Kandis Williams Wins Hammer Museum’s $100,000 Mohn Award
Kandis Williams, whose work considers the ways in which our bodies are floor down by racism, colonialism, and capitalism, is that this yr’s winner of the Hammer Museum’s Mohn Award, one of many greatest artwork prizes on the planet. The $100,000 purse goes to a participant within the Los Angeles establishment’s Made in L.A. biennial, which showcases artists primarily based within the metropolis.
Two different awards, each valued at $25,000, are additionally given out as a part of the prize—one for profession achievement, the opposite for an artist chosen by the general public. These have gone this yr to Monica Majoli and Fulton Leroy Washington (a.okay.a. Mr. Wash), respectively.
This yr’s Made in L.A., which runs by August 1, is cut up between the Hammer and the Huntington Library, Artwork Museum, and Botanical Gardens. The Mohn Award has been funded by L.A. philanthropists and collectors Jarl and Pamela Mohn for the reason that first version of Made in L.A. in 2012. Together with this yr’s award, the Mohns have given the Hammer $5.15 million to assist two endowments: one for future editions of the biennial and the award, and one other for the acquisition of labor by rising or under-recognized artists.
At this yr’s version of Made in L.A., titled “a model” and curated by Myriam Ben Salah and Lauren Mackler with Ikechukwu Onyewuenyi, Williams is exhibiting a grouping of collages juxtaposing photos of classical sculptures with photos of Black ladies. Different works by Williams have thought of structural racism by the histories of vegetation and the worldwide slave commerce.
Williams additionally runs Cassandra Press, a publishing platform for Black feminist scholarship on an array of matters, together with Black Twitter, double consciousness, and misogynoir. Williams produced new readers for the platform throughout a residency at Luma Westbau in Zurich earlier this yr.
It’s a large yr for Williams, whose first institutional solo present is at present on view on the Institute of Up to date Artwork at Virginia Commonwealth College in Richmond. She additionally has an exhibition at present on view at Los Angeles’s Evening Gallery centered on the parable of Eurydice, spectatorship, and the Black determine. She may have exhibitions in 2021 on the Serpentine Galleries in London and 52 Walker, a brand new David Zwirner–owned house in New York run by vendor Ebony L. Haynes.
“This award is in recognition not solely of Williams’s studio follow, but in addition of her function as a author, editor, cultural commentator, and public mental,” the Mohn Award jury wrote in a press release. “Previously few years, she has actually distinguished herself as somebody whose pondering might help us deal with the present second, the histories that introduced us right here, and, importantly, level a method ahead.”
That jury included Institute of Up to date Artwork Los Angeles senior curator Jamillah James and unbiased curators Mia Locks and Diana Nawi.
Majoli is understood for her works centered on BDSM and homosexual liberation. At Made in L.A., she is exhibiting archival supplies associated to Blueboys, one of many first homosexual magazines within the U.S. The jury mentioned in its assertion that Majoli’s artwork “retains historical past alive.”
Mr. Wash has been thought of one of many breakouts of this yr’s Made in L.A. The artist was incarcerated for greater than 20 years on nonviolent drug offenses that he mentioned he didn’t commit, and in that point, he started portray and drawing. His most up-to-date works characteristic well-known figures—Hillary Clinton, Michael Jackson—shedding outsized tears containing photos of the people and occasions on their thoughts.