Francis J. Greenburger Awards

The Francis J. Greenburger Award is an unrestricted $12,500 prize that honors established artists whom the art world knows to be of extraordinary merit but who have not been fully recognized by the public. Francis J. Greenburger, the Founder and Chairman of Art Omi, has invited a renowned artist, gallerist, writer, museum professional and collector to each select one recipient whom they believe to fulfill the mission of the award. Mr. Greenburger established the awards in 1986 after a conversation with his friends, André Emmerich and Clement Greenberg during which André said, “The best and brightest artist of each generation are known, but not to everyone. Ask the inner circle and they can tell you.” This statement is the inspiration and founding principle of the Francis J. Greenburger Awards.


The Francis J. Greenburger Award invites a renowned artist, gallerist, writer, museum professional and collector to each select one recipient whom they believe to fulfill the mission of the award.

Gary Lang's paintings explore repetition and color. The Tondos, up to thirteen feet in diameter, are painted in concentric rings of shifting color, sometimes gradual, sometimes abrupt. At a distance, they vibrate vertiginously; on approach, evident brush marks show a steady, human hand. Of his work, Lang says, “the process is ultimately a pleasure-driven meditation on accumulating and organizing energy, while investigating the potential of color.” Lang received an MFA from Yale University in 1975, and a Fulbright/Hayes Travel and Research Grant, which brought him to Barcelona for two years prior to settling in New York City. Lang has had more than seventy solo exhibitions in the United States, Austria, France, Japan, The Netherlands, and Spain. He now lives and works in Southern California.

Ryszard Wasko has worked in multimedia, including photography, film, video, installation, painting, and drawing. In the 70s he took part in the XII Sao Paulo Biennial, Documenta 6, the Third International Festival of Experimental Avant-garde Film in London, the Sydney Biennial, and the XI Biennale de Paris. He also created the Archives of Contemporary Thought (1979), a forum for symposia and art events. He founded the International Artists Museum in Lodz Poland, now in Berlin, and is well known as a curator and organizer of art events, primarily of Construction in Process (between 1981 – 2000; and the Lodz Biennial, 2004). During his early period in Lodz, Wasko became a member of Workshop of the Film Form, one of the most important artistic groups in Poland in the 70s. Later he would become a lecturer at the Film School, focusing on experimental media and photography. In 1990-92, he was invited to become the Program Director at P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Museum in Long Island City, New York. In Europe and Eastern Europe, Wasko is considered a major intermedia artist with numerous solo and group exhibitions. Since 2007, he has been living and working out of Berlin, where he is represented by the Zak / Branicka Gallery.

Lorraine O'Grady combines strategies related to humanist studies on gender, the politics of diaspora and identity, and reflections on aesthetics by using a variety of mediums that include performance, photo installation, moving media, and photomontage. A native of Boston, MA, her work involves her heritage as a New Englander, and daughter of Caribbean immigrant parents. Lorraine O’Grady’s work is currently on view at the Brooklyn Museum, New York. Her work has been recently exhibited at the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA (2015); 
the Studio Museum in Harlem, New York (2015, 2013 and 2012); MoMA PS1, New York (2014); Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN (2014) and 1a Bienal Internacional de Arte Contemporáneo, Cartagena, Colombia (2014). Her work is represented in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Art Institute of Chicago, IL; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Brooklyn Museum, New York, among others. She has been a resident artist at Artpace San Antonio, TX, and has received numerous other awards, including a Creative Capital Grant, the CAA Distinguished Feminist Award, a Life Time Achievement Award from Howard University, Art Matters grant, Anonymous Was A Woman award, and United States Artists Rockefeller Fellow. Most recently she was named a 2015 Creative Capital Awardee in Visual Art. O’Grady’s work will be the subject of a one-person exhibition at the Centro Andaluz de Arte Contemporáneo, Sevilla, Spain (2016).

Barry Le Va is a contemporary American sculptor and installation artist. Trained in his native California, he works and lives in New York City. Le Va is among the leading figures of post-studio and process art of the late 1960s. His abstract sculptures, installations, drawings, and editioned works are featured in major art collections around the world. More recently, Le Va’s works were included in Greater New York at MoMA PS1, New York, 2015-2016; Piece Work, organized by Robert Storr, at Yale University School of Art, New Haven, 2015; and Bold Abstractions: Selections from the DMA Collection 1966–1976, curated by Gavin Delahunty, at the Dallas Museum of Art, 2015. His works can be found in the permanent collections of the Art Institute Chicago; Dallas Museum of Art; Denver Art Museum; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; mumok, Vienna; The National Gallery of Art, Washington DC; The Morgan Library & Museum, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; and Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven. The artist is the subject of a new scholarly book by Michael Maizels entitled Barry Le Va: The Aesthetic Aftermath, published by the University of Minnesota Press, 2015. Le Va currently lives and works in New York City.

