Kapwani Kiwanga Named Winner of the Frieze Artist Award

Installation view of work by Kiwanga in “Stories of Almost Everyone” at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, 2018.


Frieze New York has named Kapwani Kiwanga as the winner of its inaugural Frieze Artist Award. The Canadian-born, Paris-based artist will receive a maximum budget of $30,000 to execute an open-air installation on Randall’s Island during the Frieze New York fair, which runs from May 4 to 6. The project will be curated by Adrienne Edwards, who is a curator at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis and Performa.

Edwards said in a statement, “Kapwani’s rigorous research and imaginative approach confront audiences with the raw materials and elemental structures of power. I’m looking forward to experiencing Kapwani’s ambitious artwork in Randall’s Island Park, which will ask poignant questions about our built environment and human histories of control.”

Shady, the working title of Kapwani’s piece, will be made of industrial metal and shade cloth, which is used in large-scale farming throughout Africa and elsewhere. The fabric will speak to the colonization and commodification of indigenous lands that have underscored histories of exclusion.

This component of the fair’s program is supported by the Luma Foundation. Chaired by Frieze’s artistic director, Loring Randolph, the jury for the 2018 Artist Award included Edwards, artist Liam Gillick, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art curator Eungie Joo, and Guggenheim Museum curator Pablo León de la Barra.

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