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Njideka Akunyili Crosby Wins 2016 Prix Canson

Crosby with her 2011 work The Thing Around Her Neck, 2011.HAL HOROWITZ/PRIX CANSON

Njideka Akunyili Crosby with her 2011 work The Thing Around Her Neck, 2011, at the Drawing Center in New York.


Once a year, the Fonds Canson pour l’Art et le Papier gives its Prix Canson to one artist in honor of his or her work on paper. This year that artist is the superb Los Angeles–based Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who makes intimate paintings on paper by intricately collaging together photographs transferred to paper with patches acrylic, charcoal, and other materials.

As winner of the Prix Canson, Crosby will receive a solo show and €10,000 (about $11,300) worth of Canson paper, and the Fonds Canson will purchase one of her pieces. In addition, she will take part in a residency program at the home of the late artist Tunga, who was a member of the jury and who died earlier this month.

The other finalists for this year’s prize were Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze, Bethany Collins, David Shrigley, and Lucy Skaer. The jury was made up of Brett Littman, the director of the Drawing Center in New York, where a show of the finalist’s work is on view through July 1; Ian Alteveer, associate curator of modern and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Bice Curiger, the artistic director of the Fondation Vincent van Gogh in Arles, France, and editor in chief of Parkett; Amanda Hunt, assistant curator at the Studio Museum in Harlem; Helen Molesworth, the chief curator of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles; Frédéric Paul, curator at the Centre Pompidou; Katherine Stout, curator and head of program at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London; and Michael Woolworth, an editor and print master in Paris. (That is one huge jury!)

Crosby has been on a roll lately, with solo shows and projects at the Norton Museum of Art in West Palm Beach, Florida, the Whitney Museum in New York, and the Hammer Museum and Art+Practice in Los Angeles. Here’s an interview I did last year with her about those L.A. shows.

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