SAN FRANCISCO, CA (June 21, 2018) — The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) announces artist Kara Walker as the recipient of the 2018 Contemporary Vision Award. Walker will be honored at a dinner to be held at the museum on Wednesday, October 3, 2018, where the program will include a conversation between Walker and Eungie Joo, SFMOMA’s curator of contemporary art.
The Contemporary Vision Award celebrates the extraordinary achievements of global leaders — creators, innovators and change-makers — whose work foregrounds contemporary art as a vital and meaningful part of public life. Organized by the Modern Art Council, an SFMOMA art experience group, this event raises essential funds to support the museum’s education and exhibition programs. This year, guests at the Vision Award Society and Grand Benefactor levels will have the option to sponsor tickets for local artists to attend the event.
“Since the early 1990s, Kara Walker has challenged pre-conceived notions of race, sex and representation through contemporary visual art. And as an educator, Kara has inspired generations of artists to find their voices,” said Eungie Joo, curator of contemporary art. “We are delighted to honor her with the Contemporary Vision Award this year and celebrate her creativity, talent and mentorship of the next generation of contemporary artists.”
Born in Stockton, California and raised in Atlanta, Georgia from the age of 13, Kara Walker is best known for her candid investigation of race, gender, sexuality and violence through silhouetted figures that have been showcased in numerous exhibitions and are held in museum collections worldwide. Walker’s major survey exhibition, Kara Walker: My Complement, My Enemy, My Oppressor, My Love was organized by the Walker Art Center where it debuted in 2007 before traveling to ARC/Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Hammer Museum and the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth. Walker’s recent solo exhibitions were presented at the Art Institute of Chicago, Camden Arts Centre, London and the Metropolitan Arts Centre (MAC), Belfast. In 1997, SFMOMA presented Walker’s first solo museum exhibition on the West Coast, Kara Walker: Upon My Many Masters — An Outline, as part of the museum’s New Work series.
In the spring 2014, Walker’s first large public project, a monumental installation entitled A Subtlety, Or… the Marvelous Sugar Baby an Homage to the unpaid and overworked Artisans who have refined our Sweet tastes from the cane fields to the Kitchens of the New World on the Occasion of the demolition of the Domino Sugar Refining Plant was on view at the abandoned Domino Sugar Factory in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Commissioned and presented by Creative Time, the project — a massive 35-foot tall, sugar-covered, sphinx-like sculpture — responded to and reflected on the troubled history of sugar. Most recently, Walker debuted the steam calliope installation Katastwóf Karavan as part of Prospect.4: The Lotus in Spite of the Swamp in New Orleans in February 2018. SFMOMA acquired a maquette of this work in 2018.
Walker’s work is included in many museum and public collections, including SFMOMA, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Museum of Modern Art, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Tate London, the Museo nazionale delle arti del XXI secolo (MAXXI), Rome, and Deutsche Bank, Frankfurt. Walker received the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Achievement Award in 1997 at the age of 27, making her one of the youngest recipients of the honor. She has also received the United States Artists Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship in 2008, and in 2012 was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Walker earned her BFA from the Atlanta College of Art and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design.
The annual SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award recognizes creative minds across all disciplines and professions who have helped redefine contemporary visual culture. Organized by the museum’s Modern Art Council, the award honors the extraordinary contributions of international cultural leaders and fosters a greater understanding of their achievements.
This will be the second SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award dinner held at the museum since reopening and will be chaired by Modern Art Council member Laura Nagle. Previous recipients of the Contemporary Vision Award include artists Annie Leibovitz and Christian Marclay.
Proceeds from this event support the museum’s education and exhibition programs, which serve more than 60,000 students, teachers and families each year.
The 2018 SFMOMA Contemporary Vision Award is sponsored by Wells Fargo, which has renewed its long-standing support for the award dinner. In-kind support is provided by Official Wine Sponsors Kim Crawford and Ruffino, and Official Spirits Sponsor Campari America.
$1,500 Vision Award Society (includes art experience and cocktails with the artist, premium seating at the dinner, and the option to sponsor local artists to attend the event)
$1,000 Grand Benefactor (includes cocktails with the artist, preferred seating at the dinner and the option to sponsor local artists to attend the even)
$650 Benefactor (pre-event cocktails and regular seating at the dinner)
All tickets include complimentary valet parking.
Event Chair: Laura Nagle
Modern Art Council Chair: Courtney C. Dallaire