sciences, was inspired by the couple’s respective careers in biomedical science and art history, as well as their personal experiences and appreciation for the opportunities they received as newcomers to this country. The foundation awards annual prizes to prominent immigrant biomedical scientists and artists and manages the Vilcek Foundation Art Collections, a promised gift from its founders.

This year, the Vilcek Prize in the Arts is awarded in the fine arts, marking the completion of an 11-year cycle through various disciplines in the arts and humanities. The recipient, Nari Ward, was born in Jamaica and immigrated to the U.S. at the age of 12. He is known for found-object assemblage artworks that invite both a public conversation and an intimate dialogue with the viewer around topics of race, immigration, and the Caribbean diaspora identity. His usage of found objects aims to highlight the history of a place and the urgency of the moment; his installation Naturalization Drawing Table features a large desk—built out of Plexiglas bodega barriers—covered with dense linear drawings made over copies of Immigration and Naturalization Service applications. On select days during the exhibition, viewers are invited to “apply” for naturalization by lining up and filling out an application, giving them a taste of the bureaucratic process of applying for citizenship. Ward has won several prestigious art prizes, including the Joyce Award, the Rome Prize, a Bessie Award, and several other awards from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation.

Lily and Yuh-Nung Jan were both born in China and raised in Taiwan. They came to the U.S. as graduate students of physics at the California Institute of Technology but switched their focus to biology, in part inspired by their mentor, the renowned biophysicist Max Delbrück. Over the course of a collaborative career spanning over four decades, the husband-and-wife team has made many significant discoveries in the field of neuroscience, with far-reaching clinical implications. They isolated the gene encoding a protein that shuttles potassium ions across cell membranes, enabling the characterization of a molecular player important to functions as vital as maintaining heart rate and controlling muscle movement. Today, this type of ion channel is implicated in diseases such as epilepsy, ataxia, and hypertension. Simultaneously, the Jans identified genes and principles underlying the processes by which neurons acquire distinct identities, burgeon into thickets, and establish precise circuits; their work in this area may help unravel human diseases such as autism and schizophrenia. Currently, professors of molecular physiology at the University of California, San Francisco, the Jans have been honored with membership in the United States National Academy of Sciences, as well as with Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator awards.

The Vilcek Foundation also awards the Vilcek Prizes for Creative Promise, given to younger immigrants who have shown substantial talent and ability early in their careers. Each prize includes a $50,000 cash award. The winners in the fine arts are the following:

Iman Issa, born in Egypt, a conceptual artist, creates objects and installations in an attempt to address complex philosophical questions. Her original area of study was phenomenology, a branch of philosophy that examines the structures of consciousness that organize subjective experience—or, put another way, how we take meaning from things we individually experience. Later, Issa realized that art allowed for nuanced exploration of those topics, and continued her philosophical questioning through art. She is particularly interested in monuments and memorials—aesthetic forms tasked with a function that holds a shifting relevance based on their location in time and relationship to history. Her work has been shown at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the 8th Berlin Biennial, and the New Museum, and she has received the DAAD 2017 Artist in Residence Award, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award, and the HNF-MACBA Award.

Meleko Mokgosi, born in Botswana, is a slow, considered painter; behind every painting he produces are hours of research, reading, and conversations with people. Mokgosi is interested in depictions of Africa and its people; he believes that the widespread misrepresentation of Africa and Africans has done a violence to the people of the continent, and through his art he attempts a representation that is fair and just. He is deeply concerned with politics and seeks to understand and illuminate the relations of power that shape people, families, villages, regions, and nations. Mokgosi has been named the recipient of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters Grant and the Jarl and Pamela Mohn Award, and he has shown his work at Art Basel, the Armory, the Hammer Museum, and the Whitney Museum. Continue reading

Kabinett: 27 Curated Exhibitions Highlighted At Art Basel’s Miami Beach 2015 Show

Private View

Wednesday, December 2, 2015, 11am to 8pm (by invitation only)

Vernissage

Thursday, December 3, 2015, 11am to 3pm (by invitation only)

Public Days

Thursday, December 3, 2015, 3pm to 8pm

Friday, December 4, 2015, 12noon to 8pm

Saturday, December 5, 2015, 12noon to 8pm

Sunday, December 6, 2015, 12noon to 6pm

Atmosphere at Galleries, Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 © Art Basel

Atmosphere at Galleries, Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 © Art Basel

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2013 | Impression © Art Basel

Art Basel in Miami Beach 2013 | Impression © Art Basel

A decade after its inauguration in 2005, Kabinett has become a much-loved and highly praised sector of Art Basel Miami Beach in which galleries display concise curated installations within their booths. This year’s 27 curated exhibitions will feature work by Eduardo Basualdo, Adolfo Bernal, Chris Burden, Waltercio Caldas, Michael Craig-Martin, Suzanne Duchamp, Jan Fabre, Li Gang, Al Held, Glenn Kaino, Joseph Kosuth, Dr. Lakra, Deana Lawson, Jochen Lempert, Isa Melsheimer, Meuser, John Miller, Chris Ofili, Richard Pettibone, Sigmar Polke, Stephen Prina, Ana Sacerdote, Zilia Sánchez, Alan Sonfist, Stanley Twardowicz, Agnès Varda and Nari Ward. Art Basel, whose Lead Partner is UBS, runs from December 3 – December 6, 2015