Judy Pfaff is an originator of contemporary installation art, for which she received a MacArthur “genius” Fellowship (2004). Pfaff’s installation art selectively intertwines: formal concerns and abstract notions, allusions to artist styles and movements worldwide from Jackson Pollock to Taoist masters, botanicals, earth-conscious symbols, and spiritual/holistic signs into art that surrounds and engages viewers. Her prints combine processes from other media. Pfaff’s numerous honors include a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Sculpture Center (2014) and being among the first women artists ever included in H. W. Janson's History of Art. Pfaff was born in London, England, in 1946. She received a BFA from Washington University, Saint Louis (1971), and an MFA from Yale University (1973). Honors include: Academy Member Fellowship, American Academy of Arts & Sciences (2013); Anonymous Was A Woman Award (2013); Guggenheim Fellowship (1983); National Endowment for the Arts grants (1979, 1986); and being elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters (since 2009). Her numerous solo exhibitions in major galleries and museums in the United States and abroad include: Somewhere Before, York College of Pennsylvania, York, PA (2015); consecutive solo shows at the Garrison Art Center, Garrison NY, Loretta Howard Gallery and Pavel Zoubok Galleries NYC (Fall, 2014); Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA (2013); Huntington Museum of Art, Huntington, WV (2012); and Weatherspoon Art Museum, University of North Carolina, Greensboro (2011). Commissions include Pennsylvania Convention Center Public Arts Projects, Philadelphia; large-scale site-specific sculpture, and set designs for Wind Devil at the Brooklyn Academy of Music and for Regina with the American Symphony Orchestra at the Fisher Center, Annandale-on-Hudson, NY. Pfaff’s work is in the collections of the Museum of Modern Art; the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Brooklyn Museum of Art; Detroit Institute of Arts; others. Pfaff was the Milton Avery Distinguished Professor of Art, Bard College in 1989 and 1991 and was Richard B. Fisher Professor and Chair of the Bard College Art Department from 1992 – 2014. See also


Eric Fischl is an internationally acclaimed American painter and sculptor. His artwork is represented in many distinguished museums throughout the world and has been featured in over one thousand publications. His extraordinary achievements throughout his career have made him one of the most influential figurative painters of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. Fischl is a Fellow at both the American Academy of Arts and Letters and the American Academy of Arts and Science. He lives and works in Sag Harbor, NY with his wife, the painter April Gornik.

Robert C. Morgan holds a Master of Fine Arts degree and a Ph.D. in Art History. He has lectured widely, written literally hundreds of critical essays, curated numerous exhibitions, and continues to paint and to show his own work. He was appointed as the first critic-in-residence at Art Omi International Artists Residency in 1992, and in 2016 honored as a Critic Emeritus. In 1999, he was awarded the first Arcale prize in International Art Criticism in Salamanca, and the same year served on the UNESCO jury at the 48th Biennale di Venezia. In 2002, he gave the keynote speech in the House of Commons, London on the occasion of Shane Cullen’s exhibition celebrating the acceptance of “The Agreement” by the UK, penned by Nobel laureate John Hume. In 2003, Dr. Morgan was appointed Professor Emeritus in art history at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and, in 2005, became a Senior Fulbright Scholar in the Republic of Korea. In 2011, Dr. Morgan was inducted into the European Academy of Sciences and Arts in Salzburg. He lives, works, and teaches in New York City.

Marieluise Hessel is an art collector and philanthropist. As an art collector, she has been building a wide-ranging contemporary art collection since the late 1960s. The collection consists of over 2,000 works and is housed at the Center for Curatorial Studies and the Hessel Museum, on the Bard College campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, New York. Hessel co-founded The Center for Curatorial Studies (CCS Bard) 1992 and established the Library and Archives at CCS Bard, initially through a gift of a portion of her personal library and archives. The Marieluise Hessel Collection, and the CCS Bard Library and Archives together support scholarly research and engagement, and curatorial projects and initiatives which make CCS Bard a uniquely dynamic research and learning environment. Marieluise Hessel is married to Edwin L. Artzt, Retired Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble.

