The Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College
announces that Connie Butler, Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum has been selected as the recipient of the 2020 Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of CCS Bard. For the past twenty-one years, the Audrey Irmas Award for Curatorial Excellence has celebrated and awarded the individual achievements of a distinguished curator whose lasting contributions have shaped the way we conceive of exhibition-making today. The award reflects CCS Bards commitment to recognizing individuals who have defined new thinking, bold vision, and dedicated service to the field of exhibition practice. This year the award will be presented to Butler by artist Andrea Fraser at a gala celebration and dinner co-chaired by CCS Bard Board of Governors member Lonti Ebers and Chairman of the CCS Bard Board Martin Eisenberg, and will take place on April 7, 2020 at One Manhattan West, 395 9th Avenue, in New York City. Event location provided by Brookfield Properties with additional generous support from Lonti Ebers.
"Connie Butler represents the best of curating; independently minded, always curious, dedicated to artists and consistently bold in the scope of her exhibitions and choices of subject. Her exhibitions are touchstones of curating in the United States - helping to re-define subjects and the institutions where she works, Tom Eccles, Executive Director, CCS Bard.
The awardee is selected by an independent panel of leading contemporary art curators, museum directors, and artists. Past recipients include Harald Szeemann (1998), Marcia Tucker (1999), Kasper König (2000), Paul Schimmel (2001), Susanne Ghez (2002), Kynaston McShine (2003), Walter Hopps (2004), Kathy Halbreich and Mari Carmen Ramírez (2005), Lynne Cooke and Vasif Kortun (2006), Alanna Heiss (2007), Catherine David (2008), Okwui Enwezor (2009), Lucy Lippard (2010), Helen Molesworth and Hans Ulrich Obrist (2011), Ann Goldstein (2012), Elisabeth Sussman (2013), Charles Esche (2014), Christine Tohme and Martha Wilson (2015), Thelma Golden (2016), Nicholas Serota (2017), Lia Gangitano (2018), and Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev (2019).
I am thrilled to receive the Audrey Irmas prize for curatorial excellence. The history of this award is truly a distinguished one and it is an honor to be among such incredible colleagues at this critical time in our field. Now more than ever our work matters and I continue to follow and support the work of artists and believe in the future of museums, Connie Butler
The 2020 award will once again be given under the name of patron Audrey Irmas, who has bestowed the endowment for the Audrey Irmas Prize of $25,000. Irmas is an emeritus board member of CCS Bard and an active member of the Los Angeles arts and philanthropic community. The award has been designed by artist Lawrence Weiner, and is based on his 2006 commission Bard Enter, conceived for the entrance to the Hessel Museum of Art at CCS Bard.
Connie Butler is the Chief Curator at the Hammer Museum at UCLA, where she has organized numerous exhibitions including the biennial of Los Angeles artists Made in L.A. (2014), Mark Bradford: Scorched Earth (2015) and Marisa Merz: The Sky Is a Great Space (2017). She also co-curated Adrian Piper: A Synthesis of Intuitions which opened at The Museum of Modern Art, New York in April of 2018 and at the Hammer in October 2018; Andrea Fraser: Men on the Line, 2019 and Lari Pittman: Declaration of Independence a retrospective exhibition which opened at the Hammer September 2019. From 2006-2013 she was The Robert Lehman Foundation Chief Curator of Drawings at The Museum of Modern Art, New York where she co-curated the first major Lygia Clark retrospective in the United States, Lygia Clark: The Abandonment of Art, 1948-1988 (2014); and co-curated On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century (2010) and mounted Marlene Dumas: Measuring Your Own Grave, the first US retrospective of the artists career. Butler also organized the groundbreaking survey WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution (2007) at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles where she was curator from 1996-2006.