Tonight at the Guggenheim in New York, director Richard Armstrong and Hugo Boss CEO Mark Langer announced that Anicka Yi has received this year’s Hugo Boss Prize, the prestigious biennial award that comes with $100,000 and a solo show at the museum. She beat out a group of finalists that included Tania Bruguera, Mark Leckey, Ralph Lemon, Laura Owens, and Wael Shawky. Yi’s show will open at the Guggenheim in April.
Since 1996, the Guggenheim has teamed up with Hugo Boss, the German fashion company, to anoint a new art heavyweight, giving them a windfall of financial and institutional support. Past winners include Matthew Barney, Rirkrit Tiravanija, Hans-Peter Feldmann, and the previous winner, Paul Chan.
This year’s jury included Nancy Spector, the former deputy director and chief curator of the Guggenheim; Katherine Brinson, a curator of contemporary art at the Guggenheim; Dan Byers, a senior curator at the ICA Boston; Elena Filipovic, the director and chief curator of the Kunsthalle Basel (where Yi had a show last year); Michelle Kuo, the editor in chief of Artforum; and Pablo Léon de la Barra, the Guggenheim’s UBS MAP curator of Latin American art.
“In selecting Anicka Yi as the winner from an exceptionally strong group of nominated artists, we wish to highlight the singularity of her vision and the generative new possibilities for artistic production offered by her practice,” reads a statement from the jury. “We are particularly compelled by the way Yi’s sculptures and installations make public and strange, and thus newly addressable, our deeply subjective corporeal realities. We also admire the unique embrace of discomfort in her experiments with technology, science, and the plant and animal worlds, all of which push at the limits of perceptual experience in the ‘visual’ arts.”
Armstrong made the announcement with Hugo Boss CEO Mark Langer during a cocktail reception Thursday night held under the Guggenheim’s domed rotunda, where the finalists mingled among notables like Rirkrit Tiravanija and Klaus Biesenbach.
Yi has had solo shows at the Kunsthalle Fridericianum in Kassel, Germany, the Kitchen in New York, and the MIT List Visual Arts Center, in Cambridge, Massachusetts, but this will be her first major museum show in the United States.