Francis J. Greenburger Awards 2019

Monday, Apr 1, 2019
6 PM

Offsite: New Museum

Five under-recognized artists of extraordinary merit are recognized in this bi-annual event at the New Museum. Presented by Art Omi, 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 2019 Francis J. Greenburger honor artists Ralph Lemon, John Newman, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Jennifer Bartlett, and Johannes Giardoni. The 2019 Francis J. Greenburger awards are presented by Alice Aycock, Charlotta Kotik, Lili Chopra, Marianne Boesky, and Anders Schroeder.


Jennifer Bartlett (b 1941) is known for her room sized installations ranging in medium, that explore her immediate environments including houses, mountains, trees, gardens and the ocean. Inspired by Minimalism, she started working on square steel enameled plates in 1968 on which she went on to create her most notable works. Rhapsody (1975-1976), a polyptych first installed at Paula Cooper Gallery filling the entirety of the gallery, included hundreds of these painted steel plates. That work is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Her work has moved from Abstract Expressionism to Minimalism to Conceptualism with some works touching on all at once. Working in two dimensions and occasionally moving to three, her works often start in a controlled, mathematical abstraction and move to more painterly realism.

Bartlett’s first survey exhibition was held in 1985 and traveled to the Walker Art Center, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of Art, Carnegie Institute. In 2006, her early enameled steel plate paintings were surveyed at the Addison Gallery of American Art. Klaus Ottman curated her second travelling survey exhibition in 2013-14, Jennifer Bartlett: History of the Universe—Works 1970–2011, which travelled to the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts and the Parrish Art Museum. In 2014, the Cleveland Museum of Art exhibited all three of her monumental plate pieces, Rhapsody, Song, and Recitative in the exhibition Epic Systems. Bartlett’s works are in the collections of of the Dallas Museum of Fine Arts, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, the Museum of Modern Art, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, and the Whitney Museum of American Art, among many others.

Johannes Girardoni has dedicated the last two decades to a complex and precise exploration of the limits of perception through material and light. Shifting between disciplines—sculpture, installation art, and photography—his work is concerned with creating new definitions of space through digital and analogue media.

The artist studied at the M.I.T. Media Lab, Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine. His art has been shown in museums and galleries worldwide, including the Ludwig Museum, Cologne; the Harvard Art Museum, Cambridge, Massachusetts; and the Austrian Cultural Forum, New York. In 2011, he participated in Personal Structures at the 54th Venice Biennale. His works can be found in the collections of the Akzo Nobel Art Foundation, Arnhem; the Austrian Cultural Forum, New York; the CALDIC Collection, Rotterdam; the Harvard Art Museum; the Margulies Collection, Miami; and the Progressive Art Collection, Cleveland, among others.

John Newman is an artist presently living and working in New York City. He was born in Flushing, NY in 1952 and received his BA from Oberlin College in 1973. He attended the Whitney Museum Study Program in 1972, received his MFA in 1975 from the Yale School of Art and was a fellow at the Center for Advanced Visual Studies at MIT from 1975-78. He has had over 50 one-person shows and participated in numerous group exhibitions in galleries and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. His sculpture, drawings and prints are represented in numerous public collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum, the Whitney Museum, the Tate, the National Gallery of Australia, the Albertina Museum in Vienna among many others. He has been the recipient of the many awards and residencies including the Rome Prize, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Chinati Foundation, the Joan Mitchell Foundation, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, the Gottlieb Foundation, the Pollack Krasner Foundation, the NEA and a Senior Research Fulbright Grant to India. He is the former Director of Graduate Studies in Sculpture at the Yale School of Art and has taught and lectured in many universities and museums throughout the United States, Europe and Asia including the School of Visual Arts in NYC, Virginia Commonwealth University, Ecole Superiere d’Art Visuel in Geneva, the Yokohama Museum of Art and the Visva-Bharti University, Santiniketan in India. He has also been commissioned to do several large-scale outdoor commissions for the City of Richmond, Virginia, Dai Nippon in Tokyo, Storm King Art Center, and Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton New Jersey. His work has been written about and reviewed in the NY Times, New York Magazine, Art in America, Artforum, BOMB magazine, Sculpture magazine and numerous other publications. John Newman lives in NYC.

