R.H. Quaytman Wins $25,000 Robert De Niro Sr. Artist Prize

The award honors excellence in painting.

Actor Robert De Niro announced today that artist R.H. Quaytman is the latest winner of the Robert De Niro Sr. Prize, which is given to a mid-career artist “devoted to the pursuit of excellence and innovation in painting,” according to a release.

Quaytman, who was born in Boston in 1961, lives and works in New York and is represented by Gladstone Gallery and Miguel Abreu Gallery. She is best known for paintings on wood panels that blend photography, technology, and printmaking techniques. The works reflect the artist’s extensive research into the historical, architectural, and social aspects of these sites, and are created in series and labeled as “chapters” that show the successive nature of her work.

In addition to shows at the aforementioned galleries, she has had solo shows at the Queens Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, the San Francisco Museum of Art, Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Kunsthalle Basel, Neuberger Museum of Art, and Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston. Quaytman was featured prominently in the 2010 Whitney Biennial.

R.H. Quaytman, <i>Constructivismes, Chapter 13</i> (2004-09). Courtesy Christie's Images Ltd.

R.H. Quaytman, Constructivismes, Chapter 13 (2004-09). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd.

According to the artnet Price Database, more than 30 of Quaytman’s works have been offered at auction. The current record price is $909,000 (£578,500) for Constructivismes Chapter 13 (2004–09), a silkscreen ink and gesso on wood, oil on wood, and felt, that was sold at Christie’s London in June 2015.

The artist will receive this year’s $25,000 prize—which is funded by De Niro and administered at Tribeca Film Institute—at an award ceremony in New York on December 14. She is the sixth recipient of the merit-based prize, which pays tribute to the actor’s father, artist Robert De Niro Sr.

A selection committee that was appointed to nominate candidates and select the winner included Kelly Baum, curator of postwar and contemporary art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Katherine Brinson, curator of contemporary art at the Guggenheim Museum;  and Scott Rothkopf, deputy director for programs and chief curator at the Whitney Museum.

“The conceptual rigor of Quaytman’s work is matched by a surprising emotional sensitivity and timbre,” said Rothkopf. “Her paintings eloquently evoke a poetic sensibility and range of moods that can feel almost expressionistic despite their often mechanical and mediated means.”

For the past decade, Quaytman has been a professor of painting in the MFA program at Bard college, which she graduated from in 1983.

Past recipients of the prize include Stanley Whitney, Joyce Pensato, Catherine Murphy, Robert Bordo, and Laura Owens.

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