Atmosphere, Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 © Art Basel

Atmosphere, Art Basel Miami Beach 2014 © Art Basel

Highlights this year include a new installation by Glenn Kaino (b. 1972, United States) at Kavi Gupta. ‘The Internationale’ (2015) is comprised of a recreation of a 19th-century Pierrot and the Moon automata installed within a pitch-black room. Triggered by the presence of spectators, the moon will trace the movement of visitors with its eye, speak fragments of seminal texts on post-colonial theory, and sing The Internationale, the classic French song of the 19th-century socialist movement.

Lia Rumma, Joseph Kosuth, Installation view 'Texts for nothing' Samuel Beckett, in play, 2010. Photo credit - Daniele Nalesso; Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Lia Rumma, Joseph Kosuth, Installation view ‘Texts for nothing’ Samuel Beckett, in play, 2010. Photo credit – Daniele Nalesso; Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Text will be a point of entry for Galleria Lia Rumma’s presentation of neon works by Joseph Kosuth (b. 1945, United States). The series, conceived in 2010, features sentences formed in white neon installed in a floor-to-ceiling matte black space. From one angle, the phrases will appear to be composed of small points of lights, however on shifting one’s point of view the words can be read clearly, bringing into question the viewer’s relationship to language. Likewise, Casas Riegner will present a selection of text-based pieces by Adolfo Bernal (b. 1954 – d. 2008, Colombia). Comprising one- or two-word posters to vintage photographs and objects from the late 1970s and early 1980s, all of which highlight his interest in the visual power of words.

Casas Riegner, Adolfo Bernal, The End, 1980. Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Casas Riegner, Adolfo Bernal, The End, 1980. Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Reflecting on seminal works by Chris Burden (b. 1946 – d. 2015, United States), the acclaimed artist who passed away this year, Galerie Krinzinger will exhibit hisDeluxe Photo Book 1971 – 1973′, a hand-painted binder containing all of the photodocumentation and explanatory texts of the first three years of his performances. This will be accompanied by material from Burden’s laterBridgesseries, as well as works on paper and smaller sculptures.

Lehmann Maupin, Nari Ward, Swing Low, 2015. Photo - Elisabeth Bernstein; Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

Lehmann Maupin, Nari Ward, Swing Low, 2015. Photo: Elisabeth Bernstein; Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York and Hong Kong

New works by Nari Ward (b. 1963, Jamaica) at Lehmann Maupin will reflect on his ongoing concerns with how the art object can challenge societal power structures. The centerpiece is We Shall Overcome(2015), a large-scale wall installation that brings to mind both the African American Civil Rights Movement from the 1960s and current issues of race, identity and politics. Photographs by Deana Lawson (b. 1979, United States) inspired by the materiality and expression of black cultures globally will be on view at Rhona Hoffman Gallery. Drawn from across the last decade, the presentation will be a collective portrait, which investigates black aesthetics through the body, the domestic environment and various settings of ritual or celebration.

Galerie Lelong, Zilia Sánchez. Soy Isla [I am an Island], ca. 1970. Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Galerie Lelong, Zilia Sánchez. Soy Isla [I am an Island], ca. 1970. Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Kabinett will include several works that have rarely and in some cases never been seen before. Bringing together the feminine and the erotic, a selection of shaped canvases by Zilia Sánchez (b. 1926, Cuba) will be presented by Galerie Lelong. Since the 1950s, Sánchez’s unique approach to formal abstraction has rarely been seen outside of Puerto Rico. At Art Basel Miami Beach, Galerie Lelong will feature recent and historic works such asAntigonía (1970),Módulo Infinito (1978) and ‘El Silencio de Eros(1982-1990)along with works on paper from the late 1960s and early 1970s.

Van Doren Waxter, Al Held, 60-1 (detail), 1960. Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Van Doren Waxter, Al Held, 60-1 (detail), 1960. Courtesy the artist and the gallery

Galerie Nathalie Obadia will feature photographs by Agnès Varda (b. 1928, Belgium) created from 1962 to 1963, four years after the Cuban revolution. Many of the vintage prints that will be on view – which capture the island’s post-revolutionary ambiance and the premises of a Latino-socialism utopia – have never been exhibited before. A selection of assertive, freehand India ink drawings by Al Held (b. 1928 – d. 2005, United States) from 1960 will be on view at Van Doren Waxter; the works foreshadow the hard-edged geometry that he was to become known for in his later paintings.