Mierle Laderman Ukeles was born and raised in Denver Colorado. She received a BA in international relations and history from Barnard College in 1961, and an MA in Interrelated Arts from New York University in 1974. Since 1977, when she became the official, unsalaried Artist-in-Residence at the New York City Department of Sanitation—a position she still holds—she has created art that deals with the endless maintenance and service work that “keeps the city alive,” and projects to transform degraded land and water. Ukeles believes art creates freedom and asks whether we can design modes of survival -- for a thriving planet, not an entropic one – that do not crush our personal and civic freedom and silence the individual’s voice. Can we be transformed as we transform?

Her artwork, blurring/crashing boundaries between labor and performance, system and spirit, unveils connections between feminism, workers’ rights, the environment, and democratic culture.
She had a 50 year museum-wide career survey at the Queens Museum, NYC, from September 18, 2016 to February 19, 2017. Her most well known projects include MANIFESTO FOR MAINTENANCE ART 1969!, TOUCH SANITATION PERFORMANCE (1979-80), and CEREMONIAL ARCH HONORING SERVICE WORKERS (1988-2017). She has completed seven Work Ballets co-choreographed with workers, barges, and hundreds of tons of recyclables in France, Holland, Japan, Pittsburgh and NYC (1983-2013). Environmental transformation projects for landfills include her Percent for Art commission called LANDING, the first permanent environmental public artwork, for Freshkills Park in Staten Island, NY.

Two books have recently been published about her work: MIERLE LADERMAN UKELES: MAINTENANCE ART, Prestel, 2016 and SEVEN WORK BALLETS, Sternberg, 2015.

Other recent and earlier exhibitions were at the Whitney Museum; P.S. 1/MOMA; Contemporary Jewish Museum, San Francisco; Kunstverein Graz, Austria; 13th Istanbul Biennial; Sharjah Biennial 8; Manifesta 10, St. Petersburg; Armory Art Show; Wellcome Trust, London; Los Angeles MOCA; Haus der Kunst, Munich; Wadsworth Athenaeum, Hartford. Permanent collections holding her works include the Whitney, Guggenheim, Art Institute of Chicago; Jewish Museum NYC, Smith College Museum, Migros Museum, Zurich, and the Wadsworth Athenaeum. Awards presented to the artist include multiple grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, and the NY State Council on the Arts, fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim, Andy Warhol, Joan Mitchell, the Foundation for Jewish Culture, and Anonymous Was a Woman Foundations among others. Honorary doctorates include the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island School of Design and the Maine College of Art. She lectures internationally and presently teaches at Bezalel MFA in Tel Aviv. The Smithsonian Archives of American Art has just acquired her papers. She is represented by Ronald Feldman Gallery in NYC.

