The Contemporary Austin is pleased to announce artist Nicole Eisenman is the winner of the 2020 Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize.
In addition to receiving a cash award, she will present a solo exhibition premiering in February 2020 at the museum’s downtown venue, the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, with the option to extend the exhibition to the museum’s fourteen-acre sculpture park at Laguna Gloria. The exhibition is scheduled to open to the public in Austin on Thursday, February 13, 2020. A related exhibition will then travel to The FLAG Art Foundation in New York, where it will open in fall 2020. In addition to the exhibition and monetary award, the prize includes a scholarly publication and development of public programming around the exhibitions.
Nicole Eisenman lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She is a MacArthur Foundation fellow and was nominated into the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2018. A solo exhibition of her work will open at the Staatliche Kunsthalle in Baden-Baden, Germany, in fall 2018. Recent solo exhibitions include Dark Light, Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects; Dark Light, Secession, Vienna, Austria; Al-ugh-ories, New Museum, New York; and Magnificent Delusion, Anton Kern Gallery, New York. Having established herself as a painter, Nicole has, for the last six years, expanded her practice into the third dimension. This will be Nicole’s first exhibition in Austin, and first solo museum show in Texas.
Eisenman’s practice blends the influence of Western art history and traditional figuration with elements of punk music, feminist activism, queer sexuality, humor, and emotional rawness into profoundly unique works. Eisenman emerged in the early 1990s in New York City as a painter, and the bulk of her creative output for nearly four decades has been in the form of two-dimensional work including paintings, drawings, and occasionally collages and photographs. More recently, the artist has begun making three-dimensional, figurative work: indoor and outdoor sculptures that both reference and depart from conventional forms and narratives, often combined in allegorical multiples or compositions akin to those in her paintings.
“Nicole Eisenman is an artist with whom I’ve wanted to work for years, so it’s incredibly exciting that the Advisory Committee selected her for this next Prize,” said Heather Pesanti, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Contemporary Austin. “The generous resources around this prize provide opportunities not only for the museum to present a full exhibition of current and past work, but also for the artist to explore new directions. In particular, Nicole’s recent turn to three-dimensional work is a testament to this next chapter: her anti-monumental and enigmatic sculptures bring the painted bodies from her canvases into three-dimensional space. The relationship between these objects and her paintings was perhaps always present, and is a thread that the artist may be able to further explore through this exhibition and book.”
Eisenman was selected by an independent advisory committee made up of renowned curators and art historians from across the U.S., led by Heather Pesanti, Chief Curator & Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Contemporary Austin. This year’s advisory committee included Ian Berry, Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and Professor of Liberal Arts at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Lauren Haynes, Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Eungie Joo, Curator of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Helen Molesworth, critic; and Lilian Tone, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; along with institutional advisor Stephanie Roach, Director of The FLAG Art Foundation.
“I am thrilled with the selection of Nicole Eisenman, and I look forward to the new work that the Prize will enable her to present to the art world and the general public. I commend our esteemed Advisory Committee for the rigorous and thoughtful process that led to the selection of such an interesting and relevant contemporary artist,” said Louis Grachos, the Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director & CEO of The Contemporary Austin. “I am grateful to Suzanne Deal Booth for her guidance through the initial conception of a prize led by The Contemporary Austin—the inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize (2016–2018)—and to Glenn Fuhrman and The FLAG Art Foundation for their vision for what the prize could be as it grows over the next several years, both as a financial award and as an opportunity to reveal new work to broader audiences in Texas and New York.”
Read more here.
Nicole Eisenman. Image courtesy the artist and Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects. Photograph © Nathan Perkel.
Ian Berry, Lauren Haynes, Eungie Joo, Helen Molesworth, Lilian Tone, Heather Pesanti, and Stephanie Roach
Dayton Director, The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and Professor of Liberal Arts at Skidmore College
Ian Berry is Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and Professor of Liberal Arts at Skidmore College. He has organized over one hundred museum exhibitions for the Tang and museums across the United States. Current projects include the group show Rose Ocean: Living with Duchamp, the solo exhibition Njideka Akunyili Crosby: Predecessors; a two-year performance-based residency/installation with Kamau Amu Patton, and the career-survey Dona Nelson: Stand Alone Paintings. During his tenure, the Tang’s encyclopedic collection has expanded greatly through key acquisitions and gifts with significant additions to historical photography and contemporary art holdings. Berry is a leader in the field of college and university museums, and is a regular speaker on interdisciplinary and inventive curatorial practice and teaching in museums. He is well known for his active publication record including monographs on artists Terry Adkins, Nancy Grossman, Corita Kent, Nicholas Krushenick, Tim Rollins and K.O.S., Alma Thomas, and Fred Tomaselli. He is a board member of the Museum Association of New York, has chaired the Visual Arts Panel of the New York State Council on the Arts, and serves on several advisory committees including Cranbrook Academy National Advisory Committee, Artist Advisory Board of the Fabric Workshop and Museum, and Saratoga Springs Arts Commission among other regional and national arts organizations.
