The winners of the 2019 Sotheby’s Prize have been announced. The prize, which is now celebrating its third edition, was established to celebrate ‘curatorial excellence’ and recognise the work of institutions ‘who strive to break new ground by exploring overlooked or under-represented areas of art history’. The jury, which this year comprised of Connie Butler (chief curator at the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles), Donna de Salvo (former senior curator at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York), Emilie Gordenker (director of Mauritshuis, The Hague, and director designate of the Van Gogh Museum,Amsterdam), Nicholas Serota (chair of Arts Council England) and Allan Schwartzman (chairman and executive vice president of Sotheby’s), decided that the $250,000 award would be shared between two exhibition projects in Brazil that consider indigenous cultures: OPY, copresented by Pinacoteca de São Paulo, the art centre Casa do Povo and prayer house Kalipety; and Indigenous Histories, which will be presented by the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in October 2021.
In a statement, Schwartzman said: ‘In recognising these projects, we hope to embrace a city and a country grappling with its biggest and most timely issues – issues that are equally relevant to the rest of the world.’
A grant of $10,000 has also been awarded to institutions whose exhibitions and initiatives have been judged by the jury to be ‘inspiring and transformative’: Newberry Library, Chicago, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Contemporary Art Museum Houston and Fisk University Galleries, Nashville.
11 November 2019