Press Release  October 23, 2020

Deana Lawson Awarded Hugo Boss Prize 2020

courtesy Guggenheim Foundation

Yesterday, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and HUGO BOSS announced that artist Deana Lawson has been awarded the Hugo Boss Prize 2020. She is the 13th artist and the first artist working in photography to receive the biennial prize. Her work will be presented in a solo exhibition at the Guggenheim Museum, New York, in 2021. Administered by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and made possible by HUGO BOSS, the prize was established in 1996 to recognize significant achievement in contemporary art and carries an award of $100,000.

As part of the lead up to yesterday’s announcement, the Guggenheim produced a short film on Deana Lawson’s creative practice. On photographing her subjects, she recalls in the film, “I’m actually trying to image the mythic realm or use the person as a vehicle to represent an entity beyond what is actually present.” She expanded on this concept at yesterday’s press event noting, “Photography is really interesting as a medium to try to accomplish that, because there is so much entrenched in the real, or in truth, and how do you negotiate the invisible with the reality of photography? And I think it is a curiosity and fascination that I still haven’t found the answer to, but I’m finding it along the way.”

A jury selected Deana Lawson from a short list of six finalists, which also included Nairy Baghramian, Kevin Beasley, Elias Sime, Cecilia Vicuña and Adrián Villar Rojas. The 2020 jurors are Naomi Beckwith, Manilow Senior Curator, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Katherine Brinson, Daskalopoulos Curator, Contemporary Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Julieta González, independent curator; Christopher Y. Lew, Nancy and Fred Poses Curator, Whitney Museum of American Art; and Nat Trotman, Curator, Performance and Media, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum.

Deana Lawson (b. 1979, Rochester, N.Y.) lives and works in New York. Solo presentations of Lawson’s work have been hosted by Deana Lawson, Huis Marseille, Museum voor Fotografie, Amsterdam (2019); Deana Lawson: Planes, The Underground Museum, Los Angeles (2018); Deana Lawson, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh (2018); Deana Lawson, Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (2017); Deana Lawson, The Art Institute of Chicago (2015); and Corporeal, Light Work, Syracuse, N.Y. (2009).

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