The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum announced the six finalists for the Hugo Boss Prize, the biennial award that comes with a $100,000 purse and a solo exhibition at the New York museum. This year’s shortlist includes the Cuban performance artist and activist Tania Bruguera, the British video artist Mark Leckey, the US choreographer Ralph Lemon, the US painter Laura Owens, the Egyptian conceptual artist Wael Shawky and the South Korean conceptual artist Anicka Yi. The winner is due to be announced in autumn 2016 and the exhibition will be held the following year.
The international shortlist is heavy on performance and video. Bruguera, whose work addresses totalitarianism, refugee crises and human rights, was detained by the Cuban authorities earlier this year after staging a performance in Havana’s Revolution Square. Leckey won the Turner Prize in 2008 for his videos, which include found footage from the underground music and dance scenes in the UK. Lemon is the first choreographer and dance company director to be shortlisted for the prize, a testament to the increasingly blurred lines between visual art, performance and dance.
The Hugo Boss Prize, established in 1996, is given to an “innovative and influential” artist regardless of age, nationality or medium. Previous winners include Paul Chan, Danh Vo and Tacita Dean. “Promoting the most innovative cultural production continues to be at the core of the Guggenheim’s institutional mission, and for the past 20 years, the Hugo Boss Prize has given us the opportunity to identify and honor artists who make a lasting impact on the landscape of contemporary art,” says Nancy Spector, the Guggenheim’s chief curator.