College Art Association Awards Presented at Annual Conference

Lorraine O'Grady performing as Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, 1980.
Lorraine O’Grady performing as Mlle Bourgeoise Noire, 1980.

The College Art Association wrapped up its annual four-day conference in Chicago on Saturday, after numerous meetings, receptions, and over 200 scholarly sessions and panel discussions on such topics as  “The Delinquent Curator: Has the Curator Failed Contemporary Art?,” “Contemporary Black Art and the Problem of Racial Fetishism,” “The Rise of the Artist-as-Curator,” and “Is Art Materials Education Being Neglected? And What Are We Doing About It?”

At each conference, CAA also presents its annual achievement awards to artists and scholars in various fields. Among the 2014 winners are artist and choreographer Yvonne Rainer, who received top honors for lifetime achievement, and text artist Kay Rosen, who won the award for a distinguished body of work for her exhibition last year at the Contemporary Art Gallery in Vancouver; and Lorraine O’Grady, known for provocative installations, performances and works in various media, was presented with the distinguished feminist award.

Kay Rosen,
Kay Rosen, Divisibility, 1987/2009, Sullivan Galleries, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

Curator and Stanford University professor emerita Wanda Corn received the distinguished scholar award. She authored The Great American Thing: American Art and Identity, 1915-1935, which led to a traveling exhibition of the same name, and Seeing Gertrude Stein: Five Stories. In 2007, she received CAA’s award for distinguished teaching of art history.

British scholar and novelist John Berger, author of the seminal Ways of Seeing (1973), was recognized for lifetime achievement for art writing.

T.J. Demos of University College London, received the Frank Jewett Mather award for art criticism for his book The Migrant Image: The Art and Politics of Documentary During Global Crisis.

Reni Gower, Fragments: Entwined 2013; mixed media, 63 by 62 inches.
Reni Gower, Fragments: Entwined, 2013; mixed media, 63 by 62 inches.

W.J.T. Mitchell, University of Chicago art historian and editor of Critical Inquiry, and University of California-Berkeley professor Margaretta M. Lovell were recognized for their distinguished teaching. And Virginia Commonwealth University’s Reni Gower received the distinguished teaching of art award.

Jeff L. Rosenheim, curator of “Photography and the American Civil War” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, won the Alfred H. Barr Jr. award for his catalogue accompanying the popular exhibition.

Next year’s CAA conference will take place on Feb. 11-14 in New York.

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