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American Academy in Rome receives gift to establish Philip Guston Rome Prize Fellowship
Garrett Bradley (center) with Musa and Thomas Mayer. Photo: Christine Butler.

NEW YORK, NY.- The American Academy in Rome announced a new Rome Prize Fellowship this year. The Philip Guston Rome Prize in Visual Arts, established by Musa and Thomas Mayer with a $3 million gift in memory of the artist Philip Guston, further marks Guston’s long-standing relationship with the Academy and the city of Rome.

“When my father was awarded the Rome Prize in 1948, he was at a crucial juncture in his painting,” said Musa Mayer. “In 1970, an extended stay at the Academy offered the distance and perspective he needed, allowing him to continue painting unencumbered by the rejection of the New York art world. On each visit, he was renewed and sustained by the painting of the Italian masters he loved so much, and by the language, culture, and companionship he found at the Academy. Knowing just how much the Rome Prize can mean in the life and work of an artist, we are delighted to support a Fellowship in his name.”

A celebrated exponent of the New York School, Guston was, with Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and Willem de Kooning, one of the pioneers of Abstract Expressionism. Guston, who had been a Fellow at the Academy in Rome in 1949, later visited as a Resident from October 1970 to May 1971. It was during this period that Guston painted the celebrated Roma series, experimenting with his newly invented language of isolated figural images and challenging himself to draw inspiration from his environment and not just his imagination. Guston also served as a Trustee of the Academy, from 1969 to 1976.

“Rome has long been a source of creative exploration for our Fellows, and Philip Guston’s time at the Academy coincided with two pivotal moments in his career,” said Mark Robbins, AAR President and CEO. “We are pleased to offer the same opportunity to Garrett Bradley, an emerging artist showing great potential, with the inaugural Philip Guston Rome Prize.”

Garrett Bradley is a visual artist and a professor at Loyola University New Orleans. Her most recent project, America (2019), which surveys one hundred years of black cinema, was recently featured in the “New Directors/New Films” program by the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Museum of Modern Art, and her work will also be presented in the upcoming 2019 Whitney Biennial. Bradly has received grants from Art Matters, Artadia, the Ford Foundation for Social Justice, and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Arts, among others. She also received two TriBeCa Film Festival prizes and two awards from the New Orleans Film Festival.

Bradley said, “Much of my work is rooted in thinking about the American experience from multiple perspectives. The culmination of it, ideally offering a blended way of seeing. Being in Rome, will I think, offer space to reflect and re-see what is both familiar and unknown to me.”

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