NEW YORK—Artists Julie Mehretu and Teresita Fernández were among 25 new recipients of “genius grants” from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Chicago. The $500,000 award is distributed over five years, and recipients are allowed to use the funds as they wish, the foundation says, calling it a “no-strings-attached” grant.
Mehretu, 34, an Ethiopian-born artist now living in New York, has received considerable attention in recent years; there is currently a waiting list for her work. She is known for her sprawling, layered paintings that depict public spaces, such as museums and stadiums, combined with an array of abstract and figurative images.
The artist was featured in the “Drawing Now” show at New York’s Museum of Modern Art in 2002, as well as in a number of other solo and group exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Manhattan; the Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; and the Contemporary Arts Museum, Houston, to name some.
Sculptor Teresita Fernández, 37, integrates architecture and light into her work to create artificial spaces, often employing common building materials to elaborate effect. Fernández has shown at Deitch Projects in New York and has participated in group and solo exhibitions at venues such as the Museum of Contemporary Art, Miami; and the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo.
According to the foundation, MacArthur grant recipients are suggested by approximately 100 anonymous nominators; they help to identify people who “demonstrate exceptional creativity and promise” across a broad range of professions and disciplines. Proposals are accepted only from an invited list of nominators that is renewed every year.