PennDesign News

Posted October 23, 2015
  • Wael Shawky, Cabaret Crusades: The Path to Cairo, 2012

Visting Fine Arts Professor Wael Shawky Among 2016 Hugo Boss Prize Finalists

Graduate Fine Arts Professor Wael Shawky is among the six finalists selected for the Hugo Boss Prize 2016, the biennial award established in 1996 to recognize artists whose work is among the most innovative and influential of our time. Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, and chair of the jury, today announced the finalists chosen by a panel of international critics and curators. Over the past two decades juries have identified and selected as finalists paradigm-shifting artists from around the world, recognizing the achievements of both emerging and established figures, and setting no parameters in terms of age, gender, or medium.

The following artists are finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize 2016:

• Tania Bruguera (b. 1968, Havana)
• Mark Leckey (b. 1964, Birkenhead, UK)
• Ralph Lemon (b. 1952, Cincinnati)
• Laura Owens (b. 1970, Euclid, Ohio)
• Wael Shawky (b. 1971, Alexandria, Egypt)
• Anicka Yi (b. 1971, Seoul)

“Promoting the most innovative cultural production continues to be at the core of the Guggenheim’s institutional mission, and for the past twenty years, the Hugo Boss Prize has given us the opportunity to identify and honor artists who make a lasting impact on the landscape of contemporary art,” said Nancy Spector. “We are grateful for the sustained enthusiasm of Hugo Boss for a project that acknowledges today’s most prescient creative voices.”

The prize, administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, has become an integral part of the Guggenheim’s contemporary art programming. The winner is awarded a $100,000 cash prize and featured in a solo exhibition at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York. The Hugo Boss Prize catalogues, which have evolved over the years into ambitious collaborations between curators, artists, and designers, form a key component of the program’s legacy. The Hugo Boss Prize 2016 winner will be announced in the fall of 2016, and the exhibition will be held in 2017.

“The Hugo Boss Prize has developed into a renowned accolade over the past two decades, and we are proud to celebrate its 20th anniversary next year. Together with the Guggenheim Foundation, we have since honored many excellent and successful artists,” said Claus-Dietrich Lahrs, Chairman and CEO, HUGO BOSS AG. “Our sincerest congratulations go out to our nominees for 2016.”

Wael Shawky (b. 1971, Alexandria, Egypt) lives and works in Alexandria, Egypt. Shawky works in multiple mediums—notably film, performance, sculpture, and drawing—to locate the roots of current geopolitical realities in the distant and heavily mediated past. Describing himself as a translator of cultural narratives and assumptions, he draws on mythical and historical sources to create indelible visual experiences that oscillate between pathos, humor, beauty, and horror.

Shawky has had solo exhibitions at MATHAF: Arab Museum of Modern Art, Doha, Qatar (2015); MoMA PS1, New York (2015); Serpentine Gallery, London (2013); Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2013); Kunst-Werke Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin (2012); Townhouse Gallery for Contemporary Art, Cairo (2009 and 2008); and Kunsthalle Winterthur, Switzerland (2007). Shawky’s work has been featured in major group exhibitions such as the Istanbul Biennial (2015); Manifesta, Saint Petersburg, Russia (2014); Sydney Biennial (2014); Sharjah Biennial, United Arab Emirates (2013); Gwangju Biennial, South Korea (2012); Documenta, Kassel, Germany (2012); Marrakech Biennial, Morocco (2012); Egyptian Pavilion, Alexandria Biennial (2009); Riwaq Biennial, Ramallah, Palestine (2009); Tarjama/Translation, Queens Museum of Art, New York (2009); Riwaq Biennial (2007); Istanbul Biennial (2005); Venice Biennale (2003); and International Cairo Biennial (1996). In 2010 Shawky established MASS Alexandria, a studio and study program for artists in Egypt.

Hugo Boss Prize Jury
The 2016 jury is chaired by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator, Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation. The jurors are Katherine Brinson, Curator, Contemporary Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Dan Byers, Mannion Family Senior Curator, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston; Elena Filipovic, Director / Chief Curator, Kunsthalle Basel; Michelle Kuo, Editor in Chief, Artforum International; Pablo León de la Barra, Guggenheim UBS MAP Curator, Latin America, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

History of the Prize
Since its inception in 1996, the Hugo Boss Prize has been awarded to ten innovative and influential contemporary artists: American artist Matthew Barney (1996); Scottish artist Douglas Gordon (1998); Slovenian artist Marjetica Potrč (2000); French artist Pierre Huyghe (2002); Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija (2004); British artist Tacita Dean (2006); Palestinian artist Emily Jacir (2008); German artist Hans-Peter Feldmann (2010); Danish artist Danh Vo (2012); and American artist Paul Chan (2014). The related exhibitions have constituted some of the most compelling presentations in the museum’s history.

Previous finalists include Laurie Anderson, Janine Antoni, Cai Guo-Qiang, Stan Douglas, and Yasumasa Morimura in 1996; Huang Yong Ping, William Kentridge, Lee Bul, Pipilotti Rist, and Lorna Simpson in 1998; Vito Acconci, Maurizio Cattelan, Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, Tom Friedman, Barry Le Va, and Tunga in 2000; Francis Alÿs, Olafur Eliasson, Hachiya Kazuhiko, Koo Jeong-a, and Anri Sala in 2002; Franz Ackermann, Rivane Neuenschwander, Jeroen de Rijke and Willem de Rooij, Simon Starling, and Yang Fudong in 2004; Allora & Calzadilla, John Bock, Damián Ortega, Aïda Ruilova, and Tino Sehgal in 2006; Christoph Büchel, Patty Chang, Sam Durant, Joachim Koester, and Roman Signer in 2008; Cao Fei, Roman Ondák, Walid Raad, Natascha Sadr Haghighian, and Apichatpong Weerasethakul in 2010; and Trisha Donnelly, Rashid Johnson, Qiu Zhijie, Monika Sosnowska, and Tris Vonna-Michell in 2012; and Sheela Gowda, Camille Henrot, Hassan Khan, and Charline von Heyl in 2014.

To see a time line and a video on the history the Hugo Boss Prize, as well as an overview of past prize catalogues, visit guggenheim.org/hugobossprize.