Curator, Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art
Lauren Haynes is Curator, Contemporary Art, at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. Prior to joining Crystal Bridges in October 2016, Haynes was Associate Curator, Permanent Collection at The Studio Museum in Harlem where she worked for close to a decade. Haynes is co-curator of the upcoming exhibition The Beyond: Georgia O’Keeffe and Contemporary Art, opening at Crystal Bridges in May 2018. Haynes has authored and co-authored several catalogues such as Alma Thomas, The Bearden Project, Speaking of People: Ebony, Jet and Contemporary Art, and Stanley Whitney: Dance the Orange. She has also lectured at venues around the United States including The Whitney Museum of American Art, Deutsche Bank, and Texas State University, San Marcos. She is a member of the Association of Art Museum Curators and serves on the Nomination and Governance Committee. Haynes is a recipient of a 2016 Gold Rush Award from Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation.
Curator of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Eungie Joo is curator of Contemporary Art at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA). Previously, she served as director of the 5th Anyang Public Art Project/APAP 5, Anyang, Korea (2017); curator of Sharjah Biennial 12: The past, the present, the possible (2015); and director of Art and Cultural Programs, Instituto Inhotim, Brumadinho, Brazil (2012–2014). Joo was Keith Haring Director and Curator of Education and Public Programs, New Museum, New York (2007–2012), where she spearheaded the Museum as Hub program, commissioned the monthly seminar Night School by Anton Vidokle (2008–2009), and organized the 2012 New Museum Triennial: The Ungovernables. Joo served as commissioner of the Korean Pavilion at the 53rd Venice Biennale, where she presented Condensation: Haegue Yang (2009) and was founding director and curator of the Gallery at REDCAT, Los Angeles (2003–2007), where she developed residencies and exhibitions with Mark Bradford, Damián Ortega, Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Kara Walker, Yin Xiuzhen, and others. Joo received her doctorate in Ethnic Studies from the University of California at Berkeley. She lives and works in San Francisco.
From 2014-2018 Helen Molesworth was the Chief Curator at The Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA), Los Angeles, where she co-organized the first US retrospective of the Brazilian artist Anna Maria Maiolino and the monographic survey Kerry James Marshall: Mastry. From 2010–2014 she was the Barbara Lee Chief Curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Boston, where she assembled one-person exhibitions of artists Steve Locke, Catherine Opie, Josiah McElheny, and Amy Sillman, and the group exhibitions Leap Before You Look: Black Mountain College 1933–1957, Dance/Draw, and This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s. As head of the Department of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Harvard Art Museum, she presented an exhibition of photographs by Moyra Davey and ACT UP NY: Activism, Art, and the AIDS Crisis 1987–1993. From 2002–2007 she was the Chief Curator of Exhibitions at the Wexner Center for the Arts, where she organized the first US retrospectives of Louise Lawler and Luc Tuymans, as well as Part Object Part Sculpture, which examined the influence of Marcel Duchamp’s erotic objects. While Curator of Contemporary Art at The Baltimore Museum of Art from 2000–2002, she arranged Work Ethic, which traced the problem of artistic labor in post-1960s art. She is the author of numerous catalogue essays and her writing has appeared in publications such as Artforum, Art Journal, Documents, and October. The recipient of the 2011 Bard Center for Curatorial Studies Award for Curatorial Excellence, she is currently at work on an exhibition inspired by the American painter and film critic Manny Farber and his 1962 essay “White Elephant vs. Termite Art.”
Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York
Lilian Tone is Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. During her tenure at MoMA,she curated modern and contemporary art collection and temporary exhibitions,notably: Wolfgang Laib: Pollen from Hazelnut (2013, with Ann Temkin), William S. Paley Collection (2012-2014 international tour), Focus: Paul Klee (2006), Bauhaus (2006), Strangely Familiar (2003), White Spectrum (2000), Actual Size (2000), and projects with several artists including Cai Guo-Qiang’s Transient Rainbow (2002), John Armleder, Piotr Uklanski (2000, with Anne Umland), Michael Asher, William Kentridge (1999) and General Idea (1997). She was coordinating curator of Lee Bontecou: A Retrospective (2004) and member of C-MAP editorial team,with a focus on deepening the knowledge of history and artistic production in Latin America. Her exhibitions as a guest curator in international institutions include William Kentridge: Fortuna (2012-2016, Instituto Moreira Salles, Riode Janeiro, Fundação Iberê Camargo, Porto Alegre, Pinacoteca do Estado, São Paulo, Museo del Banco de la República, Bogotá, Museo de Arte Moderno de Medellín, MUAC, Mexico City and Museo Amparo, Puebla), Fred Sandback: O Espaçonas Entrelinhas (2010, Instituto Moreira Salles, São Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, and the Centro Cultural Maria Antonia, São Paulo), and Closed Circuit: Bruce Nauman in Film and Video (2005, Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio de Janeiro). She worked as Adjunct Curator, 25th Bienal de Sã oPaulo (1999-2000), Curatorial Consultant, Museu Rodin Bahia (2002-2003), and Adjunct Faculty, Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard College (2001-2005). She currently serves a board member of the Fred Sandback Foundation. Her published work includes books, articles, interviews, and essays in exhibition catalogues and other publications. She earned undergraduate degrees from Law School, University of São Paulo and from Fine Arts College, Fundação Armando Alvares Penteado, São Paulo, and studied in the Art History PhD Program of the Graduate School and University Center, CUNY.
Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs, The Contemporary Austin
The Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Contemporary Austin, where she has worked since 2013, Heather Pesanti has organized monographic exhibitions and outdoor commissions of work by John Bock, Anya Gallaccio, Lionel Maunz, Wangechi Mutu, Monika Sosnowska, Robert Therrien, and Marianne Vitale, as well as the current exhibition of work by Rodney McMillian and a forthcoming project by Abraham Cruzvillegas (2019). In 2015, she organized Strange Pilgrims, a large-scale, thematic exhibition on experiential art that engaged three venues. Prior to Austin, from 2008 to 2013, Pesanti lived in Buffalo, New York, where, as Curator of the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, she organized Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s, a historic survey of Buffalo’s dynamic arts scene in the 1970s (2012), and was adjunct professor in the Visual Studies Department at the University at Buffalo. From 2005 to 2008, she was assistant curator of Life on Mars, the 2008 Carnegie International at the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and adjunct professor at Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Art. Pesanti earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania, with graduate degrees from the University of Oxford, England, and New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts, and was recently a 2017 fellow in the Getty Leadership Institute. Pesanti has published catalogues for exhibitions including Strange Pilgrims, Garth Weiser: Paintings, 2008–2017, A Secret Affair: Selections from the Fuhrman Family Collection, Wish You Were Here: The Buffalo Avant-garde in the 1970s, and Life on Mars. She is currently working on a monograph on Rodney McMillian and on a large-scale exhibition on the intersection of art and anthropology, scheduled to be in view at The Contemporary Austin in 2019.
Director, The FLAG Art Foundation
Stephanie Roach has been the Director of The FLAG Art Foundation since the institution’s founding in 2008, where she has developed 50 exhibitions, with a range of guest curators and artists, featuring more than 500 established and emerging international artists. Exhibitions that Stephanie has curated include One, Another, 2011, at FLAG; Losing My Religion in Young Curators, New Ideas IV, Meulensteen Gallery, New York, NY (2012); and Space Between, co-curated with Louis Grachos at FLAG (2015). Roach was on the Curatorial Advisory Committee for the Moving Image Art Fair in 2012 and the jury panel for the New York Academy of Art Seventh Annual Summer Exhibition in 2013. She is a member of the Leadership Circle at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, and the Contemporary Circle at the Jewish Museum, New York, NY. She received her BA in 2005 Magna Cum Laude from The University of Pennsylvania.
IMAGES: Joo: Photograph by Peter Heinz; Tone: Photograph by Gustavo Malheiros; Pesanti: Photograph by Whitney Arostegui, courtesy The Contemporary Austin; Roach: Photograph by Kyle Dorosz
The Contemporary Austin and The FLAG Art Foundation are pleased to announce the formation of the Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize.
Through additional funding provided by Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman, the new Prize will transform the former, $100,000 Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize into one of the largest awards presented to an artist. The Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize will fund a $200,000 unrestricted award to an artist selected by an independent advisory committee comprising renowned curators and art historians from across the U.S. and internationally, a scholarly publication, and all production expenses for the creation of new work for a solo exhibition that will premiere at The Contemporary Austin in Texas and then be presented at The FLAG Art Foundation in New York.
Suzanne Deal Booth and Glenn and Amanda Fuhrman have committed to jointly fund four prizes biennially through 2026. Each Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize exhibition will be organized by the curatorial team at The Contemporary Austin in collaboration with the staff at The FLAG Art Foundation.