Two Kabinett presentations will be located within the Edition sector. Alan Cristea Gallery will install new editions and mono-prints by Michael Craig-Martin (b. 1941, Ireland), including the world premiere of a new set of letterpress editions and a grouping of screenprints that will be shown for the first time in the United States. Two Palms will present Black Shunga(2008-2015) by Chris Ofili (b. 1968, United Kingdom), a suite of 11 erotic line etchings printed on specially prepared paper with a dark blue color-shifting metallic surface. The series refers to Shunga, a Japanese style of erotic art that peaked in the Edo period (1603-1867). Ofili’s etchings reveal themselves slowly; upon close inspection, fine lines emerge depicting figures entwined. Continue reading

WHITNEY TO HOST BLOCK PARTY CELEBRATING ITS NEW HOME, SAT, MAY 2, 2015

Block Party to be Held on Gansevoort Street, in Front of the Museum

On Saturday, May 2, The Whitney Museum of American Art will offer free admission to the Museum from 10:30 am to 10 pm and host a block party on Gansevoort Street, sponsored by Macy’s. Created in the spirit of a neighborhood festival, the Whitney Block Party is open to visitors of all ages with free art and performance, including hands-on activities and participatory events. The festivities will encourage audiences to experience the new location and new architecture as part of the Museum’s active engagement with artists and the city. All the activities and performances are designed by artists and community organizations.

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

Whitney Museum of American Art. Photograph © Nic Lehoux

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the Empire State Building). Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The Empire State Building and the new Whitney (white building in foreground to the right of the Empire State Building). Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Throughout the day, booths designed by a diverse group of contemporary artists and community organizations will offer activities for a range of audiences, including karaoke, map making, and performance workshops. Large-scale acts on the main stage will include all-ages performances, including puppetry, dance, music, and poetry. These distinctive projects embody the Museum’s multidisciplinary and inclusive approach to contemporary art.

Booths and activities will be offered by Ei Arakawa and Shimon Minamikawa, Trisha Baga, Bed-Stuy Love Affair, Friends of the High Line, K8 Hardy and Ryan McNamara, J.T. Jobbagy Inc., the Meatpacking District Improvement Association, Lize Mogel, My Barbarian, Nari Ward, and the Whitney Education Community Advisory Network.

Performances will be presented by  (DonChristian, Le1f, Rahel, Boody, and special guest), The Door – A Center of Alternatives: the performing arts program, The Eichelburglers (Jennifer Miller, Heather Green, and special guest), The Tracie Morris Band with special guests Mr. Jerome Harris and Jemman, Jacolby Satterwhite and La’fem Ladosha, and A Tribe Called Red.

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street  in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen. It features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

The High Line is New York City’s newest and most unique public park. Located thirty feet above street level on a 1930s freight railway, the High Line runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to 34th Street in Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen and features an integrated landscape combining meandering concrete pathways with naturalistic plantings.

Situated between the High Line and the Hudson River in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, the new building (at 99 Gansevoort Street) will vastly increase the Whitney’s exhibition and programming space, offering the most expansive display ever of its unsurpassed collection of modern and contemporary American art.

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District.  Photograph by Ed Lederman

Upclose exterior view of the (new) Whitney Museum of American Art in the Meatpacking District. Photograph by Ed Lederman

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Workers constructing the exterior stairs, December 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The new building in the evening, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

Designed by architect Renzo Piano, the new building will include approximately 50,000 square feet of indoor galleries and 13,000 square feet of outdoor exhibition space and terraces facing the High Line. An expansive gallery for special exhibitions will be approximately 18,000 square feet in area, making it the largest column-free museum gallery in New York City. Additional exhibition space includes a lobby gallery (accessible free of charge), two floors for the permanent collection, and a special exhibitions gallery on the top floor.

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The fifth floor gallery’s east-facing window, seen from below, October 2014. Photograph by Timothy Schenck

The dramatically cantilevered entrance along Gansevoort Street will shelter an 8,500-square-foot outdoor plaza or “largo,” a public gathering space steps away from the southern entrance to the High Line. The building also will include an education center offering state-of-the-art classrooms; a multi-use black box theater for film, video, and performance with an adjacent outdoor gallery; a 170-seat theater with stunning views of the Hudson River; and a Works on Paper Study Center, Conservation Lab, and Library Reading Room. The classrooms, theater, and study center are all firsts for the Whitney.

A retail shop on the ground-floor level will contribute to the busy street life of the area. A ground-floor restaurant and top-floor cafe will be conceived and operated by renowned restaurateur Danny Meyer and his Union Square Hospitality Group, which operated +Untitled+, the restaurant in the Whitney’s Marcel Breuer building on the Upper East Side, until programming there concluded on October 19.

Mr. Piano’s design takes a strong and strikingly asymmetrical form—one that responds to the industrial character of the neighboring loft buildings and overhead railway while asserting a contemporary, sculptural presence. The upper stories of the building overlook the Hudson River on its west, and step back gracefully from the elevated High Line Park to its east.

The Whitney Block Party is free and open to the public—no reservations are required for Block Party events and performances.

Advance Museum admission tickets for May 2 are no longer available. A limited number of free admission tickets will be available in person at the Museum on Saturday, May 2, on a first-come, first-served basis.