New York’s Whitney Museum of American Art has named artist Zoe Leonard the 2014 Bucksbaum Award recipient for 945 Madison Avenue. Her large-scale camera obscura installation presented at the current Biennial (through May 25). The award honors a single participant for his or her contribution to the exhibition, and includes a $100,000 grant and a solo exhibition at the museum. Leonard was selected from this year’s 103 participants and will be presented with the award at a ceremony on May 21st.
Leonard’s 945 Madison Avenue has transformed the museum’s iconic Madison Avenue-facing fourth-floor window into a lens, filling the installation’s darkened, sectioned-off room with an inverted view of the street scene outside. The work, among a series of site-specific installations Leonard has created since 2011, is an homage to the building’s architect, Marcel Breuer, who wanted its structure to visually engage with the street. This is the last Biennial at the Whitney’s uptown location. The museum is preparing to move to its new Renzo Piano-designed home in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District in the spring of 2015.
Working in photography, film and sculpture, Leonard has presented solo exhibitions at institutions such as Dia:Beacon in New York’s Hudson Valley (2008); the Museum Moderner Kunst Stifting Ludwig in Vienna (2009); and London’s Camden Arts Center (2012), and has participated in Documenta IX (1992) and Documenta XII (2007).
This is the artist’s third inclusion in the Whitney Biennial, having also been featured in 1994 and 1997. She is currently co-chair of the department of photography at Bard’s Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts.