2008 Altoids Award
June 25 – October 12 2008
The 2008 Altoids Award is made possible by Altoids, The Curiously Strong Mints. An innovative exploration of American emerging art, the Altoids Award is granted biennially to four artists nominated and selected by a panel comprised entirely of other artists. Winners in 2008 are each given a $25,000 prize as well as the opportunity to collaborate on this exhibition at the New Museum, providing their earliest exposure to a broad, international audience.
The unique selection process recognizes the role artists have in the development and support of one another’s careers. In 2007, ten artists were asked to each nominate up to five emerging artists. The forty-six nominees were reviewed by a jury comprised of Paul McCarthy, Cindy Sherman, and Rirkrit Tiravanija, all well known for their own groundbreaking artwork and commitment to encouraging new talent. They selected Ei Arakawa, Lauren Kelley, Michael Patterson-Carver, and Michael Stickrod as the winners of the first Altoids Award.
These artists are storytellers; they explore human relationships and the ways in which people convene based on identity, collaboration, family ties, and politics. From Ei Arakawa’s energized and unkempt performances to Michael Patterson-Carver’s humanizing protest drawings, and from Lauren Kelley’s socially conscious stop-motion animations to Michael Stickrod’s intimate edits of family footage, the pieces on view capture an openness that calls for engagement. The four artists produce work that is disparate, but when exhibited together it composes a vivid picture of American art today, and a complex, unsettling view of America itself.
This exhibition is organized by Massimiliano Gioni, Director of Special Exhibitions, and Jarrett Gregory, Curatorial Assistant.
Ei Arakawa works with numerous participants, combining dance, improvised actions, and objects to create a new genre of performance. The product of Arakawa’s process is not quite an artwork and not quite a sculpture, but is constantly shifting between the two. Arakawa was born in Iwaka, Japan, in 1977.
Lauren Kelley uses stop-motion animation to explore stereotypes of femininity and race. By using her voice to speak for a cast of black dolls, Kelley breathes life into plastic characters while poignantly and humorously addressing issues such as gender, womanhood, and the human condition. Whether telling stories of unplanned pregnancy or exploring the world of flight attendants, Kelley’s work introduces its viewers to a world in which dolls and puppets are caught in endless streams of consciousness and are trapped in a bizarre theater of the absurd. Kelley was born in 1972 in Baltimore, Maryland.
After his exposure to civil rights protesting as a child, Michael Patterson-Carver has been committed to create works that engage in a personal form of political activism. Slightly naïve, always strangely obsessive, Patterson-Carver’s color drawings of picketing and political protests paint a small history of dissent that is simultaneously comical, ironic, and profoundly human. Most recently the artist has started a series of drawings that read like allegories of destruction or chronicles of complex conspiracy theories often starring George W. Bush and Osama bin Laden. Born in Chicago, Illinois in 1958.
Inspired by the Free Cinema movement, Michael Stickrod creates films that compose an ever-expanding family album. Stickrod layers footage of his relatives with homemade soundtracks, found audio, and photographed and scanned objects to make videos that paint an unsettling portrait of middle America. At times candid and sincere, other times manipulative and voyeuristic, Stickrod’s films are suspended somewhere between confessional home videos and anthropological field research. Stickrod was born in 1978 in Columbus, Ohio.