The Absolut Art Awards for 2017 have been announced, and the winners are Anne Imhof for artwork, and Huey Copeland for art writing. Each will receive a cash prize of €20,000, along with a budget for a new project: €100,000 to Imhof to develop a new work, and €25,000 to Copeland to support the writing of a book.
The winners will be feted tonight here in Venice—where Imhof has one of the standout works in the Giardini—and the awards will be handed out during a ceremony in Stockholm, Sweden, in September.
This year’s jury consisted of a number of figures from various corners of the art world: Moderna Museet president Daniel Birnbaum, Swiss Institute director Simon Castets, Kunsthalle Basel director Elena Filipovic, Chisenhale Gallery director Polly Staple, and Artforum editor-at-large Jack Bankowsky.
Imhof will use the funding to stage a performance in California’s Death Valley, swapping “the white cube for the Badwater Basin, pushing the production outside the parameters offered by the art institution.” This will eventually be presented as a film. Copeland will write a collection of essays, Touched by the Mother, “a personal account of what it means to navigate the world of contemporary American culture as a gay black man and a critical consideration of the works of many of today’s most important artists.”