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The Carnegie International opens with crowds and revelry
Alex Da Corte, Rubber Pencil Devil, 2018. Image courtesy of the artist and Karma New York. Photo: Tom Little.

PITTSBURGH, PA.- After three years of preparation, Carnegie International, 57th Edition, 2018 opened on Saturday with great fanfare, presenting a lavish array of artist projects and programs to the public. The day began with coffee service by Art Labor in their immersive Hammock Café, followed by a Karen Kilimnik Programme featuring a collage of ballet scenes and a video pastiche of the artist’s favorite musical moments from World War I and II films. Both days featured performances by the jazz musician Dr. Aaron Johnson, interpreting Postcommodity’s monumental installation in the Hall of Sculpture, and screenings of Tacita Dean’s seamlessly edited 16mm film of actor Stephen Dillane’s Event for a Stage (screening every Monday). A Tam O’Shanter Drawing Session with painter Lynette Yiadom-Boakye on stage with flamenco dancers and musicians gave around 150 participants the opportunity to make their own work in the museum’s opulent Music Hall.

On Friday, October 12, at the glittering Fête, two awardees received the prestigious Carnegie Prize and Fine Prize, which recognize exceptional artists whose work is exhibited in the International.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye received the Carnegie Prize. Yiadom-Boakye (b. 1977, London, UK, lives London, UK), who paints the figure to create timeless modern characters on canvas, created a new installation of fictitious portraits for this edition of the International.

The Carnegie Prize includes a $10,000 award and the Medal of Honor, designed by Tiffany & Co., cast by J. E. Caldwell & Co., and first issued to Winslow Homer at the 1896 International.

Postcommodity received the Fine Prize. Postcommodity (formed 2007, lives Albuquerque, NM, Santa Fe, NM, Phoenix, AZ, USA) transformed the grand Hall of Sculpture with materials of Pittsburgh’s industrial past—glass, coal, and steel—and with performances by local musicians who will interpret the monumental floor installation as a graphic score.

The $10,000 award is part of a $5 million gift made by The Fine Foundation in support of the International since 2008.

The winners of the Carnegie and Fine prizes at the 2013 Carnegie International were New York-based painter Nicole Eisenman and South African photographer Zanele Muholi, respectively.

Members of the 2018 Jury of Award included three International colleagues who shared in curator Ingrid Schaffner’s travel and research: Carin Kuoni, director of the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, The New School, New York; Ruba Katrib, curator at MoMA PS1, New York; and Magalí Arriola, an independent curator based in Mexico City. They were joined by the museum’s own Ellen Kessler, board chair; Douglas (Woody) Ostrow, board member; Catherine Evans, The Henry J. Heinz II Acting Co-Director; and Eric Crosby, Richard Armstrong Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art.

All told, nearly 6,000 visitors attended the opening weekend.

“CMOA is thrilled to host so many guests from Pittsburgh and around the world for the opening of our flagship exhibition of contemporary art,” said Catherine Evans and Sarah Minnaert, The Henry J. Heinz II Acting Co-Directors at CMOA. “Curator Ingrid Schaffner’s visionary work is an enormous accomplishment, as is that of our dedicated staff. Together, they have brought this Carnegie International into stunning fruition.”

“We’re proud to deepen our commitment to the arts in Pittsburgh by being the presenting sponsor of the 57th edition of Carnegie International,” said Terry Laughlin, Vice Chairman and Head of Global Wealth Investment Management, Bank of America. “At Bank of America, our support of the arts reflects our belief that the arts matter: they are a powerful tool that can provide pathways to greater cultural understanding that can help economies thrive, help individuals connect with each other and across cultures, and educate and enrich societies.”

“This International has some real standouts... It makes me feel very, very excited. I am a Pittsburgh native and it gives me pride that such great artists are showing here at this institution,” said Phyllis Lally Seevers of New York City, a visitor to the exhibition.

The Carnegie International will be open through March 25, 2019. For schedules of daily activities and special programs (film screenings, drawing sessions, artist lectures, docent tours, and more)

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