Franklin Sirmans is the director of the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Prior to his recent appointment, he was the department head and curator of contemporary art at Los Angeles County Museum of Art from 2010 until fall 2015. At LACMA Sirmans organized Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada, which travels to the Wexner Center for the Arts in January 2016. He also curated Variations: Conversations in and Around Abstract Painting, Futbol: The Beautiful Game, Ends and Exits: Contemporary Art from the Collections of LACMA and the Broad Art Foundation, and coorganized the exhibition Human Nature: Contemporary Art from the Collection. From 2006 to 2010, he was curator of modern and contemporary Art at The Menil Collection in Houston where he organized several exhibitions including NeoHooDoo: Art for a Forgotten Faith, Steve Wolfe: Works on Paper, Maurizio Cattelan: Is Their Life Before Death? and Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster, 1964-1966. He is the 2007 David C. Driskell Prize Winner and he was the artistic director of Prospect.3 New Orleans from 2012-2014.

Angela Westwater is a founding partner of Sperone Westwater, which opened in 1975 with a mission to exhibit European avant-garde artists alongside a core group of American artists to whom its founders were committed. Representing the work of legendary artists including Bruce Nauman, Susan Rothenberg, Tom Sachs, Richard Long, Guillermo Kuitca, Heinz Mack, and Malcolm Morley, the 8-story gallery occupies an award-winning building on the Bowery designed by architect Sir Norman Foster, completed in 2010. Prior to opening the gallery, Westwater served as Managing Editor of Artforum. She currently presides as President of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, which was established in 1918 and is one of the earliest artist-endowed foundations in the United States, an office she has held since 1980. Angela, a member of the board since 1975, inaugurated the Foundation’s biennial competition, which has awarded $9,143,000 in grants to 471 artists.


2015 Winners & Presenters

Charles Juhász-Alvarado / Ursula von Rydingsvard, Steve Wolfe / Roland J. Augustine, Alison Knowles / Claire Bishop, Suchan Kinoshita / Oliver Kruse, Malcolm Morley / Andy and Christine Hall

2013 Winners & Presenters

Bruce Porter / Frank Stella, Peter Saul / Mary Boone, Jonas Mekas / Phong Bui, Richard Nonas / Joe Thompson, Elaine Reichek / Melva Bucksbaum

2008 Winners & Presenters

Brice Marden / Mel Kendrick, Rhona Hoffman / Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Kim Levin / Sturtevant, Tom Healy / Joan Jonas, Carol & Arthur Goldberg / Helen Levitt

2005 Winners & Presenters

Pat Steir / Stephen Mueller, Betty Cuningham / John Lees, Walter Robinson / James Romberger, Lisa Phillips / Bruce Conner, Don and Mera Rubell / George Condo

2003 Winners & Presenters

Leon Golub / Kazuko Miyamoto, Barbara Gladstone / Robert Bechtle, Michael Brenson / Dorothea Rockburne, Ann Philbin / Lee Bontecou, Martin Z. Margulies / Joe Zucker

2001 Winners & Presenters

Chuck Close / Mark Greenwold, John Weber / Sven Lukin, Lilly Wei / Nancy Haynes, Bonnie Clearwater / Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe, Werner H. Kramarsky / Albert York

1992 Winners & Presenters

Presenter/ Recipient, George Segal / Gary Kuehn, Richard Gray / Magdalena Abakanowicz, Werner Schmalenbach / Hubertus Gojowczyk, Agnes Gund / Winifred Lutz

1988 Winners & Presenters

Anthony Caro / Lawrence Poons, Paula Cooper / Julian Lethbridge, Pierro Schneider / Michael Haas, Earl A. Powell III / Emerson Woelffer, Patsy and Raymond Nasher / Martin Puryear

1987 Winners & Presenters

Helen Frankenthaler / André Fauteux, Leo Castelli / Nassos Daphnis, Hilton Kramer / Julius Hatofsky, William S. Lieberman / Loren MacIver, Charles Benenson / Luis Jimenez

1986 Winners & Presenters

Robert Motherwell / Anthony Terenzi, André Emmerich / Willard Boepple, Clement Greenberg / Darby Bannard, Thomas Messer / Rosemarie Koczy, Eloise Spaeth / John Registe

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