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Press Room

2/6/2004

Smithsonian American Art Museum Announces .Lucelia Artist Award Nominees for 2004

Media only: Laura Baptiste (202) 275-1595


The Smithsonian American Art Museum announced today, Feb. 6, the 14 artists nominated for the museum's 2004 Lucelia Artist Award. This award is part of the museum's continued commitment to contemporary art and artists through awards and acquisitions.

The nominees are: Matthew Barney, Uta Barth, Sam Durant, Robert Gober, Rachel Harrison, Roni Horn, Charles LeDray, Glenn Ligon, Vik Muniz, Matthew Ritchie, Paul Sietsema, Lorna Simpson, Kara Walker and Lisa Yuskavage. Nominated artists work in a diverse range of media including painting, photography, film, installation, mixed media, digital creation, video, sculpture and graphics.

"The Smithsonian American Art Museum is delighted to honor these distinguished artists who are widely recognized for making valuable contributions to the current conversations about art in our world today," said Elizabeth Broun, the museum's Margaret and Terry Stent Director.

The Lucelia Artist Award, established in 2001, annually recognizes an American artist under the age of 50 who demonstrates exceptional creativity and has produced a significant body of artwork that is considered emblematic of this period in contemporary art. Jurors nominate artists who will be recognized as one of the most important artists of his or her time. The $25,000 award is intended to encourage the artist's future development and experimentation. Previous winners were Jorge Pardo (2001), Liz Larner (2002) and Rirkrit Tiravanija (2003).

"The Lucelia Artist Award honors a contemporary American artist who has demonstrated a sustained commitment to distinctive, often daring pursuits that challenge expectations and thinking about the nature of art," said Sidra Stich, the Lucelia Artist Award executive director. "A distinguished panel of jurors has nominated 14 artists who are considered some of the most important and influential artists working today."

Stich is currently the director of art•SITES, a new series of contemporary art and architecture handbooks, published in San Francisco. Since the 1970s, she has specialized in contemporary and modern art as a curator, teacher and writer. As executive director for this award, Stich invites jurors to participate and coordinates the nomination and jurying process.

The award winner is determined each year by a panel of five distinguished jurors selected from across the United States, each with a wide knowledge of contemporary American art. Jurors determine the award winner in a day of discussion and review and remain anonymous until the winner is announced. Past jurors have included John Baldessari, Dan Cameron, Bonnie Clearwater, Lynne Cooke, Matthew Drutt, Bruce Ferguson, Russell Ferguson, Richard Flood, Vicki Goldberg, Laura Hoptman, Elizabeth Murray, Jerry Saltz, Cindy Sherman, Elizabeth Smith and Robert Storr. Applications are not accepted for this award. The 2004 winner will be announced in April.

The New York-based Lucelia Foundation, which funds the award, supports the visual arts, specifically 19th-century American and contemporary art.

The Smithsonian American Art Museum collection began with gifts of art donated to the federal government in 1829, and has evolved into the world's most important American art holdings with approximately 40,000 artworks in all media spanning more than three centuries.

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