Ralph Lemon, is choreographer, writer, visual artist and curator, and the Artistic Director of Cross Performance, a company dedicated to the creation of cross-cultural and cross-disciplinary performance and presentation. His most recent works include Scaffold Room (2015), Four Walls (2012), and How Can You Stay in The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere? (2008-2010), works with live performance, film and visual art that toured throughout the U.S. The immersive visual art installation, Meditation, which was part of How Can You Stay, was acquired for the permanent collection of the Walker Arts Center in 2012. In January 2011, a re-imagined section of How Can You Stay was per-formed at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in conjunction with On Line: Drawing Through the Twentieth Century. Mr. Lemon curated the fall 2012 performance series “Some sweet day” at MOMA, and the acclaimed 2010 performance series “I Get Lost” at Danspace Project in NYC. His solo visual art exhibitions include: 1856 Cessna Road at Studio Museum in Harlem, NYC (2012); How Can You Stay In The House All Day And Not Go Anywhere?, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco (2010); (the efflorescence of) Walter, Contemporary Art Center, New Orleans (2008), The Kitchen, NYC (2007) and Walker Art Center, Minneapolis (2006); The Geography Trilogy, Zilkha Gallery at Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT (2001); and Temples, Margaret Bodell Gallery, NYC (2000).  His group exhibitions include: Move: Choreographing You, Hayward Gallery, London, UK and The Record: Contemporary Art and Vinyl, Nasher Museum at Duke University, Durham, NC. In 2012, Mr. Lemon was honored with one of the first Doris Duke Performing Artist Awards; he was also one of the first artists to receive the United States Artists Fellowship (2006). He is recipient of three "Bessie" Awards (1986, 2005, 2016); two Foundation for Contemporary Art Awards (1986, 2012); a 2009 Guggenheim Fellowship; a 2004 Bellagio Study Center Fellowship; and the 1999 CalArts Alpert Award. Among his many teaching positions, Mr. Lemon has been an IDA Fellow at Stanford University (2009); artist-in-residence at Temple University (2005-06); Miller Endowment Visiting Artist at the Krannert Center (2004); Fellow of the Humanities Council and Program in Theater & Dance at Princeton University (2002); and Associate Artist at Yale Repertory Theatre (1996-2000). For the fall 2011 semester he was a Visiting Critic with the Yale University, School of Art, Sculpture Dept. He was the 2014 Annenberg Fellow at the Museum of Modern Art, where he curated a series of “performance essays,” titled, Value Talks. In 2015 he was a Mellon Foundation Visiting Artist Fellow at Columbia University. In 2017 he was Professor of Practice of Theatre Arts and Performance Studies at Brown University. He was the 2018 Josep Lluis Sert Practitioner at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University. He is currently Sachs Visiting Professor at University of Pennsylvania, and a Visual Arts Mentor at Columbia University School of the Arts. His book, Come home Charley Patton, the final in a series documenting The Geography Trilogy, was published in 2013 by Wesleyan University Press. He received a 2015 National Medal of Arts from president, Barack Obama. The first monograph of his work was published by The Museum Of Modern Art (part of their new Modern Dance Series) in 2016. He is a 2018 percipient of the Heinz Family Foundation Award.


Alice Aycock has lived in New York City since 1968. Alice Aycock received a B.A. from Douglass College and an M.A. from Hunter College. Currently she is represented by Marlborough Gallery, New York and Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin. She had her first solo exhibition of new sculptures with Marlborough in the fall of 2017. Her works can be found in numerous collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum, the Brooklyn Museum, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the LA County Museum, the National Gallery of Art, the Sheldon Museum of Art, Storm King Art Center, Omi International Arts Center, and the Sprengel Museum in Hanover, Germany. A traveling retrospective was organized by the Wurttembergischer Kunstverein in Stuttgart (1983) and a retrospective was held at Storm King (1990). In 2013, a retrospective of her drawings and small sculptures was exhibited at the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, New York coinciding with the Grey Art Gallery in New York City.
Aycock’s public sculptures can be found in many major cities in the U.S., including East River Park Pavilion at 60th Street in New York City (1995/2014); San Francisco Public Library (1996); JFK International Airport, NY (1998/2013); GSA Building, Baltimore, MD (2004); Nashville, TN (2008); and Washington Dulles International Airport (2012). In 2014, a series of seven sculptures were installed in New York City, entitled Park Avenue Paper Chase, in collaboration with Galerie Thomas Schulte, Berlin. In 2016, she completed a large-scale outdoor public artwork in Coral Gables, FL, and an entrance sculpture for the new MGM National Harbor, MD. She installed a sculpture for the lobby of 50 West, New York, NY in July 2017. A permanent large-scale installation was inaugurated at Pier 27 on the Toronto waterfront in the fall of 2017, as well as an entry sculpture for the new Capital One headquarters in McLean, VA in 2018. 

