The 2016 Hugo Boss Prize Shortlist is Finally Here—And Tania Bruguera Is on It!

Which artists made the cut for the $100,000 prize?

Tania Bruguera Photo via:

The Guggenheim Museum has announced the shortlist for the 2016 Hugo Boss prize, the prestigious $100,000 biennial award sponsored by Hugo Boss and administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which is presented to an artist whose work is among the most influential and innovative of their time.

The nominees are: Tania Bruguera, Mark Leckey, Ralph Lemon, Laura Owens, Wael Shawky, and Anicka Yi.

In addition to the six-figure award, the prize includes a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum. The most recent honoree was Paul Chan, who was awarded the prize in 2014. Other previous winners include Danh Vo, Matthew BarneyRirkrit Tiravanija, and Pierre Huyghe.

“[The Hugo Boss Prize] reflects our understanding of what are the most trenchant issues in contemporary art… It’s like a Biennial in a way,” Guggenheim deputy director Nancy Spector said during the presentation of Chan’s award in 2014.

Inside the Hugo Boss Prize 2014 celebration. Photo: Hugo Boss.

Inside the Hugo Boss Prize 2014 celebration.
Photo: Hugo Boss.

Of the 2016 nominees, Bruguera is arguably the most high-profile, having spent the past year embroiled in a high-profile battle with Cuban officials who detained her in Havana following a public performance on freedom of expression.

Mark Leckey, a London-based multimedia artist and member of the “YouTube generation,” won the Turner Prize in 2008.

New York-based Ralph Lemon is a choreographer, writer, director, and visual artist known for his politically-charged dance performances that also incorporate sculpture, film, and text.

Laura Owens is a Los Angeles-based painter best known for her mixed media paintings of animals and landscapes that incorporate a variety of art historical references and painterly techniques.

Egypt-based Wael Shawky works in film, performance, sculpture, and drawing to address the roots of current geopolitical realities in the distant and heavily mediated past, describing himself as a translator of cultural narratives and assumptions.

Anicka Yi, born in Seoul and based in New York, is a conceptual artist who works largely with fragrances. A 2014 article in Interview magazine compared her work to that of Joseph Beuys.

The 2016 Hugo Boss Prize jury is comprised of Spector, Guggenheim curator Katherine Brinson, Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston curator Dan Byers, Kunsthalle Basel curator Elena Filipovic, Artforum editor-in-chief Michelle Kuo, and Guggenheim curator Pablo León de la Barra. The winner will be announced next fall.

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