The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announces fall 2021 grantees and new website

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The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts announces fall 2021 grantees and new website
Coaxial Arts Foundation: Anna Luisa Petrisko, All Time Stop Now, 2020, Single-Channel Video.

NEW YORK, NY.- The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts has announced the recipients of its Fall 2021 grants. A total of $4.1 million will be awarded to 49 organizations to support the vital work of artists in communities around the country. Grant recipients will be profiled on the Foundation’s new website, which was developed by multidisciplinary design firm Wkshps to bring greater visibility to the Foundation’s philanthropic work and its stewardship of Warhol’s legacy.

The Fall 2021 list, which includes 20 first time grantees, features organizations notable for their innovative and enduring support for artists through exhibitions, residencies, commissions, publications, and a wide range of public programs that engage critically with artists’ ideas. Their flexibility, creativity and collaborative approach to working with artists help artistic practice to flourish during this protracted period of instability and uncertainty in the art world and in the world at large. Acknowledging the financial challenges faced by arts institutions large and small, the Foundation is continuing to permit up to 50% of each grant to be used for administrative expenses.

“The Fall 2021 grantees are adapting and inventing new ways to meet the needs of artists as they persevere in the face of obstacles that surface every day in these unpredictable times,” states Joel Wachs, President, “Artists are at the heart of the Foundation’s work, and it is more important than ever to shore up the organizations that sustain and empower them as they evolve their practices.”

Two groups in particular embody the Foundation’s commitment to the principle of freedom of artistic expression. First time grantee Artistic Freedom Initiative (Brooklyn, NY) protects and champions at-risk artists throughout the world by providing pro-bono immigration services, resettlement assistance, and presentation opportunities to artists who have been persecuted for their work, while the National Coalition Against Censorship (New York, NY) which has provided targeted assistance to artists and arts presenters facing censorship pressure for over 20 years, has developed a suite of advocacy and education programs to promote public access to artists’ work and support their ability to freely express views, no matter how controversial or unpopular.

Several first-time grantees will focus on providing artists the space, time, resources, and in some cases, peer and mentor support to nurture their creative practices through a variety of residency programs. Indigo Arts Alliance (Portland, ME) serves Black and Brown artists in New England by providing a supportive environment in which to make new work, receive critical feedback and build lasting relationships across generations; CALA Alliance (Phoenix, AZ) a multidisciplinary Latinx arts organization, hosts residents from Arizona, Mexico and Latin America and secures opportunities for them to exhibit work and connect with scholars, curators, and gallerists. Baxter Street at The Camera Club of New York (New York, NY), whose program was established over a century ago, offers residencies to early-career lens-based artists who benefit from professional development, mentorship, and a culminating exhibition; and Pike School of Art Mississippi (McComb, MS), invites artists for long term, flexible residencies to pursue projects that engage with local history as well as contemporary issues that affect its rural, southern community.

Ephemeral art and film history are at the heart of many funded programs this round. First time grantee Coaxial Arts Foundation (Los Angeles, CA) supports artists working in experimental media, performance, and sound; the Intermissions series at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago (Chicago, IL) fills its gallery with ephemeral, performance-based works between exhibitions; and a new initiative at New York’s Artists Space will host residences for musicians, sound artists, choreographers and other performing artists in its lower-level galleries. The Chicago Film Society’s (Chicago, IL) Analog Film in the 21st Century initiative highlights contemporary artists working in analog film and makes work in the medium available and accessible to a wide audience through exhibition and preservation efforts; while for the hundredth anniversary of the celebrated (and problematic) ethnographic documentary Nanook of the North by its founder Robert Flaherty, The Flaherty/International Film Seminars (Brooklyn, NY) is organizing initiatives in partnership with Indigenous artists that attempt to reckon with its legacy and redress some of its harms.

“The economic, racial, and political turbulence of our contemporary moment affects the lives of artists as well as the work they produce,” says Rachel Bers, Program Director, “Museums, non-profit galleries and other artist-centered organizations are essential sites for artists to incubate, interrogate, develop and discuss projects that tangle with the complexity of the present; the Foundation values the prominence these platforms give to artistic visions and voices, centering artists’ perspectives in conversations that extend far beyond the art world.”

The Queens Museum will present the first solo museum show in New York of Xaviera Simmons whose work is concerned with the effects of racial prejudice across our history. The exhibition will feature the artist’s paintings, photography, video works and large-scale sculpture, as well as site-specific work created in dialogue with the museum’s collection, a community-based project at a food pantry, and a large-scale outdoor work in collaboration with Times Square Art. Filipino American artist Pacita Abad addressed issues of migration, cultural identity, and the fight for human dignity throughout her thirty-year career. The Walker Art Center will mount the first ever retrospective of the artist, featuring over eighty works from the 1980s through 2004, the year of her death. First-time grantee The Wolfsonian in Miami Beach will present an exhibition of artist Roberto Lugo’s ceramic work in dialogue with objects from its own collection and will commission a mural for its exterior wall that the artist will create in partnership with Haitian and Puerto Rican community organizations, commemorating the workers who built Miami around the turn of the 20th century. The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in Wisconsin will mount Dark Matter, a retrospective of London-born Faisal Abdu’Allah, whose work, ranging from live performance to monumental sculpture, opens channels of communication around the history of racial oppression and inequity in this country and the UK. The work of Juan Francisco Elso, an installation artist who passed away at the age of 32 in 1988, will be the subject of a solo exhibition at El Museo del Barrio. Drawing connections between Afro-Cuban and indigenous Latin American culture, the exhibition will include twenty of his surviving works alongside pieces by his close colleagues and younger artists he influenced.

A number of group exhibitions will also receive Foundation support. Fisk University Galleries in Nashville, TN will present African Modernism in America, 1947-67 which will examine the global rise of African modernism by revisiting a 1961 exhibition that took place at the galleries during the moment African nations were gaining their independence. Forecast Form; Art in Caribbean Diaspora, 1990s – Today at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago will feature artists with ties to the region and will focus on the formal strategies they employ to express the impact of migration and exchange on diasporic identity. First-time grantee Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection, University of Virginia is dedicated to promoting widespread understanding of Indigenous Australian arts and cultures and will present Madayin: Eight Decades of Aboriginal Bark Painting from Yirrkala featuring 100 works created over the past 80 years, 33 of which will be new commissions.

Additionally, the Foundation has granted $244,000 to five institutions across the country for curatorial research toward future exhibitions and institutional initiatives.

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