Charlotta Kotik, a native of Prague, first came to the United States to work at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. During the course of her career, she has organized over 100 museum exhibitions, presenting the work by artists as diverse as Mariko Mori, Kerry James Marshall, John Cage, Jenny Holzer, Alyson Saar, Michelle Stuart and Robert Longo. From 1992 through 2007, she was the Curator and Chair of the Contemporary Art Department at the Brooklyn Museum.  There, she established one of her major contributions to curatorial practice —The Grand Lobby Projects—in order to provide exhibition opportunities for installation-based work by artists such as Martin Puryear, Joseph Kosuth, Ida Applebrook, Petah Coyne and many others. In the 1980s, she also initiated the Working in Brooklyn Series to document the energy of the nascent Brooklyn art scene. In 1991, she received the Frederick R. Weisman Art Foundation Award for outstanding achievement in contemporary art. In l993, as the United States commissioner for Venice Biennale, she presented works by Louise Bourgeois in an exhibition that later traveled internationally. Ms. Kotik has also organized a traveling exhibition of Annie Leibovitz’s photography, an extensive exhibition with more than two hundred Brooklyn-based artists entitled Open House: Working in Brooklyn, and Graffiti—the first museum exhibition of graffiti art.  Since 2000, Ms. Kotik has participated in the Jindrich Chalupecky Award, an important recognition for visual artists in the Czech Republic. The Award became a model for art programs in nine other post-Communist countries. Presently, Ms. Kotik works as a writer, lecturer and independent curator, and facilitates various projects for galleries, alternative spaces and museums, ranging from NURTUREart and FiveMyles in Brooklyn to institutions in Czech Republic. She teaches at the School of Visual Arts in New York City during spring semester and lectures at the Academy of Art, Architecture and Design in Prague. She received the Award from the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic for the Lifelong Contribution to the Field of Visual Arts in 2016 and in 2018, the Skutek Grand Prix and the Doctor Honoris Causa in Theory and History of Art from Academy of Arts, Architecture & Design in Prague. 

Lili Chopra, Executive Director of Artistic Programs at Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC), brings extensive experience commissioning, programming, producing and marketing international events and performance works in New York and France. Prior to LMCC, she served as Executive Vice President and Artistic Director of French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) since 2006. At FIAF, Lili founded and co-curated the Crossing the Line festival, a highly acclaimed trans-disciplinary festival featuring commissioned works with U.S. and international artists. More recently, she co-conceived and co-curated the Tilt Kids Festival, a culturally diverse and trans-disciplinary arts festival for young audiences. Prior to her time at FIAF, Lili spent four years at New York Live Arts (formerly Dance Theater Workshop) working closely with David White as Associate Producer and as Curator of its gallery. She has also worked with numerous festivals and independent artists in France and in the U.S. as an administrator and producer. She received her Master’s in Theater and Performing Arts History at Paris X University and her M.A. in Arts Administration at Columbia University.

Marianne Boesky established her eponymous gallery in SoHo, New York City in 1996. Since its inception, the gallery's mission has been to identify and support the work of emerging and mid-career international artists of all media. Among those artists whose early careers were established by the gallery are Lisa Yuskavage, Sarah Sze, Takashi Murakami, Yoshitomo Nara, and Barnaby Furnas. She relocated her flagship to west Chelsea in 2001, while also establishing multi-year project spaces on the Upper and Lower East Side.

As the gallery's program has continued to evolve, it has welcomed such critically recognized artists as Diana Al-Hadid, Donald Moffett, Serge Alain Nitegeka, and The Haas Brothers among others. It has also come to represent established artists such as Pier Paolo Calzolari and Frank Stella. In 2017, Boesky opened her newest space, Boesky West, in Aspen, Colorado. The expansion highlights the gallery's ongoing experimentations with space and architecture as well as its continued commitment to the needs and interests of its dynamic roster of artists from around the globe. She sits on the board of Anderson Ranch, the advisory board of Mount Sinai’s Dubin Breast Cancer Center, and is a member of the Middlebury Museum & Visual Arts Council. She graduated with a BA from Middlebury College in 1989 and received her JD from Fordham University in 1995.

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