Guggenheim Names Six Finalists for $100k 2012 Hugo Boss Prize

11/28/2011 11:24 AM |

Rashid Johnson, A Simple Act of Murder (2011). Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery.
  • Rashid Johnson, “A Simple Act of Murder” (2011). Courtesy the artist, David Kordansky Gallery.

Every two years the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum bestows upon a living artist the Hugo Boss Prize, which comes with $100,000 and a solo show at the Gugg. Last year’s winner, you’ll recall, was 70-year-old German conceptualist Hans-Peter Feldman, who wallpapered an entire gallery with the prize money. The institution just announced the six nominees for the 2012 Hugo Boss Prize, whose winner will be announced next fall. And the nominees are…

Trisha Donnelly, a 37-year-old photographer, videographer, sculptor, sound and performance artist who splits her time between New York and San Francisco. Our own Paddy Johnson is a big fan.

34-year-old Brooklynite Rashid Johnson, whose paint-splattered shelves made from mirrors, heavily marked wood and tiles are sparsely stocked with old records, books and plants.

Poland-born and -based 39-year-old Monika Sosnowska, whose sculptures and installations turn outdoor furniture and architectural features into absurd, malleable and knotted forms.

Danh Vo, a 36-year-old Vietnamese conceptual artist based in Berlin, whose sculptures and photos ask us to reconsider familiar imagery and question cultural tradition.

28-year-old Stockholm-based Brit Tris Vonna-Michell, who assembles collections and projections of old images, videos and sounds into archive-like installations in which he occasionally performs.

And Qiu Zhijie, a 42-year-old Chinese conceptual artist who splits his time between Beijing and Hangzhou. His work spans photography, painting, video, sculpture, performance, installation and calligraphy, and often questions China’s rapid Westernization by juxtaposing traditional iconography with industrial materials.

Since the Hugo Boss Prize hasn’t gone to an American artist since Matthew Barney won the very first one in 1996, we’re going to predict a victory for Donnelly, whose work is very much in line with the subtle conceptualism the prize’s five-person jury seems to favor.