NEW YORK, NY.- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
today announced with event partner Calvin Klein Collection a new art event premiering in 2009: Rob Pruitts The First Annual Art Awards at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in Association with White Columns, to be held on Thursday, October 29, 2009.
Artist Rob Pruitt, whose conceptual practice is rooted in a pop sensibility and a playful critique of art world structures, has conceived the event as a performance-based artwork which follows the format of a Hollywood awards ceremony. The Art Awards will be an annual celebration of select individuals, exhibitions, and projects that have made a significant impact on the field of contemporary art during the previous year, specifically, for this years ceremony, from January 2008 to June 2009.
According to Mr. Pruitt, This annual gesture will function as a community-building and philanthropic event for the Guggenheim Museum, White Columns and, in 2009, Studio in a School, while simultaneously mobilizing the wide ranging talents and energies of the international arts community, focusing on our mutual admiration and support for one another's unique endeavors. Mr. Pruitt continued, With one eye on supporting our great institutions, and the other on injecting our community with a renewed sense of energy, spirit, and a dash of showbiz glamour, we are pleased to announce this very unique event.
Richard Armstrong, Director of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum, stated, As the impresario behind the First Annual Art Awards, Rob Pruitt presents a daring new event model injected with the humor that underscores his work. Pruitts orchestration of this performative piecewith the rotunda as center stageis aligned with the Guggenheims mission to continue to engage and present contemporary artists.
"The First Annual Art Awards, held at the Guggenheim Museum, will celebrate today's most interesting and respected artists, in an entirely innovative way," said Malcolm Carfrae, EVP Global Communications, Calvin Klein, Inc. "Calvin Klein, Inc. has always been a huge supporter of the arts and we are thrilled to be a part of such a groundbreaking event that celebrates the arts community and gives it the recognition it deserves."
Pruitt has invited the Delusional Downtown Divas to preside over the event as Masters of Ceremonies, and Glenn OBrien will step in as the Announcer, or, as Pruitt describes his role, as the Voice of God. An additional distinguished list of presenters will participate in distributing the awards, created by Pruitt to resemble a celebratory bucket of champagne that also serves as a fully functional lamp. The presenters will include Cecily Brown, Sofia Coppola, James Franco, Knight Landesman, Nate Lowman, and Mary-Kate Olsen, among others. Original music has been composed by Matthew Friedberger of the Fiery Furnaces, who will perform at the event. Christine Muhlke, food editor of the New York Times Magazine, is curating the cuisine for the seated dinner.
Lifetime Achievement Awards, determined by Rob Pruitt along with organizing partners the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and White Columns, will be awarded to Joan Jonas and Kasper König. In addition, a group of more than four hundred art world professionals has been invited to form a Nominating Council that will select four nominees in nine categories that focus primarily on exhibitions and projects that took place over the preceding eighteen months (January 2008 to June 2009), in the United States, as well as one category recognizing an international exhibition. The Rob Pruitt Award is being decided solely by the artist. Of the following list of nominees, a larger group (including the Nominating Council) will establish the eventual winners, who will be announced at the live awards ceremony on October 29. The ten categoriesin addition to the Lifetime Achievement Awardand the nominees for each category are:
Artist of the Year
Curator of the Year
Exhibitions Outside the United States
Francis Bacon, Tate Britain, London
Jeff Koons, Versailles, Château de Versailles, France
Mike Kelley: Educational Complex Onwards: 19952008, Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
Wolfgang Tillmans: Lighter, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin
Group Show of the Year, Gallery
A Twilight Art, Harris Lieberman, New York
Whos Afraid of Jasper Johns? Tony Shafrazi Gallery, New York
Your Gold Teeth II, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
ZERO in New York, Sperone Westwater, New York
Group Show of the Year, Museum
After Nature, New Museum, New York
The Pictures Generation, 19741984, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
The Quick and the Dead, Walker Art Center, Minneapolis
WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York
New Artist of the Year
The Rob Pruitt Award
To be announced the evening of October 29, 2009
Solo Show of the Year, Gallery
Cindy Sherman, Metro Pictures, New York
Manzoni: A Retrospective, Gagosian Gallery, New York
Paul Sharits, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
Picasso: Mosqueteros, Gagosian Gallery, New York
Solo Show of the Year, Museum
Dan Graham: Beyond, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Lawrence Weiner: As Far as the Eye Can See, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton, New Museum, New York
Martin Kippenberger: The Problem Perspective, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and Museum of Modern Art, New York
Writer of the Year