Dance Takes Over Art World as Adam Linder Wins $100,000 Prize for ‘Made in L.A.’ Biennial

The dancer beat out 25 other artists.

Adam Linder, Kein Paradiso (2016) at "Made in L.A. 2016: a, the, though, only." Courtesy of the artist/photographer Shahryar Nashat.

It’s clear that dance is making a huge impact on art these days. From Performa to Eddie Peake’s recent contributions at the Barbican, it’s never been a better time to be a dancer in the art world. In fact, New York’s Museum of Modern Art just announced its first monograph on downtown dance and performance sensation Ralph Lemon.

Which is why it is perhaps no surprise that dancer and choreographer Adam Linder won the $100,000 Mohn Award for the “Made in L.A.” biennial at Los Angeles’s Hammer Museum at UCLA, beating out more traditional work by painters, sculptors, and installation artists in the process.

“It’s exciting for us to see a dancer chosen for the Mohn Award, and Adam’s work was a standout for its nuanced choreography and evocative visual and sound design,” said Hammer director Ann Philbin in statement. “In this year’s ‘Made in L.A.,’ Adam Linder’s Kein Paradiso stood out as a tour de force,” said Mohn Award jury member Mika Yoshitake, an associate curator at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, DC.

Linder’s contribution, Kein Paradiso (2016), featured three dancers (including Linder) clad in blue-toned camouflage jumpsuits. Staged on a biweekly basis for the first month of the exhibition, the piece explored the role of movement in modern and postmodern dance. Visitors can now experience the remnants of the performance, including the stage and its soundtrack.

Kenzi Shiokava. Courtesy of Brian Forrest.

Kenzi Shiokava. Courtesy of Brian Forrest.

Linder’s choreography has been staged at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, London (2015); CCA Wattis Institute for Contemporary Art, San Francisco (2015); Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw (2015); Palais de Tokyo, Paris (2015) and Kunsthalle Basel, Switzerland (2014).

The other honorees were jazz trumpeter and composer Wadada Leo Smith, who won the $25,000 Career Achievement Award, and sculptor Kenzi Shiokava, winner of the $25,000 Public Recognition Award, selected by a public vote.

The third edition of the biennial, titled “Made in LA 2016: a, the, though, only,” features 26 Los Angeles-based artists, allowing them to respond to their environment in a variety of ways.

“Made in LA 2016: a, the, though, only” is on view at the Hammer Museum at UCLA, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, June 12–August 28, 2016.

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