Legendary Choreographer and Artist Ralph Lemon Wins Whitney Biennial’s $100,000 Bucksbaum Award

Ralph Lemon, an influential choreographer and conceptual artist, received the Whitney Museum’s $100,000 Bucksbaum Award, which works to 1 artist within the Whitney Biennial each time the present is held.

Lemon is greatest recognized for his extremely summary—and sometimes intensely memorable—dances, which have earned him the respect of many artists and a MacArthur “genius” award. However on the Whitney Biennial, which this yr was curated by David Breslin and Adrienne Edwards, he shook issues up by displaying summary works inside the museum’s galleries.

For one of many biennial’s most idiosyncratic choices, Lemon confirmed what the Whitney described as “a whole bunch of drawings from over or greater than 25 years in 5 transient variations that unfolded month-to-month over the course of the exhibition” held to the wall by pushpins. One work even appeared atop its wall textual content throughout the exhibition’s preview.

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Portrait of a smiling white man

Lemon referred to those works as “a mapping akin to an anthropological follow.” He stated he drew on analysis performed in Jamaica, Haiti, Côte d’Ivoire, and elsewhere.

Some noticed the items in a different way. Simon Wu, in his Artwork in America review of the biennial, wrote of their weird exhibition fashion, “That is efficiency research’ revenge on the museum: the curators’ choices appear to be they’re cosplaying as artworks, embarrassed to be found like this, hanging in a museum.”

The works additionally typified the sensibility of the biennial writ giant, which prompt an unlikely resurgence of summary portray, whilst a market-driven craze for figuration is in full impact.

In accordance with Whitney, winners of the Bucksbaum Award are named in recognition of their “lasting affect on the historical past of American artwork, based mostly on the excellence of their previous work, in addition to of their current work within the Biennial.”

Scott Rothkopf, chief curator of the Whitney, stated in a press release, “His physique of labor has shifted paradigms round efficiency, sculpture, drawing, and extra, in addition to the distinctions amongst them—all with rigor, ethics, humor, and coronary heart.”


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