Rob Pruitt's 2010 Art Awards

Guggenheim Benefit December 8

By: - Nov 17, 2010


The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum announces the nominees for Rob Pruitt’s 2010 Art Awards, the second annual celebration honoring the notable individuals, exhibitions, and projects that have made a significant contribution to the field of contemporary art during the past year. Awards in 14 categories will be presented at a fundraising event to benefit the Guggenheim Foundation and visual arts non-profit White Columns on Wednesday, December 8, 2010, at the nightclub and music venue Webster Hall.

Artist Rob Pruitt, whose conceptual practice is rooted in a pop sensibility and a playful critique of art world structures, conceived the event as a performance-based artwork which follows the format of a Hollywood awards ceremony.  Designed by Pruitt with a flourish of showbiz glamour, the Art Awards harnesses the energy and accomplishments of the international arts community while simultaneously supporting two of its institutions.

Pruitt has invited writer, editor, and downtown fixture Glenn O’Brien to preside over the event as the Master of Ceremonies.  Pruitt and O’Brien, along with writers David Colman and Linda Yablonsky, are penning the event script. A distinguished cast of presenters will participate in distributing award statuettes designed by Pruitt, including Bill Powers, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn, and Jerry Saltz of the television series Work of Art, who will announce “New Artist of the Year”; Mary Heilmann, the 2009 “Artist of the Year,” who will announce the winner in that category; artist Marina Abramovic with Klaus Biesenbach, Director of MoMA PS1; artists John Currin and Rachel Feinstein; Richard Armstrong, Director, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and Museum; and Matthew Higgs, Director, White Columns, among others.

The evening will also feature performances by artists Martin Creed and Kalup Linzy, and surprise guest appearances. The commissioned Art Awards theme song and other original music are composed by Matthew Friedberger and His Orchestra, who will play at the event. Tribute films created by Yorgo Alexopoulos will be screened as part of the ceremony. Dinner will be provided by Roberta’s, of Bushwick, Brooklyn. An after-party following the presentation will feature music by Rub-N-Tug.
Lifetime Achievement Awards, determined by Rob Pruitt along with organizing partners the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum and White Columns, will be awarded to Jonas Mekas and Martha Rosler. The Artist-Educator Achievement Award, a new distinction added for this year’s celebration, will be presented to Marilyn Minter.

A group of more than 1,000 artists and arts professionals were invited to form an anonymous Art Awards Council to nominate and then vote upon four nominees in categories that focus primarily on exhibitions and projects that took place over the past year (July 2009 to July 2010), in the United States, as well as one category recognizing an international exhibition. The Rob Pruitt Award is being decided solely by the artist. The winners in each of the twelve categories—in addition to the three Achievement Awards—will be announced at the live awards ceremony on December 8 at Webster Hall.
The nominees for each category are:

Alternative Space of the Year
179 Canal, New York
Artists Space, New York
Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn, New York
Light Industry, Brooklyn, New York

Alternative Project of the Year
Apartment Show, various locations, New York
edia Int'l Group, Foundation Barbin, New York
Jennifer Rubell, Creation, Performa 09, New York

Artist of the Year
Marina Abramovic
John Baldessari
Louise Bourgeois
Trisha Donnelly

Blogger or Critic of the Year
Howard Halle
Paddy Johnson
Jerry Saltz
Linda Yablonsky

Curator of the Year
Massimiliano Gioni
Laura Hoptman
Chrissie Iles
Neville Wakefield

Exhibition outside the United States
John Baldessari: Pure Beauty, Tate Modern, London
Rosemarie Trockel: Deliquescence of the Mother, Kunsthalle Zürich
Felix Gonzalez-Torres: Specific Objects without Specific Form, Wiels Contemporary Art Centre, Brussels
Matthew Barney: Prayer Sheet with the Wound and the Nail, Schaulager, Basel

Group Show of the Year, Gallery
Lush Life, various locations, New York
Picture Industry (Goodbye to All That), Regen Projects, Los Angeles
Primary Atmospheres: Works from California 1960–1970, David Zwirner, New York
Your History Is Not Our History: New York in the 1980s, Haunch of Venison, New York

Group Show of the Year, Museum
At Home/Not At Home: Works from the Collection of Martin and Rebecca Eisenberg, Hessel Museum of Art, Bard College, Annandale-on-Hudson, New York
Greater New York, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City, New York
In & Out of Amsterdam: Travels in Conceptual Art, 1960–1976, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2010 Whitney Biennial Exhibition, Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

New Artist of the Year
Michele Abeles
Tauba Auerbach
Liz Magic Laser
Ryan McNamara

The Rob Pruitt Award
To be announced the evening of December 8, 2010

Solo Show of the Year, Gallery
Claude Monet: Late Work, Gagosian Gallery, New York
Gelitin: Blind Sculpture, Greene Naftali Gallery, New York
Jonathan Horowitz: Go Vegan! Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York
Trisha Donnelly, Casey Kaplan Gallery, New York

Solo Show of the Year, Museum
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present, Museum of Modern Art, New York
Heat Waves in a Swamp: The Paintings of Charles Burchfield, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, and Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
Otto Dix, Neue Galerie, New York
Yves Klein: With the Void, Full Powers, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C., and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis

Proceeds from the 2010 Art Awards will benefit the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and White Columns. Please visit for information on ticket sales, event updates, and an overview of the inaugural Art Awards. Video highlights from the ceremony will be posted on the Guggenheim’s website after the event.

About Rob Pruitt
Rob Pruitt (b. 1964, Washington, D.C.) lives and works in New York. His recent solo exhibitions include Pattern and Degradation (September–October 2010) at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise and Maccarone in New York; and iPruitt (2008) at Gavin Brown’s Enterprise. Institutions that have organized solo presentations of his work include the Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati (2001), and the American Academy in Rome (2008). He has also participated in numerous group exhibitions internationally, including Greater New York, P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, Long Island City (2000); Post-POP, Post-PUNK, Museum of Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C. (2000); Protest and Survive, Whitechapel Art Gallery, London (2000); Vantage Point, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin (2001); The Americans New Art, Barbican Gallery, London (2001); Shanghai Biennale, Shanghai Art Museum (2002); Trade, White Columns, New York (2005); Seeing Double, Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh (2005); General Ideas: Rethinking Conceptual Art 1987–2005, CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Arts, San Francisco (2005); The Inside Game, Portland Art Center (2006); The Station, Art Basel Miami (2008); Mapping the Studio, Palazzo Grassi (2009); and Pop Life: Art in a Material World, Tate Modern, London (2009).