The nonprofit Artadia has awarded unrestricted prizes of $10,000 to Carmen Argote and Ron Athey, and Diedrick Brackens has won the organization’s inaugural Marciano Artadia Award, which comes with an unrestricted grant of $25,000. This year marked Artadia’s fourth annual award cycle in Los Angeles.
Argote is a multidisciplinary artist who has exhibited at Shulamit Nazarian in Los Angeles and the San Jose Museum of Art, among other institutions. She is currently represented by the Instituto de Vision in Bogota, Colombia, and Commonwealth and Council in Los Angeles. Her work also figured in “Made in L.A.,” the 2018 Hammer Museum biennial.
Athey is a performance artist best known for his examinations of bodily pain, religion, and the AIDS crisis. In recent years he has performed at the Broad and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles.
Like Argote, Brackens showed work in the fourth edition of the Hammer Museum biennial. Through his woven textiles, which nod to various artistic traditions of West Africa, Europe, and the American South, Brackens explores black and queer identity. Brackens has shown work at Denny Gallery in New York, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, and elsewhere.
The winners were selected through a two-part process that was judged in the first round by Pavel Pyś, curator of visual arts at the Walker Art Center; Erin Christovale, assistant curator at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles; and artist Zina Saro-Wiwa. Christovale and Anna Katz, assistant curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, then conducted studio visits with the group of six finalists—which included Eddie Aparicio, Gelare Khoshgozaran, and Jennifer Moon—and selected the awardees.
Christovale said in a statement, “I believe Carmen, Ron, and Diedrick, are shining examples of the vast constellation of creativity that drives our city. I appreciate how thoughtful and incredibly dedicated they are to their crafts and how labor intensive their respective practices are. I am proud to stand by these brilliant artists
who are leading Los Angeles into the future.”
Olivia Marciano, artistic director of the Marciano Art Foundation, added, “Brackens addresses a complicated intersection of handwork, textile, the body, and historical symbolism that gives what he weaves and stitches a profound depth and resonance. I am looking forward to the Marciano Artadia Award supporting Artadia’s mission as a key resource to support artists of unique skill and vision in Los Angeles on an annual basis, and could not be more thrilled with the outcome of this year’s competitive selection process.”