Studio Museum Awards Derrick Adams $50,000 Prize

Adams is an exciting artist on the rise.

Performance view of “Derrick Adams: ON,” 2016, at Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, New York. Photo Andy Romer Photography

Derrick Adams has been awarded the $50,000 Joyce Alexander Wein Artist Prize by New York’s Studio Museum in Harlem Gala.

Adams is a multidisciplinary artist making performance, photography, video, sound works, sculpture, and works on paper. He exhibited at MoMA PS1 in 2005 as part of Greater New York 2005 and has appeared in three editions of New York’s performance biennial, Performa (2005, 2013, and 2015).

His exhibition “Derrick Adams: ON” at Pioneer Works in Brooklyn earlier this year, which looked at representations of black stereotypes in the entertainment industry, was very well received. He also curated a section at VOLTA New York 2016.

The award recognizes African-American artists with great promise and creativity and was announced at the Studio Museum’s annual gala by museum director Thelma Golden. The gala raised $2 million for exhibitions and programming at the museum.

Jazz musician George Wein started the prize in 2006 in memory of his wife Joyce Alexander Wein. The couple met at a concert in 1947 and went on, between them, to work on the Newport Jazz Festival,to found the New York coalition of 100 Black Women, and to raise considerable funds for the Harlem Children’s Zone.

Other recipients of the prize include Lorna Simpson in 2006, Trenton Doyle Hancock in 2007, Garry Simmons in 2013, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby, who won the prize last year.

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