The Whitney Museum of American Art Celebrates Tenth Anniversary of the Bucksbaum Award

The Whitney Museum of American Art celebrates the tenth anniversary of its Bucksbaum Award on April 21, 2010. The latest recipient of the award – selected by a jury from among the artists showing in the current Whitney Biennial, 2010 – will be named that evening. The jury has chosen to give the award to Michael Asher (b. 1943, Los Angeles), the West Coast-based conceptual artist, best known for his work with various forms of institutional intervention.

Asher, one of the Biennial’s senior figures and a well-respected mentor for many younger artists, typically alters the structure, operation, and experience of existing environments, particularly museums and art galleries. For the Biennial, his work involves radically changing the Whitney’s hours of operation. From Wednesday, May 26, at 12:00 am, through Friday, May 28, at 11:59 pm, the museum will be open around the clock, twentyfour hours a day. Asher’s original plan was to keep the museum open for an entire week, but that plan proved impossible for budgetary and human resources reasons and instead the museum will be kept open for three full days.

Melva Bucksbaum, a Whitney trustee since 1996, launched The Bucksbaum Award in 2000. Omer Fast, the most recent recipient in 2008, recently had a solo exhibition titled Nostalgia at the Whitney. The previous Bucksbaum recipients are Paul Pfeiffer (2000), Irit Batsry (2002), Raymond Pettibon (2004), and Mark Bradford (2006). Bucksbaum Award, created and produced by Tiffany & Co., is given every two years in recognition of an artist, chosen from those included in the Biennial, whose work demonstrates a singular combination of talent and imagination. The selected artist is considered by the jurors to have the potential to make a lasting impact on the history of American art, based on the excellence of past work as well as present work in the Biennial. In addition to receiving a $100,000 grant, each Bucksbaum laureate is invited to present an exhibition at the Whitney, sometime within the succeeding two years.

Michael Asher was the subject of a solo show at the Santa Monica Museum of Art in 2008 and at The Art Institute of Chicago in 2006. Asher has been included in several major group shows as well, including Reconsidering the Object of Art: 1965-1975 (1995) and A Minimal Future? Art as Object 1958-1968 (2004) at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Beyond Geometry: Experiments in Form, 1940s-1970s (2004) at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; and Spaces (1970) and The Museum as Muse: Artists Reflect (1999) at The Museum of Modern Art, New York. He was included in a seminal exhibition at the Whitney in 1969 – Anti-Illusion – but this is the first time he has been included in a Biennial.

The jury for the 2010 Bucksbaum Award was comprised of Adam D. Weinberg, the Whitney’s Alice Pratt Brown Director; Donna De Salvo, Whitney Associate Director of Programs and Chief Curator; the 2010 curators Francesco Bonami and Gary Carrion-Murayari; and three guest panelists, Hou Hanru (San Francisco Art Institute), Yasmil Raymond (Dia), and James Rondeau (Art Institute of Chicago).

Hou Hanru, a San Francisco-Paris based critic and curator, is Director of Exhibitions and Public Programs and Chair of Exhibition and Museum Studies at the San Francisco Art Institute. His recent projects include the 10th Biennale de Lyon.

Yasmil Raymond was appointed Dia’s curator in May 2009. She previously worked at the Walker Art Center, where she organized solo exhibitions with Tomás Saraceno and Tino Sehgal, and the group exhibition Abstract Resistance. Highlights among her previous exhibitions include: Statements: Joseph Beuys, Dan Flavin, Donald Judd; Brave New Worlds (co-curated with Doryun Chong, 2008); and the award-winning Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love (in collaboration with Philippe Vergne, 2007).

James Rondeau is the Curator and the Frances and Thomas Dittmer Chairman of the Department of Contemporary Art at The Art Institute of Chicago, where he has worked since 1998. The subjects of his one-person exhibitions include Thomas Hirschhorn (2000), Marlene Dumas (2003), Roni Horn (2004), Michael Asher (2005), Cecilia Edefalk (2006), Maureen Gallace (2006), James Bishop (2008), and Vincent Fecteau (2008), and he has been responsible for exhibitions with artists Jeff Wall (organized by The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2007), Jasper Johns (Jasper Johns: Gray, coorganized with Douglas Druick, 2007), and Cy Twombly (Cy Twombly: The Natural World, 2009). Forthcoming exhibitions include Roy Lichtenstein (2012) and Steve McQueen (2013).

The Whitney Museum of American Art is the leading advocate of 20th- and 21st-century American art. Founded in 1930, the Museum is regarded as the preeminent collection of American art.