William Pope.L wins 2017 Bucksbaum Award

William Pope.L, Claim (Whitney Version), 2017 (installation view, Whitney Biennial, 2017). Photo: Corrado Serra. Courtesy Mitchell-Innes & Nash, N.Y.

Adam D. Weinder, the Whitney Museum’s Alice Pratt-Brown director, has announced William Pope.L as the winner of the 2017 Bucksbaum Award. The prize, created and produced by Tiffany & Co, is given at the end of every Whitney Biennial to an artist whose work is included in the show, and is considered to have made a lasting impact on the history of American art. Pope.L will receive $100,000 as well as an exhibition at the museum next autumn.

Based in Chicago, Pope.L has been working across performance, painting, installation, video, sculpture and theatre for over four decades, tackling issues of gender, race, social struggle and community. For the biennial, he presented Claim (Whitney Version) (2017), a small room with 2,755 slices of bologna sausage, each affixed to the walls with a black-and-white portrait, in a gridlike display. Throughout the duration of the show, the slices leaked off oily juices (as well as a pungent smell) which were collected in small basins running along the floor. Supposedly representing the percentage of Jewish citizens in New York, Claim was meant as a reflection on how communities and their identity can turn abstract through numbers and statistics. 

6 June 2017