Contemporary Artist Award / American Art
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Contemporary Artist Award

Photo of Elizabeth Broun

Elizabeth Broun

"The dynamism of the twenty-first century is reflected by so many artists working today," said Elizabeth Broun, The Margaret and Terry Stent Director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. "The museum's contemporary artist award enhances the museum's commitment to living artists and honors the achievement and promise of those who enrich our society with their insight and creativity."

In 2001, the museum established a contemporary artist award. This award recognizes an artist younger than fifty who demonstrates exceptional creativity and has produced a significant body of artwork that is considered emblematic of this period in contemporary art. The $25,000 award is intended to encourage the artist's future development and experimentation.

Artists are nominated by a panel of distinguished jurors selected from across the United States, each with a wide knowledge of contemporary art; there is no application. Jurors determine the award winner and remain anonymous until the winner is announced. The award, which is awarded biennially, is part of the museum’s ongoing commitment to contemporary art and artists through exhibitions, acquisitions, commissions, and public programs.

Award Recipients

Kathy Butterly (2012)

Pierre Huyghe (2010)

Mark Dion (2008)

Jessica Stockholder (2007)

Center for Land Use Interpretation (2006)

Andrea Zittel (2005)

Kara Walker (2004)

Rirkrit Tiravanija (2003)

Liz Larner (2002)

Jorge Pardo (2001)

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