The Foundation for Contemporary Arts has given its annual Ellsworth Kelly Award to the Underground Museum in Los Angeles. This is the second year for the award from the FCA, which has been presenting similar grants since its origins in an initiative led by John Cage and Jasper Johns in the early 1960s in New York. The Ellsworth Kelly Award comes with $40,000 and supports an exhibition at a regional American institution.
The Underground Museum will put the money toward a solo show for Abe Odedina, a London- and Salvador, Brazil–based artist whose figurative paintings include elements drawn from folk art, magical realism, and the occult. Odedina’s exhibition, his first in the United States, is slated for spring 2019 and will be curated by the Underground Museum’s president, Karon Davis, and its director, Megan Steinman.
Stacy Tenenbaum Stark, FCA’s executive director, said in a statement, “The Underground Museum’s proposal exemplified Ellsworth Kelly’s vision to make a museum exhibition possible. Ellsworth believed in the transformational power of museum exhibitions on an artist’s career. FCA is pleased that the 2017 Ellsworth Kelly Award will make possible this first U.S. exhibition of Abe Odedina’s work.”