Art Omi, a nonprofit arts center in Ghent, New York, has chosen John Newman, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Ralph Lemon, Jennifer Bartlett, and Johannes Girardoni as the winners of its 2019 Francis J. Greenburger Award. Each artist will receive $12,500, and the prizes will be presented at the New Museum in New York on April 1.
Francis J. Greenburger, founder of Art Omi and chairman of the real-estate firm Time Equities, Inc., said in a statement, “The spirit of the Francis J. Greenburger Awards is to celebrate under recognized artists for their lifetime achievements and significant contributions to the art community. While the world at large may not be familiar with the individuals being honored, leaders of the art world hold them in very high esteem.”
Newman’s sculptures, drawings, and prints are part of the collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Whitney Museum, Tate Britain, and elsewhere. He has had over 50 solo shows during his career, and he previously served as director of graduate studies in sculpture at the Yale School of Art.
Ukeles has been the official un-salaried artist-in-residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation since 1977, and she is best known for works about maintenance and service. The artist’s Manifesto for Maintenance Art 1969! and her Touch Sanitation Performance (1979–80) are among her most famous endeavors. Ukeles has shown work at New York institutions such as the Whitney Museum, MoMA PS1, and the Guggenheim Museum, as well as the Art Institute of Chicago and many other venues.
A choreographer, writer, visual artist, and curator, Lemon is currently the artistic director of Cross Performance. He received a National Medal of Arts from Barack Obama in 2015, and he was the 2018 recipient of the Heinz Family Foundation Award. He is the first choreographer to receive the Francis J. Greenburger Award.
Bartlett, whose work blends Abstract Expressionist, Minimalist, and Conceptualist strategies, creates installations, prints, and paintings. One of her early works, Rhapsody (1975–76), is now owned by the Museum of Modern Art, and her works also figure in the permanent holdings of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, and the Met, among other institutions.
In his practice, sculptor, photographer, and installation artist Girardoni experiments with material, light, and space. His pieces are in the holdings of the Austrian Cultural Forum in New York, the Margulies Collection in Miami, the Harvard Art Museums in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and beyond.