Zoe Leonard Receives $100,000 2014 Bucksbaum Award

Art Press Release from United States. Published by anonymous on Thursday 15 May 2014.

Zoe Leonard Receives $100,000 2014 Bucksbaum Award image

Adam D. Weinberg, Alice Pratt Brown Director of the Whitney Museum of American Art, has announced that artist Zoe Leonard is the recipient of the eighth Bucksbaum Award. The award, established by Melva Bucksbaum and her family, is given every two years to one of the artists in the Biennial whose work demonstrates a singular combination of talent and imagination.

Leonard, who was selected from among 103 participants in the 2014 Biennial, will receive a $100,000 grant and an invitation to present a solo exhibition at the Whitney prior to the next Biennial. She will be honored during the Bucksbaum Award ceremony at the Whitney on Wednesday evening, May 21.

Zoe Leonard (b. 1961) is a New York–based artist. For the 2014 Biennial, she created 945 Madison Avenue, transforming a section of the Museum’s fourth floor into an enormous camera obscura, a naturally occurring phenomenon in which a small hole in one side of a dark chamber projects an inverted image of the outside view onto the surfaces of the room. With a lens placed in the Museum’s signature Marcel Breuer–designed window, Leonard’s work projects an image of the Madison Avenue streetscape that unfolds in real time on the gallery’s gridded cement ceiling, walls, and stone floor. As the light shifts, windows open and close, cars drive up Madison Avenue, and pedestrians cross the street. Leonard takes up this principle of the camera obscura in order to investigate vision as not only an optical process but also a temporal and social experience; she places the viewer inside the camera, as much a part of the installation as the view outside.

Overseen by Biennial curator Anthony Elms, associate curator at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia, 945 Madison Avenue is one of a series of site-specific camera obscura installations that Leonard has created since 2011. This particular work poignantly references architect Marcel Breuer, who wrote that a museum building “should have a visual connection to the street.” This is the final Whitney Biennial that will be held in the Museum’s uptown location before it moves to its new downtown Renzo Piano–designed building opening in spring 2015.

One of the most distinguished artists of her generation, Leonard is known for her work in photography, film, and sculpture. She participated in both the 1993 and 1997 Whitney Biennials. Her work was featured in the exhibition Blues for Smoke, which was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and traveled to the Whitney in 2013. Her critically-acclaimed Analogue (1998–2009), a collection of more than 400 photographs documenting the rapid gentrification in New York’s Lower East Side alongside the globalization of American culture, was a highlight of Documenta XII (2007). She has received major solo exhibitions at Philadelphia Museum of Art (1998); Centre National de la Photographie, Paris (1998); The Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio (2007); Dia: Beacon (2008); Fotomuseum Wintherthur (2007); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid (2008); MuMOK — Museum Moderner Kunst Stifting Ludwig, Vienna (2009); and Camden Arts Centre, London (2012); as well as presented at both Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta XII (2007). Her work can be found in the permanent collections of many prestigious institutions, including the Art Institute of Chicago; Centre Pompidou (Paris); Ludwig Museum (Cologne, Germany); Tate Modern (London); Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Museum of Modern Art (New York); National Gallery of Art (Washington, D.C.); Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; Secession (Vienna); Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York); and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York).

The jury for the 2014 Bucksbaum Award was comprised of Adam D. Weinberg; Donna De Salvo, Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Programs at the Whitney; Biennial curators Anthony Elms, Michelle Grabner, professor at the School of the Art Institute, Chicago, and Stuart Comer, Chief Curator of the Department of Media and Performance Art at the Museum of Modern Art; and guest panelists Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief of Artforum, and Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Biennial advisors Elisabeth Sussman, Curator and Sondra Gilman Curator of Photography, and Jay Sanders, Curator and Curator of Performance, both at the Whitney, were non-voting jury participants.

The 2014 Whitney Biennial remains on view through May 25, 2014.