Glenn Fuhrman and Suzanne Deal Booth
The artist recipient of the 2020 Prize will be announced in July 2018, chosen by this year’s independent advisory committee, which includes: Ian Berry, Dayton Director of The Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery and Professor of Liberal Arts at Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, NY; Lauren Haynes, Curator, Contemporary Art at Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; Eungie Joo, Curator of Contemporary Art, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA; Helen Molesworth, critic; and Lilian Tone, Assistant Curator, Department of Painting and Sculpture, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY; along with institutional advisors Heather Pesanti, Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at The Contemporary Austin, and Stephanie Roach, Director of The FLAG Art Foundation.
“Amanda and I have been interested in supporting artists through a major prize that would allow them the freedom to live and focus on creating their most ambitious work. We were inspired by what Suzanne, Louis, and the team at The Contemporary Austin accomplished with the inaugural Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize, so rather than initiating a new award, we realized that by collaborating we could collectively create an unparalleled opportunity for the artists and institutions involved going forward,” stated Glenn Fuhrman, Founder of The FLAG Art Foundation.
“I am incredibly grateful to Suzanne Deal Booth who had the initial vision for an art prize of this significance and magnitude,” said Louis Grachos, the Ernest and Sarah Butler Executive Director and CEO of The Contemporary Austin. “We pride ourselves in being an artist-centric institution, giving artists important opportunities through commissions and organizing major exhibitions at both our downtown museum and at our lakeside sculpture park. Like Suzanne, Amanda and Glenn Fuhrman recognize the singular power of new and innovative contemporary art to cultivate ideas and deepen our connection with the global community. Their foresight in collaborating on the Suzanne Deal Booth / FLAG Art Foundation Prize will transform the lives of the recipient artists and will benefit all of us through the opportunities it creates for unfettered creative output by some of the most significant artists living and working today.”
The Suzanne Deal Booth Art Prize was initiated in 2016 through the generosity of Deal Booth, a trustee of The Contemporary Austin. The $100,000 Prize was awarded to Rodney McMillian, chosen by the advisory committee of Stephanie Barron, Naomi Beckwith, Peter Eleey, Heather Pesanti, Hamza Walker, and Heidi Zuckerman. McMillian’s solo exhibition, Against a Civic Death, is on view at The Contemporary’s downtown venue, the Jones Center on Congress Avenue, from February 3 through August 26, 2018, and a catalogue of the exhibition, including a history of McMillian’s performance-based work, will be co-published by The Contemporary Austin and Radius Books in the fall.
“I have been so pleased to watch the inaugural Prize take shape through the current exhibition by Rodney McMillian,” said Suzanne Deal Booth. “Rodney had the freedom to conceive and realize an exhibition without restrictions. As the resulting body of work reverberates through the art world, I can see how this rare experience may transform his practice, propelling his career in new directions and opening up new opportunities. I’m thrilled to now partner with the Fuhrmans and The FLAG Art Foundation to make the prize even more life-changing for an artist and the diverse communities involved.”
IMAGE: Photograph by Whitney Arostegui.
Founder and patron Suzanne Deal Booth has long been committed to the recognition, preservation, and conservation of visual arts and cultural heritage. Booth founded the Friends of Heritage Preservation and has served as director since its inception in 1998.
Deal Booth earned a Master of Arts in art history and conservation from New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts and Conservation Center in New York City. While at Rice and NYU, she had the opportunity to work directly under the tutelage of art patron and humanist Dominique de Menil. She worked with the artist James Turrell on Skyspace at MoMA PS1 (1986) and later assisted on his retrospective at the Whitney Museum of American Art. In 2012, under Deal Booth’s patronage, Turrell’s permanent installation at Rice University, Twilight Epiphany, was realized. She has worked at several institutions, including les Monuments Historiques, France; the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth; the Menil Collection, Houston; the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and the J. Paul Getty Trust, Los Angeles.
Included among Deal Booth’s patronage and philanthropic efforts are serving on the boards of several arts organizations, including the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Menil Collection, the Centre Pompidou Foundation, Ballroom Marfa, and The Contemporary Austin. Additionally, she established the Booth Scholar in Residence at the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies and the Booth Family Rome Prize Fellowship at the American Academy in Rome, both in Rome, Italy.
Photo by Inti St. Claire. Artwork © Charline von Heyl. Courtesy the artist and Petzel, New York..
The FLAG Art Foundation, founded in 2008 by art patron Glenn Fuhrman, is a nonprofit exhibition space that encourages the appreciation of contemporary art among a diverse audience. FLAG presents four to six exhibitions a year that include artworks by international established and emerging artists, borrowed from a variety of sources. FLAG invites a broad range of creative individuals to curate exhibitions and works in-depth with artists to provide curatorial support and a platform to realize their own solo exhibitions.
FLAG’s innovative approach to foster dialogue around contemporary art includes producing artist talks, artist-led workshops, and exhibition tours for school and museum groups. Based in the heart of Manhattan’s Chelsea art district, FLAG and all of its related programs are free and open to the public.