Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work
The Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work, first presented in 1988, is a peer award given to an artist for exceptional work through exhibitions, presentations, or performances. This award is presented to a living artist of national or international stature and must tie him or her to an exceptional recent exhibition; the 2013 award year is September 1, 2011–August 31, 2012.
For over four decades, the American-born, Parisian-based artist Elaine Sturtevant has been creating blindingly original works. Because her work calls into question our deep ties with authorship as the defining quality of any artwork, it has perplexed both the art world and the general public, as demonstrated by her recent solo exhibition, Rock & Rap /c Simulacra at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise in New York (May 4–June 23, 2012), her first in the United States in seven years. From the 1960s to the 1990s, Sturtevant based her work only on cultural iconography that was tied to specific artists, be that Warhol or Joseph Beuys. In 2004 she started looking at commercial television imagery as a readymade and found, in its brain-numbing repetition, a recognizable source that was less revered than her art-historical precedents but upon which she could perform the same revelatory operation. While Sturtevant’s multiscreen installations are now widely exhibited and celebrated, their existence, perhaps, has helped clarify in the minds of the public the type of critical discourse she was hoping to instigate in 1965, when she first showed her paintings.
In the twenty-two years since the Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work was first presented, the majority of recipients have been women. Four of the first five—Elizabeth Murray, Howardena Pindell, Rachel Rosenthal, and Ann Hamilton—are women, as are seven recent winners, which include Yoko Ono, Mary Heilmann, Lynda Benglis, Adrian Piper, and Elaine Sturtevant. Other recipients of the award include Bruce Nauman, Nam June Paik, and Fred Wilson.
Read a list of all winners of the Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work from 1988 to the present.
CAA has begun accepting nominations for the 2014 Artist Award for a Distinguished Body of Work.