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Guggenheim Museum Announces Nominees for New Artist-Conceived Awards Event
Rob Pruitt. Photographed by Adrian Gaut, styling by Akari Endo. Commissioned by Dominic Sidhu for V Magazine.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum today announced with event partner Calvin Klein Collection a new art event premiering in 2009: Rob Pruitt’s 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 year’s 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. Pruitt’s orchestration of this performative piece—with the rotunda as center stage—is aligned with the Guggenheim’s 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 O’Brien 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 Knig. 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 categories—in addition to the Lifetime Achievement Award—and the nominees for each category are:

Artist of the Year
• Louise Bourgeois
• Urs Fischer
• Dan Graham
• Mary Heilmann

Curator of the Year
• Klaus Biesenbach
• Daniel Birnbaum
• Connie Butler
• Massimiliano Gioni

Exhibitions Outside the United States
• Francis Bacon, Tate Britain, London
• Jeff Koons, Versailles, Chteau de Versailles, France
• Mike Kelley: Educational Complex Onwards: 1995–2008, Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
• Wolfgang Tillmans: Lighter, Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum fr Gegenwart, Berlin

Group Show of the Year, Gallery
• A Twilight Art, Harris Lieberman, New York
• Who’s 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, 1974–1984, 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
• Elad Lassry
• Daniel McDonald
• Marlo Pascual
• Ryan Trecartin

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
• Tim Griffin
• John Kelsey
• Walter Robinson
• Jerry Saltz

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum | New Artist-Conceived Awards | Rob Pruitt | Richard Armstrong |

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